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…
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.
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.