Shopping Cart Roller Derby

I white knuckled the handle.  He could tell I was slowing down.  I knew he could sense it. The anxiety was making me sweat.  I wanted desperately to speed up.  My internal speedometer told me I was going about 4 miles an hour… not good enough… I had to pick it up to 5 or all hell would break loose.

Five miles an hour may not sound very fast to you.

It’s not fast for the highway.

It’s not fast even for a residential street.

But it’s ridiculously speedy for the local grocery store.  You can’t even read labels at that speed.

At this point in my life, a newborn with colic had turned my life into a dark and desperate farce.  Colic demanded to be in motion.  Colic had me bouncing and swaying at all hours of the night.  Colic had me making unnecessary right hand turns on the road, so as not to have to stop at a red light.  Colic also made me a speed demon with a grocery cart.

“Excuse me”, I said semi-politely to the old woman in front of me as I tried to shimmy my cart in front of her.  I felt her give the evil eye to the back of my head as I quickly jogged my cart down the aisle.

I glanced down at the infant car seat in my cart, and saw the left foot stop it’s twitch.


That old woman had no idea that I just saved her, and the whole damn store, from the High Pitch Baby Wails Of Doom.  The colic can scream.  The colic scream hits a special spot in the brain of anyone that hears it.  It can paralyze you.  It can make you see spots, drop to your knees, raise your hands, and yell “Oh my fucking Gawd! Make it stop!”.

I saved that bitch’s life.

Damn.  I also realized as I left her in the dust, that I also passed the granola bars and forgot to grab some.

Continuing my jog, I looked into the car seat and saw the left leg starting to twitch again.  My heavy breathing was telling me that I was still at 5 miles per hour, but maybe that wasn’t good enough any more.  It had been fifteen minutes of jogging up and down the aisles… maybe the colic had been complacent long enough.  It needed more motion.  More.  More!

So I started to run.

I ran through the dairy, and without slowing, whacked at a carton of non-dairy creamer hoping it would fall into my cart.  Then I turned and circled back toward the granola bars.

I began to turn down the cereal aisle, but when I saw how packed it was, I veered to the frozen aisle.  It was just as crowded.  I glanced again at the little twitching foot, and now BOTH were moving.


I pointed myself down that aisle and started hoofing it.

“Excuse me. Pardon me.  Sorry.”

I dodged.  I scooted.  I bumped.  I probably, maybe ran over a toe.

I finally made it to the granola bars again, and the little old lady was STILL THERE.

She was standing right in front of the Nature Valley Oat n’ Honey granola bars.

These granola bars were essential to Bam Bam’s existence.

I was desperate…

and determined…

I glanced at the hands gripping my cart and revved them…

I took a deep breathe…

and I willed my sleep deprived feet into a sprint…

and as I approached the lady and the granola…

I bent my legs into a lunge…

lept into the air, grand jete-style…

reached up over the old woman’s head…

and knocked a box of granola bars off the shelf and onto the floor, where it slid halfway down the aisle.

I continued my run, and scooped up the box along the way.  I caught the eye of a surprised man heading our way.  I smiled, and mumbled, “In a hurry”.

I paused for just a millisecond to mentally bookmark the moment, and make sure that this was in fact my life.  Then I hightailed it to the self checkout where I rock and rolled my cart and even did a couple little circles with it while scanning.

Crisis averted.

Granola acquired.


For some of you, grocery shopping may seem boring.  For some it’s just a chore.

But for others of us, it’s unbelievably tense…

it’s action packed…

and it’s dangerous.

It’s a shopping cart roller derby…

and it’s coming to a supermarket near you…

because, let’s face it – I don’t think they will let me into the same store more than once.










15 responses to “Shopping Cart Roller Derby”

  1. Oh my, I’m exhausted just reading this.

    On the plus side, it’s a good way to drop the baby weight (not saying you have any).

  2. Crazy Lady says:

    That sounds all too familiar…..

  3. Phew… Thinking of you. LOTS.

  4. Ohhhh yeah. Surprisingly, the boys aren’t too bad in the grocery store, but when hell breaks loose, it’s fan-fecking-tastic.

    Both boys had a bout of colic. Took them to the chiropractor. Fixed them right up 🙂

  5. January says:

    Oh holy hell can I identify to this. But you made it. We all make it through…though not entirely without massive anxiety attacks.

    Hang in there Jenni.

  6. MommaKiss says:

    Next time just take the bitch out. She doesn’t need granola bars anyway – she needs the laxative aisle.

  7. ChiIL Mama says:

    Did I tell you it gets better. I lied. It just gets different.

    Why oh why didn’t I bring earplugs?! Friday I had to drive to an overniter at The Museum of Science & Industry grossly misnamed “the Snoozeum” literally in the middle of a 10″ blizzard with three 8 yo. girls in the back seat shrieking at the top of their lungs for almost 2 hours…….. My kids’ not a screamer, so I was sooooo unprepared. But her two friends got her hepped up and shrieking too. Happy fun screams, but ooooohhhhh the ear piercing volume. I can empathize with head shattering wails….

    We picked the jackknifed bus route and traffic was brutal everywhere. All in all I drove in the blizzard from 2:30-8:30 almost non stop just to get our gear, pick up girls, top off gas, and carry out food!!!!! They stayed up ALL night, but the museum enforced the silence after 11:30pm rule, so it was mostly whispers but serious sleep dep! All in all, tho, a memorable experience… a mostly good way :).
    Love ya!

  8. Oh my heart raced reading this. Now I haul ass because I’m ALWAYS late to pick my kids up.

  9. This is just horrible (but good blog fodder)…I hope you’re hanging in there!

  10. Lucy says:

    Oh, the hell of colic,it can be extremely stressful. Hang in there!

  11. HapaMama says:

    I remember the shopping cart sprints. Second only to getting hung up behind slow people on the sidewalk while huffing it with two kids in a double jogger. I wasn’t walking fast for exercise, you know!

  12. Alexandria says:


    When one of my brothers was a baby we would have to shake the SHIT out of the car seat when my mom would stop at a light because he’d lose his mind!

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