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Monday, January 10, 2011

The Fearsome Food Officers and The Pool Pooper

Sweet Girl with A New Hair Cut By Day,
Fearsome Food Officer By Night

I would not call our trip to the big city "uneventful" at all, by any means. It started out packed into the Suburban sitting at the mail box for an hour and a half waiting for the mail. After reading an old Martha Stewart, I couldn't take it any more and escaped outside wondering how far I'd get walking. It was a beautiful day and the sun shone over the snowy woods setting it ablaze with crystal gems. After about a mile, my family caught up with me and we were off to town. The day was half over and it was a good thing we'd rented a motel room, or we might never get half the things done we'd needed to.
It felt like we would never get there, but when we finally did, the chicks of the family voted to be dropped off at the mall. Hoping for some good "After Christmas Sales", we set our sights on the "clearance" signs. Boy were we disappointed to find that through out the city most of the clearance sales were 30% off. Rack after rack, store after store, it was just all the same. Maybe I'm just getting old, but it seems like a body could shop clearance racks and find stuff for $5 or $10 back in the day. The new $5 clearance sale is $20. I shook my head and said to a lady standing next to me "clearance sales just aren't what they used to be". She started laughing. Come to think of it, I think old people say stuff like that too. Oh dear, now I might start obsessing about being old so I'd better stop this train of thought.
Anyway, we eventually ate and made our way to the motel. I wrote all about the perils of motel rooms with a large family last year, so I will also withhold that conversation as well, and save you the agony. Sufficient to say, it was not much out of the ordinary other than the fact that I have become a "pool pooper". No, don't worry. I didn't poop in the pool. I just don't enjoy them like I used to. The first time I looked out at that big crowd of people, the idea of sharing water with all of them kind of grossed me out. Gingerly, and bravely for Super Catman's sake, I hung out there and snapped some shots of he and Miss Moona. There I was taking pictures of them sitting at the edge of the pool when Miss Moona decides to PLUNGE IN!! Shocked, I reached down and grabbed her by the hair, then the arm. Pulling her out, I felt nauseated. "How could have she jumped in and gone under right in front of me?!?" She didn't even whimper and was no worse for the wear, but I suddenly felt very exhausted and frazzled. We went over to the hot tub to warm up. A large burly Scandinavian speaking man smiled from across the tub stretching himself out proudly. Soon he was joined by another and then another. Then some Scandinavian boys joined in. Soon the hot tub was full of big burly men and boys speaking in some unknown dialect glancing over at me and Miss Moona every so often. Nervously, I looked up at the ceiling and asked Miss Moona if she would like to go back to see Daddy. "No!!" she yelled loudly "Hot UB!!" When we finally did leave the pool, it was none too soon. That next morning I took The Super Hero only. I glanced in at the pool and kept seeing random pieces of hair floating around. Some of them long, some of them short. Some were black, some were blond. Some were probably even Scandinavian. Something pink and round looking floated around on the other end. I almost didn't get in because it was just so gross, but I knew I'd feel better if I did. Upon swimming across, I discovered the floating object was a rather large pink gum ball. Despite all the unpleasnatries of the pool, I did indeed, feel better after several swims up and down the length. By the time I got to the hot tub, a Canadian Gentleman had taken up residence there. Since I spoke his native tongue, he tried to engage in several conversations all the while bossing Super Catman. Finally I'd had enough and decided that I had to be an all time party pooper of the pool.
That morning we woke up and went to church and the service was really good. Still, the clearance racks seemed to have something against me and snubbed me at every turn. I was feeling a little bit crest fallen by the time I'd reached Costco. How would I ever find Christmas presents for the rest of the family? Maybe here, I could find some stuff. We'd come across some funds for stocking up on groceries and that's just what we did. I started the store rather methodically by first hitting every sample stand. Food Officer Numeral Uno closely accompanied me, almost stepping on the back of my heels. She had made me promise not to buy any ice cream or frozen pizza while in the store and watched closely to enforce this command. I tried to distract her into looking for late Christmas presents, as I still hadn't bought any for our extended family, but she refused to budge. Now Super Catman, he would have gladly allowed any stocking up of junk food, but with the food police on the job, he didn't dare ask. I tried another distraction telling her to buy stuff to make cookies. She shot me a wary eye, but refused to be deterred. That's when I played the old "change the diaper trick". As if by cue, Miss Moonbeam told me "poo poo" and I whisked her off to the bathroom all the while chuckling gleefully. Now I would be free of her tyrannical grips!! Hurriedly, I began stuffing some grandparent type snacks into the cart. Suddenly the sky darkened and creepy music started playing from the electronics section...... uh maybe it was just a shoppers cell phone. Food Officer number one ominously appeared. She inspected my cart thoroughly. She shook her head disapprovingly at the Brussels sprouts, but allowed them since they were healthy. Miffed that I'd been evading her, she pretended not to have an opinion about the next couple of aisles.
Just when I thought stocking up was going to be easy, Food Cop number two and his force showed up. Soon the entire gang were adding opinions and food to the cart. My mind began reeling. I lost track of the money count. Kids were headed in every direction. I took some deep breaths not wanting to freak. Somebody wanted a 25 lb bag of salt. I could see 25 lbs of salt clumping up in the bag after laying on a wet mopped floor and turning the bag moldy. Visions of disastrous food over load began assaulting my brain. Moonbeam had yogurt smeared all over her face from her third yogurt sample. Somebody else wanted another giant bag of white rice. "Flour, powdered sugar, brown sugar" I have lost my ability to think. How would I ever maintain reason? Time stopped. The food police and my family began spinning around! At first I thought to send them all away complaining bitterly that I couldn't take all the over stimulation and confusion. Then I remembered that this was supposed to be fun and that we've all done without for a very long time. Everybody wanted to have an opinion and THIS SHOULD be fun for everybody. Thankfully my husband is better at math than me, so he kept track of the bags being added to the cart. Once Food Officer number 2 had secured 2 large bags of rice, the 25 lbs of salt, and 2 giant boxes of "Honey Nut Cheerios", he was content to police junk food from being added to the cart, which, I might add, he did quite well. Consequently, this is how he earned his title.
All in all, with my two eldest children around, we purchased 2 heaping carts of groceries and didn't buy any junk food at all. Now that is amazing. Despite my strong convictions to feed the kids healthy, when I go places like that, I want pizzas, burritos, prepared meals, and I would cave in and buy them too. I don't dare try putting that stuff in the cart with these kids around. People gawked at us as we pushed the two overloaded Costco shopping carts out to the trailer behind the Suburban. As "the men" loaded the trailer, Food Officer One peeled an orange for the baby. I made sandwiches from our newly acquired bounty.


