Sunday, November 12, 2006

the cadillac escalade of shopping carts

This afternoon, Henry woke up in a crabby ass mood and couldn’t be appeased very easily. He was still tired and hunger but didn’t want any food we had to offer. I needed a few things at Fred Meyer (local, well not locally owned anymore, big box grocery) so we made a family outing of it. When we got there Henry wanted to ride in one of the car shopping carts. Fine. We are no strangers to the car carts but had only used them at our local, fancy grocery store, where the car part takes up most of the cart and you end up with a small basket to put groceries. The Fred Meyer cart had a car part to ride in plus a regular sized cart. The thing was at least 6 feet long- the SUV of kid’s shopping carts and ridiculous to drive around the busy store. I have a feeling I would feel the same embarrassment, absurdity and glee driving a huge SUV down the road.

Clearly the kid needed a snack and I figured we would grab some crackers to eat while shopping but Jason had another idea. He and Henry went to the deli and ordered corn dogs. I wandered over as they were done ordering and ultimately ended up getting some jo jos. Henry commanded that we sit down and eat at the little area of tables between the deli and Starbuck’s counter. He meant business. I figured that if I couldn’t beat them I would join them and Jason and I shared some chicken strips too. So, we ate our fried food out of plastic bags before shopping and Henry devoured the whole damn chicken corn dog. Generally, I am not a fan nor a supporter of such eating for any of us. At that moment though it made me profoundly happy. It is the kind of thing that never happened and never could have happened in my family as a kid. My parents were and are healthy eaters to a fault and I ended up feeling deprived and afraid of a lot food over the years. Ultimately it wasn’t a healthy situation for me and I have had to really chart my own course when it comes to what I eat and how I think about food. Our non-organic, preservative-containing, fried snacks were an exception to the way we normally eat and that’s just fine with me. I would much rather eat crap occasionally and enjoy it instead of fear it. Hopefully Henry will end up with a balanced approach to food and never have to worry much about it.

We didn’t talk about any of this as we watched our kid devour a hot dog on a stick with ferocity but Jason did tell me that if I ever leave him he will go to Costco and buy a huge box of corn dogs and eat them for every meal of every day - his chosen means of self destruction. Thankfully for all of us, I am sticking around and there will be no boxes of corn dogs in anyone’s future.

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