Today at the mega-grocery store, I got a very good parking place near the door. When Eric and I came out with our groceries, someone in a white minivan followed us to our spot and then sat waiting while I unloaded our groceries into the trunk, returned the cart to the cart corral, and then got Eric into the car. This took a very long time. I am entering my third trimester and have a backache, and by the time we were done shopping being on my feet was feeling unpleasant, so I had to rest, huffing and holding my lower back, in between hoisting two 25-pound boxes of cat litter and some soda and other heavy things from the bottom rack of the cart to the trunk. Then I had to perform the crash-cart routine with Eric at the cart corral, twice ("Crash me, Mama! Crash me!"), and then, with much grunting and straining, hoist him out of the cart. He was in no hurry to get back to the car, what with the many interesting ice chunks in the parking lot, and then he wanted to open the door and climb in by himself. He's perfectly capable, but sometime he gets distracted as he's climbing in by the novelty of seeing the backseat from a new perspective. Ms. Minivan got so cranky waiting she started tapping her horn lightly every half-minute or so.
I just ignored her. I figure if you are so desperate to avoid walking the length of six or eight parking spaces that you will sit and wait for a woman whom you could plainly see had a toddler in her cart, you get what you deserve. She could have parked farther down the aisle, walked in, done her shopping, and breezed merrily past us with her cart by the time we were up to "You did a great job climbing into your car seat, sweetie. Now turn around and plop your butt down so I can buckle you up!"
Sometimes I want to interview people. I wish I could have knocked on her window and asked her a few questions: "Why are you waiting for my spot instead of driving to another one? Why do you think my son and I should have to hurry so that you can have it sooner?" But I'm sure there's no way to do that without engendering hostility, so I haven't tried it.
I can't be too cranky about The Mad Honker, though, because in the last twenty-four hours I have also encountered two instances of excessive niceness. Last night, I dashed into my favorite sandwich shop with $6 in my hand; my purse was in the car. The total for my sandwich, chips, and soda was $6.86. I thought about going back to the car for change, decided it wasn't worth it, and told the casher, "Let's just forget the soda." The woman who had been in line in front of me said, "Oh, nonsense. I have 86 cents for you," and she pulled out her change purse. I said, "Thank you, that's very kind," and she told me that she had managed to find a favorite, valuable bracelet she had lost because a clerk in a store had made a special effort to save it and get it to her, and she was happy to pass some goodness along.
And earlier at the grocery store, Eric and I were happy to find that the ride-for-a-penny dinosaur had been fixed after having been out of commission for several weeks. Eric always gets two pennies' worth of rides, but my change purse contained only a single penny. A woman passed by just as I held out the empty purse to Eric and said, "I'm so sorry, honey, but I don't have another penny." She said, "I can fix that!" and gave us two. She said, "My grandsons live in New York and I miss them so much." Pining grandmothers are an under-utilized public resource, I think.
As Eric was riding, another boy came along, Mom in tow, and got on the ride-for-a-penny pony. The mom and I got to chatting. Her boy was three months younger than Eric. I said, "I am really enjoying this age," and she said, "Me, too! Everyone said two would be awful, but I love it. I like it even better than one!" I said, "Yeah, I loved having a baby. And then having a one-year-old was even better. And then having a two-year-old turns out to be even better than that!" She said, "I told my husband the very same thing the other day!" And then we just stood there and beamed at our children. Most moms I meet are quick to gripe; it was a nice to spend a moment being happy about our children together.Posted by Su Penn at January 9, 2004 02:53 PM | TrackBack