Heather said...

Everything with you is so exciting!

I thought for sure Miss Moona was going to be the pool pooper!

DeanO said...

I'm glad you explained the "pool pooper" I was thinking a scene from a Bill Murray movie - that was a fun read

Mamma has spoken said...

I can't help but laugh that you go swimming in the creeks, lakes, ponds, whatever of the wild where the animals deficate and do all sorts of stuff but you don't like to swim in the pool of a hotel.
And what in the world would you do with 25 pounds of salt? All I can think of is making your own salted meat but that's not healthy...

Anonymous said...

Retailers mark stuff down during the season, they don't want to be stuck with a whole lot of that seasons items when the next season is sitting in their backrooms ready to come out... It's been that way for the last couple years and certainly during the economic downturn... I don't like public pools either, they gross me out...However, a tub full of Scandinavian speaking men would not be unusual for me {the Canadian either, when we are up at Birch Bay there are more Canadians than Americans around, eh!}

Happy New Year!

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hello Outdoor Mom,
So nice to meet you here in blogland.
Your post on shopping at Costco is quite funny too.
Thanks for coming by tonight, so glad you enjoyed the Tea story, I thought it was a riot!! You can just see that Dad's face, can't you!!
Poor unsuspecting guy.
What a lovely family you have!
they are all so cute.
Blessings, stop by anytime!!

Walking on Sunshine... said...

I feel the same way about pools lately! Sounds like you had a nice time shopping. But why did you have to wait so long for the mail? Hubby is finally home!

Caroline said...

Your shopping antics are so funny- you must be pleased that you don't have to make the big trip too often, but nice that you get to stay away for the night. I try and avoid food shopping with the kids!

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

LOL, my kids would be asking for the junk food. I should write about my grocery shopping adventures :-)

Amber said...

You have a beautiful family.
And sounds like quite an adventurous (spelling?) life!