Calamity Jennye

Monday, May 23, 2011

Another ending with a moral for all you fairy tale lovers out there

Today after work Esme and I went and did a little grocery shopping.
While we've been staying with friends this is not something we've had to do a lot of. But every now and then I try to cook us a meal on our own and I try to supplement some of the food we're eating at our hosts' home.
Tonight we decided to have breakfast for dinner and as I was buying the the bacon and eggs I thought how good a BLT would be for lunch tomorrow. Then while we were buying yogurt Esme decided she really wanted a particular kind of granola to go in her yogurt.

This granola is only sold at the co-op here in town and that just happens to be where my husband works. Needless to say I have avoided the co-op (on everyday but Thursday and Friday) with the same zeal I apply to avoiding long walks in these beautiful tick infested woods. Which is to say about an 85% effort.

Tonight, as it became clear that the best lettuce and tomatoes in town shared this important space with Esme's coveted granola I decided this was another opportunity to not let him run my life. I could handle a quick run into the co-op. We're only talking about three ingredients, we'll be in and out...maybe we won't even see him.

Flash forward to walking in the door and straight into my husband returning a cart to the same stack we are headed to remove ours from (a kid cart because even though we're only buying three things it is imperative Esme push the cart). I'm telling you I should have known better before I set foot in the door but I'm a glutton...or a masochist or something.

Well as soon as we hit the small produce department Esme begins placing kumquats, apriums (yeah, it's a real fruit) and everything else she can get her hands on into the cart. Just as I had to do at the last grocery store I turned her toward me and calmly said "Esme, we can't buy everything." Instead of the "but I want this, I really, really want this" which had been the answer 20 minutes earlier I got this snarling face flashed at me followed with "I can buy anything I want mom." "No" I replied, "no one can buy anything they want. We have to make decisions together about we can buy. We can't afford to buy everything so we have to choose. And you and I choose together."
I went on about the list we had made in the car and how we had a plan and had to stick to it. Well we made it through the tiny produce department with only two extra apples to show for our negotiations and with Esme letting out a little scream every time the produce she was trying to put into the cart by removing the back (thus making it roll out before she could get it to stay) rolled away.
Just as we headed for the shelves my husband reappeared in time to say "what's all this screaming out here?" He turned to talk to someone as he was standing next to Esme and someone came up on my right to ask me a question. Just then Esme decided, was the perfect time to lift a glass jar of peanut butter off the shelf.
Before either of us could stop her it fell to the ground shattering the bottom and she bent to pick it up. She, of course, sliced her finger open.
I headed back to the bathroom to rinse off the blood while he retrieved some bandaids and bacitracin. Nothing like a little good old fashioned teamwork with someone you're barely speaking to!

She bled through the first bandaid while we attempted to finish our shopping and as she was sputtering out her little cries of pain I realized how truly ridiculous this whole situation was. There was no way we could finish this trip quickly and she was about to get blood on my sweater which would only take this from bad to worse.
We headed back up to the little seating area. I asked for some more towels, took the bandaid off, wrapped a towel tightly around her finger and asked Esme to tell me about her day. "No mama," she said. "You tell me a story." Okay what should it be about I asked?  "The three little pigs!"

This is the part where I have to admit that I am not the imagination care giver in Esme's world. I am great at fun, I'm great at cuddles, great at going places, meeting friends, playing at parks. But I really struggle with where the water (I mean, pretend ice cream) goes when Esme hands me an "ice cream cone" during bath time. I'll never forget the first time I realized she was perfectly fine with me dumping the water back into the bathtub while pretending to eat the cone...weird.
So the pressure is on. Crying kid, public place, and worse than public my husband and all his co-workers who may or may not have any idea about our situation (can't decide which way would be worse honestly) are watching. Are those lights really hot or am I the only one sweating here?
So out come our three little pigs and if I do say so myself I am great under pressure.
Their names were Liv, Elsa and Esme and they were each building a sand castle out of a different material. Liv and Elsa's castles didn't quite work out, but all the woodland creatures were so taken with Esme's castle made out of dandelions (her favorite flower) that they brought her materials to help her build it all the way to the sky. Eventually Liv and Elsa came to ask if they could move into the castle and Esme graciously invited them in for a sleep over where they had breakfast for dinner and lived happily ever after.

Esme liked it so much she made me tell it twice!!! Go me :)

After that we finished our shopping and left in one piece. My husband even gave me his employee discount, the one I've felt really torn about taking every time it's automatically applied to our account when I check out. But we are still married...I think I did pay a high price for that 15%.

Lesson learned from our little three piggy's fairytale...stay the hell away from the co-op when you don't have backup.


  1. Good job! You made me giggle with the story and that felt great! I think it is wonderful that you went to the coop. It is a small town and you living your life in avoidance isn't giving you much control over YOUR life, but it does make things easier for him... LIVE YOUR LIFE! You don't need to unnecessarily put yourself in tough situations, but I think it was good and right to go there tonight. In my opinion the real lesson learned is that you are a strong and capable person and can cope with ANYTHING that comes your way! Live your life forward - you deserve to!!!!

  2. I agree with Shari that you shouldn't allow his presence to dictate where you can and can not be comfortable in your community, but of course, self-preservation is key! Great job keeping Esme calm and the story was top notch. If Esme's castle serves breakfast for dinner I'm there! ME

  3. I'm with them. You shouldn't live you life trying to avoid him, and now that you've made it through your first "community" interaction, the rest of your chance meetings will get easier. I loved the story, and breakfast for dinner at my house is a ritual! And as Shari said ... Live your life forward ... you deserve to!!!

  4. I agree with everyone else. Keep living your life forward, and as you said, go you!!!!