Leakage, Shopping and Lost in WalMart

   Written by on December 23, 2015 at 11:21 am

Spending time with the grandbrats these past few weeks as we have helped them choose their Christmas presents for each other and then spill the beans as to what they just bought has reminded me of that wonderful childhood quality I call leakage. We had it when our brats were little, but I had forgotten just how effective a tool it was. On occasion it would spoil surprises like when the girl brat would rush up to me when I came home from work to tell me Daddy had a surprise for me and then proceed to tell me the surprise before he could lay the groundwork. It would often go like this: “Hi Mom! Guess what? Daddy has a BIG surprise for you and he told me not to tell you. You’re reeeaaaallllyyyy going to like it!” She would jump up and down and giggle and just not be able to contain her excitement. “He bought you a new weed eater for your birthday!” I admit. It did give me time to adjust to the surprise before I received the surprise.

The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

However, we’ve had a twist on the leakage issue and somehow or another this leakage seems to get me in trouble. Take the time I took the eldest grandbrat who was three with me to Walmart. We had had a great morning of running errands and bonding as only grandmothers and grandbrats can do. Then we had the shopping cart dilemma. To ride or not to ride. My vote was to put the young man into the cart, grab my groceries and beat a hasty retreat. He on the other hand, who had been a perfect gentleman all morning, had other ideas unbeknownst to me. He held my hand as we walked across the parking lot and ever so politely looked up at me and asked, “Grand Maam, may I push the cart?” Well, of course you may. You have been a delight this morning and what grammarian grandmother can resist the correct use of the verb “may”?

I was proudly ushered into that supercenter by the most handsome grandbrat ever born; and he remained the perfect gentleman for exactly the first half of the first grocery aisle. Then what to my wondering eyes should appear but a changling with a devilish grin that took off so fast it made my head spin. But rather than chase after that darling, precious, precocious brat, I decided to outsmart the little fellow and step over one aisle and cut him off at the pass. In theory, that was a wonderful plan. In practice, it failed miserably. The grandbrat did not appear on the next aisle or on the next or next or next. As every bad news report filled my head in five seconds or less I hastily made my way to the center aisle and walked backwards towards the front register wildly scanning the aisles. Apparently my panic stricken look made a few employees uncomfortable and they quickly approached to see if there was a problem.  (Let me make a side note here: If you’ve ever wondered what that sign CODE ADAM means when you enter a store—lose a kid and you will know very quickly. I won’t discuss this further.) As the employees fanned out in different directions, I saw my very precious grandbrat in the customer service section of the store very politely talking with a sales associate and telling her he could not find his grandmother.  I must have shouted his name because it then felt as if every eye and every camera in the store was on me. Then I knelt down to his level and hissed in his ear, “You lost Grand Maam!”

No longer able to think about grocery shopping, we got into our car and drove home with no one (in our family) the wiser. Geez Louise! The girl brat will never let this grandbrat stay with me again. We better just keep this little incident under wraps, and actually I thought I had this little incident totally erased from his memory bank by stuffing him with cookies and ice cream. I made it two whole weeks without a peep, when out of the blue on another visit the grandbrat announced to all at our dinner table, “I lost Grand Maam at the big store, but it’s OK because some lady found her.”

Merry Christmas, dear readers! May your Christmas be filled with memories of love and joy and only happy leakage!

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