a good time to brush up on our survival skills. Today we will be focusing on small
scale disasters, namely - What to do When Your Two-Year-Old Throws-Up in the Supermarket.
Let's set the scene: Baby has a bad phlegmy type cold,
you need some stuff because the fridge is almost empty, but you're not looking
to do a big shop. In and out, hopefully in the express lane. You are pushing the
cart (with a bad wheel, damn those shopping carts!) up the produce aisle and she
starts coughing, but it's okay, you're prepared because you have tissues in your
bag. You wipe her nose and she seems fine. Up and down a few more aisles, and
then somewhere in the middle of the store, she starts hacking away and you start
saying things like, you're okaaay. You're okaaayyy. It's okaaay. Here's
another tissue. You're okay, right? We're almost done, you're okaaay. But
as we all know, mommies start saying you're okaaay over and over when
really, not much is okay. It's almost like we're saying it as much (or more) for
our own benefit than the kid's, kind of pushing the panic down, because you
just know that this kid is going to hurl everywhere and there is nothing you can
do about it.
And of course, she does. All over her coat. And now is that excellent time to brush
up on those survival skills.
If you are not yet a parent, you probably are not aware of the fact that you can open
up anything you want/need in the supermarket and no one will say a word
to you, as long as you remember to pay. And I don't
mean like the little old ladies who walk around the store eating a bag of
(unwashed) grapes and then just don't pay at the checkout line. I'm talking
about having a picnic; laying out a blanket and making sandwiches. The store
will not care, just clean up after yourself and remember to hand over your
credit card before leaving.
The beauty of a supermarket is that they have pretty much everything you could
possibly need while shopping with a child. They have
diapers, milk, (weird) clothes), baby wipes, paper towels, cookies, whatever you
need. Today we needed three things after we threw up. And I say we
because if you know me at all, you will know that when one of my kids gags, I do
too. I didn't throw up in Shoprite, but Josh - who was not with us - would not
have been at all surprised if I did. Anyway, back to those three items -
tissues**, a drink and straws.
First we headed over to the paper aisle to grab the first box of tissues I saw.
It was also the most expensive brand, but whatever.
This was an emergency, hence the need for our review of disaster protocol even
though it's not currently National Disaster Preparedness Month.
All cleaned up, we needed a drink. But she was still coughing, there was no way to
make it three aisles over to the water.
The closest drinks were in the back of the store, which unfortunately, was the milk
section. I hate milk***. No really, I hate milk, with a passion. But my baby
needed a drink, so I grabbed a small bottle of chocolate milk (yes, I know, not
the best choice for someone who just threw up, but remember, this was a small
scale disaster, so any liquid would have had to do). I opened the cap and
offered some to the baby. She just looked at me - and then I realized that there
was no way she could drink from a bottle like that, she didn't know what to do
with it. So back to the paper aisle for straws. Opened a box of straws and we
were in business.
I passed a garbage can on the way to checkout line (I don't think I ever realized before
that there were in-use garbage cans in supermarkets), chucked all the dirty tissues and
got onto the express lane. When our turn came, I put all the stuff on the conveyor
belt and the cashier started scanning things. And because she is a mother too,
she said, "Oh no, did the baby throw up?!"
I couldn't stop laughing while I asked her how she knew. And she
said - and I quote here - "Honey, I have five kids. An open box of tissues, an
open straws and a baby clutching a drink with a frazzled looking mama, either
she's having some tummy issues or her diaper exploded." I laughed all the way to
the car. Once we were back in the safety of the mess that is our van, I said a
silent thank you prayer - an exploding diaper in the middle of Shoprite would
have been way worse. A disaster is a disaster, but remember to be thankful for
the mini-disaster you were given because there always a grosser mini-disaster
that you avoided. Got that? Good, 'cause that's a life lesson.
*Who knew? Not me. But two seconds of googling and look what I learned. What did we do before google? How did we live?
** It wasn't that huge of a mess and we really have a huge case of paper towels at home, so I could not really justify opening up a 15 pack of paper towels.
***Wanna know why? I'll tell you. I have never liked the
taste/smell/texture of milk. Even just writing that senetence made me gag. Milk
just made me naseous, even as a really little kid. But it was never a problem
because I never drank any. And then one day, in first grade, my teacher, Morah
Mandelbaum, whom I loved to pieces, gave me a cup of milk during lunch on a
friday, which, if you have attended a yeshiva day school, you will know that it
was probably tuna fish and corn day. Do you see where this is going? I had
already eaten my tuna and corn when the milk was set before me. I declined. She
told me to drink, I needed a drink. I declined again. She persisiteed. I told
her I would throw up if I drank milk, she told me I wouldn't. As I recall, there
was some more back and forth. Then I drank the milk (I was a very good kid in
school, I NEVER got in trouble.) Can you guess what happened next? Yup, I threw
up. But I didn't just throw up like a normal person, I pushed my chair back from
the table, told my beloved morah that I didn't feel good, turned towards her and
threw up the whole cup of milk, plus all the tuna and corn that I had eaten and
apparently not chewed, all over Morah Mandelbaum's surprisngly nice, low heeled
pumps. And all over her stockings too.
I don't remember much after that, but I do know that my father came to get
me from school and that I never had a teacher offer me a cup of milk again. I
guess news travels fast in the teacher's room.