Monday, May 14, 2012

My shopping helper

When I go to the grocery store with Gunnar I try to be prepared. As many moms know shopping with a toddler isn't for sissies.  They can be loud, they want to get out of the cart and run around and do anything to keep you from fulfilling your shopping needs. That is why I bring things he can hold on to and play with or snack on but I also ask him to help me find things and put them in the cart. Sometimes we sing songs or play silly games in the store just to keep him from getting bored too quickly.

But what Gunnar always looks forward to is helping me at the check out. It's his favorite part. He helps unload from the cart and puts items onto the conveyor belt. He hands the checker our discount cart and any coupons and then he always helps me pay by swiping the credit card and helping me push the buttons. This is his favorite part.

I get asked all the time by cashiers "Is he always this good?" and generally he is...I think because I'm letting him be a part of it rather than just ignoring him and whisking through the aisles trying to get him out of there before he screams. I just think of every trip out with Gunnar as a potential classroom of knowledge not just practical but social skills as well.

Today's trip, however, ended on a very sour note. If the other line hadn't been so long I would have chosen a different checker (I usually choose my checker from an instinct on who will be more engaging with Gunnar) I'd had this cashier before and I remembered the exchange was incredibly weird. And then I heard her repeating the exact same exchange I'd had 3 weeks ago to the woman in front of me "I see you're a 'Just for U' member, CONGRATULATIONS. Isn't 'Just for U' great? I'm so glad to see you're saving money." She said in a very monotone voice. Awesome...I knew this same rehearsed statement was just seconds away from being directed to me so I tried to think of something I could do to avoid it...but I failed. With no voice (slowly recovering from a battle with laryngitis) I decided my best weapon was Gunnar....kill her with cuteness G...please!

Gunnar handed her our club card and yes we got that same rehearsed line. I just nodded and put my card away. But Gunnar clearly couldn't handle how strange this woman was acting-he thought this was funny...so he started laughing. To which the cashier replied "What's your problem? What is so funny?" If I had a voice I might have said: "Come ON lady...he's 18 months! Can't he just be silly and laugh? Don't take it personally!"
But that she did...or at least I think she did; because, then she did the worst thing a cashier could do to my little shopping helper...she looked right at that credit card in his hand ready to swipe and said "NO! He can't pay. There is wine on this order and if you let him swipe the card that means he's paying and he is under age."

 WHAT?!!?! Oh come on lady...I have bought cases of wine with Gunnar swiping the card and no one ever stopped him before. So now not only did she make me feel uncomfortable with her stupid questions...but now she gets to revoke my son's reward for being such a good shopper??!!?!? UGH!! I just wanted to ring her neck...and if I had a voice I think I would have given her a mouth full...or at least her supervisor...I mean really? The card has my name on it...I'm still buying it. I'm all for rules but this one is just completely ridiculous.

 So guess what? She made a crier out of Gunnar, my super shopper helper cried big crocodile tears because he couldn't swipe or punch the buttons like I promised he could. Thanks a lot lady. And sadly...I didn't have a voice to try to explain things to Gunnar....I certainly couldn't speak over his cries. Sad. I just hope this doesn't effect our next shopping trip.

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