“I need to go pee,” my five-year-old whined as we were about to leave the grocery store. So we made a U turn and walked past the cashiers again, toward the facilities.
“You go in the men’s room and we’ll wait right here,” I instructed. Several minutes later my younger son and I heard squirting water and a loud wail from within, “Help me, mommy!”
I wasn’t about to enter the men’s room, so through the door I called, “Adam, come here.” He pushed the door open and the first thing I noticed was the water splashed all over his coat.” I stifled a laugh.
“Maybe they don’t use that one so much. It’s kind of broken,” he said about the faucet. Glad it wasn’t the toilet. I’m not really sure why this struck me as funny, but it took all of my effort not to laugh out loud. After that failed hand-washing attempt, we all went into the women’s room and washed our hands. My two-year-old thinks hand washing is sort of like a game.
Then we were on to the next store. “What well-behaved boys you have,” a gentleman said as we stopped to look for the size and brand of canned tuna that matched the coupon in my hand.
“Thanks, we’re working on it,” I replied. But within five minutes of that comment I started hoping we wouldn’t run into the same guy again. I’m sure he’d take his words back.
I think it started with the boys replaying an argument I’d heard a dozen times in the last week, “You’re a baby,” Adam tells his younger brother.
“I’m not a baby!”
“You’re a baby.”
“I’m not a baby!”
And it grows louder and more emphatic with each repetition.
Shortly after they quieted down, Adam dove head first into the shopping cart. The main problem with this was that Caleb was sitting there. (He had refused to sit in the part of the cart made for children to sit in.) For a few moments Adam’s feet were kicking in the air and Caleb was screeching because his brother was on top of him. So I grabbed Adam and set him back on the floor. Then he started pouting because his younger brother always gets preferential treatment.
I tell you, shopping with children seems like enough to cure any shopaholic.
That same day over lunch Adam told me, “People could survive even if caffeine hadn’t been invented yet.” He was running the idea past me to see whether I’d agree. I did, explaining the difference between “invented” and “discovered.” Next he said, “And they could survive if alcohol hadn’t been invented yet.” Then, “What’s alcohol made from?”
Sometimes my five-year-old seems so young. Other moments, so interested in growing up.