Gearing up for baseball season.......or, Duck!! Flying Fruit!

Grocery shopping is always an adventure. The entire family piles into Carrefour to shop during the evening hours, when everyone else in Al Ain is also shopping. What could be more fun? (can you detect the slightest hint of sarcasm in my 'voice'?) Grocery shopping is on the bottom of the fun list for the kids and Brn. Heck, I don't like weaving in and out of an endless sea of people who stare at me as if I have 2 heads, just to hand over too much money to the cashier, and have to do it all over again a few days later because the milk and granola bars are gone. (If you really want to get strange looks, shop with a pencil tucked behind your ear.........I do it now on purpose to see the reactions) But, since Brn won't agree to dining out every meal, grocery shopping is a necessary evil.

Tonight, Brn and three of the kids decide that they'd had all the excitement they could stand for one day.......so, P and I embarked on our journey through the land of yellow shirts all by ourselves. As you read this, you may be thinking to yourself, 'Oh, she got a much needed break by being able to shop almost alone!' Before you come to that conclusion, let me introduce you to P.

P is our little drama king. I use the word 'drama' because he lives his life as though he's the star of High School Musical, or any number of other shows that he's seen in the past. Most of these shows are the cartoonish type, involving someone getting bonked on the head or running into something or falling over something, etc. (imagine the Three Stooges) P is a one man show. This summer he performed the book Green Eggs and Ham , start to finish from memory, adding in all sorts of funny gestures to complete the act. His entire family watched with amusement as he jumped around reciting each line of the book with ever increasing expression in his voice.

Now, let's combine the wonder of P with the chaos of Carrefour.....and a tired Momma who is sick with a cold. The tired, sick Momma allows the dramatic P to ride in the cart for the first half of the shopping adventure. She shuffles along up and down the aisles slowly, searching for the items on her list. She smiles at other shoppers glaring at her because she looks weird with a pencil stuck behind her ear and because her kid is bouncing around in the cart, bonking himself on the head and making loud noises. She carefully places items in the cart so that P won't smash them. When she reaches the water aisle, she realizes that space in the cart is running out. (Carrefour's trollies/carts are not big enough to hold an entire week's worth of groceries for a family of 6 people and 2 cats) She sighs and lifts P out of the cart, knowing that the real shopping adventure with her son is just out to begin.

The tired Momma and the dramatic P enter the fruits/vegetables section of Carrefour. By this time, there are tons of people in the store......and they all want fruit. The tired Momma tries to keep a close watch on 'robot boy' P, who is lagging behind, intentionally bumping into the fruit racks every few steps, making robot gestures with his arms and head, and talking in a robot voice. He's in his own little world.....he's not bothering anyone......and he's totally unaware of his audience. The tired Momma proceeds to pick through the green apples in hopes of finding enough acceptable ones to fill the plastic bag. In her peripheral vision, she notices something bizarre happening about 7 cart-lengths away in front of the little green lemon looking fruits. (no, they weren't limes or kiwis) 'Robot Boy's' right arm is swinging overhandedly, repeatedly, and is shooting small green fruits through the air over top of the fruit stand. The tired Momma stands in a daze for a split second, unable to grasp what she is seeing. She comes to her senses quickly, and makes a mad dash to disarm 'Robot Boy.' She lifts 'Robot Boy' off of the ground and carries him to the cart.....his arms, legs and mouth still moving in full robot fashion. She turns off the power switch on his back and removes his batteries. Only then does he transform back into the amazing P.

They walk along together nicely until they reach the eggs. The tired Momma examines several cartons of eggs to find ones that aren't too dirty or cracked. P very quietly starts tapping on a carton in front of him. Within seconds, the taps are stronger. The Momma firmly tells her son to stop tapping on the eggs. P responds, disappointedly, "Awwwwwwwww. I was just trying to break them." (Fortunately, he didn't succeed) The tired Momma grumbles to herself as they piddle along to the frozen vegetables. She knows she won't find any brussel sprouts. She hardly ever finds those. A convoy of shoppers tries to make its way down the aisle. All of a sudden, all traffic comes to a stop. The jam is getting bigger and bigger. The tired Momma wonders why the shoppers are just standing there looking at her. Surely, her frozen vegetable selections couldn't be *that* enlightening or entertaining. She gasps, realizing that she had not checked on P in the last 30 seconds or so. With frozen peas in one hand and frozen corn in another, she spins around to see P playing the role of traffic cop. The blue-eyed, blonde-haired 5 year old boy is standing in the middle of the aisle with his little hand stuck out, stopping all traffic on both sides of the aisle. Thankfully, the shoppers appear to have a good sense of humor and laugh it off as the tired Momma pulls her miniature policeman out of the aisle.

Yes, shopping is an adventure. You never know *what* is going to happen! And, my sincerist apologies to everyone standing on the other side of that fruit stand. I hope that those little green fruits didn't sting too badly upon impact. It's not likely that my little 'Robot Boy' will be recruited as pitcher for a major league baseball team any time soon.

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