Now the kids do the grocery shopping for me, not with me. Time flies….
“You have to come do groceries with me,” I bellowed up the stairs. Silence. “I know you’re up there, you’re the only one home,” I continued.
“Fine….” Ari, 13 came trudging down, realizing that resistance was futile. I hate grocery shopping, and demand that someone comes to help share the misery. The Poor Sod likes shopping, so the boys are usually spared the pain.
I made Ari carry in the canvas bags I so responsibly bought, and usually leave in the van. Or, more usually, in the house. Entering our No Frills, we were greeted by the Wall of Chocolate Things begging me to be festive. Ari’s eyes lit up like a carnival, and I hauled him away to the produce section telling him if he ate that much chocolate crap he’d be sorry. You’d think by this age they’d be able to guess what kind of morning follows a chocolate covered evening.
“Hey! The baby oranges are in!” he exclaimed. He plunked a carton of them into the cart, and declared that these ones were “his”. I nodded, knowing that if he found a single pit in one of them, the whole case would become “Mom’s”, because mothers eat the broken crackers, the brown bananas and cheese that’s curling a little on the edges.
I hadn’t taken either of the boys grocery shopping in a while. It was interesting to be told that we needed jujubes, because we were out. Like bread and milk and eggs, you can apparently be “out” of jujubes. You can also be out of pepperoni sticks, ice cream, and a multitude of cheese-based items that, eerily, don’t require refrigeration.
“Do I like eggnog?” asked Ari, staring at yet another holiday display of angina-triggers.
“I don’t know. Your grandpa used to love it, and I always bought him the first carton of the year,” I told him, as my eyes misted.
“What’s it taste like?”
“It’s pretty disgusting,” I admitted, as the moment passed. He put it in the cart, not realizing I’d abandoned my reverse psychology in aisle 4.
Later at home, I came upon Ari and his brother Christopher, 16, staring at a glass of eggnog. Turns out Christopher loves the stuff, and was daring Ari to try it. Ari took a tentative sip, grimaced and handed the glass to his brother.
“Ew. That’s gross. Now I know why Aunt Rozzy calls it egg snog,” he said. “I’m gonna eat my oranges. How many can I have?” he asked as he plundered the crate.
“Six. Stop at six, you can have more tomorrow,” I replied. “If you think an overdose of chocolate is bad, you don’t want to know what those innocent little clementines can do to you.”
The next morning as I was putting lunches together, I reached for some of those innocent little clementines to put in Ari’s lunch. He stopped me.
“No, no more,” he groaned. I looked at him. The season has just started and we usually go through a couple of cases a week until they disappear in January.
“What do you mean no more? You love these!” I looked closer at him. I’d seen a pile of peelings on the coffee table the night before, but it was hard to tell how many there were, and I hadn’t dusted them for prints.
“How many did you have?” I demanded.
“Fifteen,” he admitted with a sigh.
I might as well have bought the chocolate.