The Apple, The Monster, And The Cookie

It is Old Lady Wednesday at our local Fred Meyer grocery mega store. The parking lot is packed with old ladies aggressively driving huge sedans. They appear to be gunning for the spaces located closest to the front entrance.

As I make way toward the grocery store my two-year old notices (as if this is the first time we’ve ever gone to Fred Meyer) that the doors are sliding open and closed on their own. I feel a toddler death grip around my thigh and all of a sudden it seems he is trying to climb up my leg and back into my uterus.

IT’S A SCARY MONSTAHHHHHHH! he shrieks. It’s sOOoOOOo scary!!!

I try to convince him that the sliding glass doors are not to be feared.

We end up standing there in the pouring rain so he can witness several people making their way into the store without bodily injury.

After a few minutes Theo is convinced that he will not be mauled by the doors and agrees to go inside.

I pick out the cart that looks least grimy. The wheels appear to be in alignment. I fear the cart that has to be pushed from behind like an indignant mule. This one seems to have a smooth ride.

We make our way down the aisles and Theo is happily munching on an apple that I have swiped from the produce section.

As we make our way down the cereal aisle I notice Theo’s eyes widening in horror.

Oh shit, I think. Time to prepare myself for an epic battle of the Fruity Pebbles kind.

But it is not a sugary cereal problem. Oh, no, no, no. Nothing as easy as trying to convince a two-year old to consider snacking on a high fiber cereal.

I see Theo’s apple fly past my head in an impressive arc and land at the feet of an adorable wrinkly old lady whose very face resembles a baked apple.

A SCARY MONSTAHHHHHHHHHH! Right theyarrrrrrrrrre! He is pointing at the old lady.

OhholymotherMaryMosesNoah’snutsack this is just great. He thinks old people are monsters? I’ve really got to volunteer at a nursing home or something. I really suck at parenting.

The old lady hears Theo freaking out and decides to approach the cart, thinking she can work her grandmotherly old lady charms on the child.

NoooOooooOoooo I NO LIKE SCARY MONSTAHHHHHHH! 

I’m wondering if the old lady is deaf or just doesn’t care that this kid is clearly terrified of her and thinks she is a monster.

Theo tries to hide his red scrunched up freaked out face and inadvertently whacks it on the E.Coli fecal germ infested I forgot the freaking’ antibacterial wipes grocery cart handle. The shrieking is even louder now. People are avoiding the cereal aisle. I am wishing we had done the shopping after Theo’s nap.

Poor little boy, croons the little old lady reaching out one tiny wrinkled hand and stroking his arm.

No monstahhhh no touch you! shrieks Theo, now biting on the grocery store handle as I feel the heart pounding flush of a how-am-I-going-to-sanitize-this-disgusting-kid’s-mouth type of anxiety attack.

Do you want a cookie? asks the old lady.

Theo slowly lifts his head (revealing the angry grocery cart handle dent on his forehead). He swipes the tears from his eyes and wipes his snotty nose on his little arm.

Cookie? he asks with grave concern in his voice.

Yes! Do you want a cookie? says the little old lady.

Theo nods in agreement, now with a small hopeful look on his face.

The little old lady shuffles over to her cart and unceremoniously rips open a package of old-fashioned molasses cookies. She returns and hands Theo a cookie. We thank her and watch as she makes her way to the dairy aisle.

Theo’s little face, now covered in cookie crumbs, dissolves in tears again.

I want dat monstahhhhhh!

I want dat monstahhhhh with da cookies!

Come back monstahhhhh! Come back!

Monstahhhhhhhh!!!!!