The Great Pretzel Incident of 2012

When zj was a pre-schooler, I LOATHED going shopping with him.  He hated to sit in the cart, screamed like a banshee when I tried to buckle him in, would unbuckle himself, climb down and run away from me every chance he got, and he went through an unfortunate phase when he would see a man - any man - and start screaming "DADDY!!!  DADDY!!!  PLEASE COME BACK!!!  I WUVVVV YOU!!!"

Cj is a bit more laid back, and shopping of any kind is usually fun.  We shop for clothes, we shop for groceries, we shop for whatever, and he sits quietly in the cart, oohing and aahing over endcap displays, bright lights on the ceiling and pink ruffly things.   Oh, we might have an occasional run-in with an old person regarding eye color, but he really can't be blamed for that.  She totally started it.

Anyway, fast forward to one day last week.  We had successfully completed a stop at Kroger, and stop at Home Depot and a stop at Sam's Club, and I wanted to make a quick trip into Big Lots to look at their gardening stuff.  Really, it was gonna be quick.

I should have realized that cj had reached his shopping threshold for the day when he started saying "Go home now, Mama?" to me in the car, but I was blinded by the possibility of cheap things to plant flowers in, colorful trellises (trelli?) and other shiny things to hang around my house, and I really, really wanted to go in there.  Never mind that it was an hour past nap time and he hadn't had lunch yet.

"Last stop baby.  I promise.  Here, you can ever ride the horsey BEFORE we go in.  Won't that be fun?"

It WAS fun.  And even though he whined a bit more than I was used to when he got off the horse, I soldiered on.  After all, I had FLOWER POTS to buy.

And then, then as we were slowly making our way past the food stuff to the back of the store where the gardening prizes was located, IT HAPPENED.

Cj spotted a bag of chocolate covered pretzels, which just happen to be his favorite things in the entire world.

"Us get prenzels?" he asked sweetly, batting his big brown eyes at me.  Where on earth do kids learn this stuff?

"No, Not today.  We have pretzels at home," I answered reasonably, then kept walking along.  I could see the shiny yard things from across the store, and I was not going to be derailed. 

"PRENZELS.  PWEASE."  He said, this time a little louder.

"No, no pretzels today," I responded firmly.

And then it happened.  


The shrieking was so loud and so piercing and so intense that everyone in the store immediately stopped shopping and came and stood in a circle around us to stare and to point at us and to talk about my poor parenting skills.  Well, that's what it felt like, anyway.

My attempts to shush him were totally futile.  Totally futile.  Totally.  So I grabbed the bag, ripped it open, and shoved a pretzel in his mouth.

Back when I was a good parent, ya know, before I actually HAD kids, I used to frown superiorly at people in the grocery who were letting their kids eat the box of crackers or cookies or the grapes or whatever.  THE NERVE!  Those things weren't even PAID for!

We skipped the gardening section and headed straight for the register.  The cashier never even blinked when I pried the grimy, wrinkled, chocolate covered bag from his hands long enough for her to scan.  I mumbled something vague about "low blood sugar" and hightailed it out of there.

Once we were in the car, cj promptly fell asleep, his pretzels still in a death grip in his grubby little hands.

Poor kid, I guess all that screaming wore him out.


  1. You should know better lady, 3 stops is the MAX unless you have packed food and drink.... come on now, get with the program ;-)

    1. Well, yes, I know, but FLOWER POTS!!!! Sigh. You'd think I was new at this Mama bit or something...

  2. I understand, I love flowers and gardening but sometimes....they just get in the way(the kids I mean:)) sigh


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