Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Fallen Angel

I should have just let her smear Play-Doh into the kitchen table all morning. Paige kept creating red pancakes and green pellets, which she called "green beans," then served them on a plate to me. After 45 minutes of job searching with her saying, "Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Do you want this food? Daddy, they are green beans. Daddy. Daddy," I thought we needed to get out of the house. In all my genius, I decide Costco was the answer.

I hate Costco. I hate it on the weekends. I hate always having my cart driven into by someone in XXXL sweat pants making a bee line for the 72 slices of cheese. I hate it more when I have the kids with me, because, honestly, every store is worse when the kids are with you. But, for some reason, I thought Wednesday morning at Costco wouldn't suck as much.

After heaving a 24-pack of paper towels, a 30-pack of toilet paper (Paige is now using the potty and rolling off more toilet paper than an 85-year-old incontinent woman) and five pounds of chicken nuggets into the cart, I should have just quit while we were ahead. Considering it took us 27 minutes to brush her teeth ("No toothpaste! No!"), wash her face (apparently I was using the special Brillo Pad facecloth I save for just the right occasion) and put on her shoes (the freaking shoes!), coming home with three items should have been enough. But, then the way-too-large bag of cheese ravioli caught my attention. Paige's diet recently has consisted of pasta, green yogurt and Goldfish crackers, so the ravioli seemed like a winner.

As I reached to open the freezer door to get a closer look, I heard the sound. It was a shattering sound. Not a Costco-sized 128-ounce jar of pickles smashing but something much smaller. I knew immediately just as Paige violently thrashed her head backward in the cart and screamed, "MY ANGEL!" Yup, her 25-cent ceramic, hand-sized angel she carries around with her. Amazingly, by the grace of someone's god, this thing has survived since being rescued from a yard-sale table during the summer despite Paige's insistence upon destroying most anything within three days.

The funny part is you can count on Muno's hand how many times Paige has been in a church in her life. Yet, she had some deep connection to this tiny statue, which should have met its maker any number of the times when she's been mad and whipped it across the room. Today, however, it couldn't withstand a fall from a cart to the industrial cement flooring inside the Wilsonville Costco.

I picked up the pieces and knew, "We aren't recovering from this." The screaming intensified. The stares from the shoppers became longer. We weaved to the front of the store through aisles featuring double loaves of bread, three-packs of ketchup and six-packs of deodorant only to see two people working at the check-out stands and exponentially more people waiting to spend their money.

I could have left our cart but we had come so far. Paige wanted out of the cart and I stupidly obliged. I mean, if you had a pissed-off bear inside a cage, would you let it out? By the time I paid, picked her up and carried her under my arm parallel to the floor, the store was at a standstill. Of course, god forbid you leave that hellhole without showing someone your receipt at the front door.

We made it to the car and after an eventful 4 1/2 minutes she was buckled in her seat with tears streaming down her face and "My angel!" blaring from her lungs. Upon entering the house, she rolled on the floor as if she were trying to put out a fire on her pink puffy coat. I did the only thing I could do ... I tore open the bag of nuggets, heated some up and we ate lunch like 2-year-olds do ... before 11 a.m.

Tomorrow, I'm thinking it's a pajamas-and-Play-Doh day. It's too bad we won't have seven pounds of ravioli for lunch.

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