Cringe-worthy

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Kids are talented, some more than most, and Blossom really showed what she was made of the other day.

I had to do some fruit and veg shopping and then quickly duck down to the Motor Registry Office to sort out the registration for my new urban assault vehicle. It was to be a short-ish trip, and The Little Lion wasn’t well anyway, so I decided to go sans snack box. Bad move to begin with.

No sooner did we arrive at the green grocers, did LL kick up a fuss that he wanted ‘fout’. It was quite a fuss that extended to not wanting to sit in the trolley and wanting to ‘queez’ every item on the green grocer’s shelf. But I’m getting pretty adept at handling LL’s moments. I don’t even feel the eyes of every stranger in the store boring through me any more. I just carry on as though there is nothing unusual going on. But this time, LL set Blossom off and it became dire in no time.

They feed off each other, don’t they? One cries and the other trumps them with a howl, then a wail, then a scream. When the volume reaches fever pitch, the coughing and spluttering starts, or the flailing limbs or the flying spittle. It was spectacular and I thanked the heavens I hadn’t attempted the side-by-side trolley thing. At least LL wouldn’t be able to scratch, bite or eye-gouge Blossom, so long as I kept the baby carrier far enough away.

I figured my only chance at finishing my shop was if I managed to calm one or both of them. And quickly. I could see the manager’s hand on the telephone, phone book open to Social Services as I handed LL a banana, making a big deal of adding a single, loose banana to my bag to prove I was not trying to rip them off. I could feel the manager’s fingers caressing the 000 button on his phone.

LL stuffed the banana in as though he hadn’t eaten in a week and proceeded to shred the skin onto the floor, but Blossom kept up the fight. She was screaming and fighting the carrier like it was a straight-jacket, so I decided to turn her around. Maybe she just wanted to see what was going on instead of being tortured by the smell of mum’s milky bosom.

I unclipped her, hoisted her out and in so doing, squeezed just the right amount on just the wrong spot. I have never heard volume like that from a 5 month old before. It reverberated through the shop. It sent shock waves that rattled the cash registers and sent apples tumbling to the floor (OK, maybe that was LL helping himself to an ‘apool’ while my hands were quite clearly full).

An innocent bystander, clearly horrified by my daughter’s lack of decorum, gasped, “Oh dear!”

“Excuse me, well, her, I mean…” and then I realised what she was actually gasping about. It wasn’t so much the ear-shattering noise as the ungodly stench that followed.

Yep. It was enough to wilt the lettuce. It was the kind of stench that you run from, but it lingers and follows and trails you wherever you go, so there’s no denying it’s yours; the kind that burns into your clothing and drifts past, long after the memory has faded.

Blossom was triumphant and as her face broke into an enormous smile, she puked all over the kiwi fruits.

You can guess what we’ll be eating for the next few weeks. The manager was so glad to see us go that he didn’t bother charging me for The Little Lion’s extra banana and he offered to carry my bags to the car.

Later, as we waited in the Motor Registry Office, LL scrawling all over the forms they leave lying around on tables that are just the right height for toddlers to reach, I reminisced about all the cringe-worthy moments my children have given me and had a quiet chuckle to myself. Like the time LL commented on top note when he saw a very obviously very sick man being wheeled out of the hospital, life support buzzing, helicopter waiting, with a wave and a congenial “Night-Night!”. Or the time he tried to kiss every child at the playground because it was time for us go. Or the time he pulled my top up at the bank because “Bubby boobie.” Or the time he did a Poo-Splosion of gargantuan proportions while we were shopping in Spotlight, covering me , himself and the baby carrier in a yellow-green paste…

Yep. If you can’t laugh about it, you’ll die. It’s as simple as that. And given Blossom’s form, there’s plenty yet to come.

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