These days, a quick trip to the grocery store is rare. If L’il Miss Ayay is being extremely cooperative, we’re in and out. If she’s being her often curious, easily distractible self, it takes quite a bit longer.
Ayay and I tried darting into Vons to buy Tingting some baby cereal. What I was hoping to be a 5-minute drama-free task turned into an agonizing 20 minutes and included an argument that Ayay was determined to win. Furthermore, Ayay has entered a very tactile phase, needing to touch EVERYTHING within her reach. After almost 10 minutes of Ayay fingering every single gift card on display, picking up, shaking and sniffing each and every candy bar on the rack, and palming as many tomatoes as possible, we finally reach the baby food aisle. (I guess her need to touch everything shouldn’t be too surprising. I feel the same sensation when surrounded by displays of new shoes and bags. It drives the surgeon craaaaaazy!)
As we head down the the baby food aisle, I could see Ayay’s fingers begin to twitch upon spotting all the smooth, colorful jars of mashed foods. And they’re off…Her tiny fingers start on each jar, caressing lids, tracing letters, scratching at the pictures. Her little hands pick up every 3rd jar or so, carefully at first, but with more vigor as she sashays further down the aisle.
“Please stop touching the baby food,” I sing to Ayay.
“But we need this,” Ayay says as she picks up a jar of food meant for a 9-month-old, not for 5-month-old Tingting, though with her eating habits, Tingting probably would eat the more advanced food.
“No we don’t. We’re here for cereal. Please stop touching the baby food.” My voice remains calm as I try to spot Earth’s Best cereal. It seems that the company forgot to ship to Santa Barbara as this is the 3rd grocery store I’ve been to in search of this cereal.
“But… I think Tingting will like these bananas,” she says and again picks up a jar and waves it in the air as she shimmies toward me.
“That’s nice of you, but she doesn’t eat that stuff yet. She’s not old enough. Anyway, do you hear what I’m saying? I need you to stop touching the baby food. I don’t want you to knock any of those jars off the shelves,” I tell her. I’m getting a bit more irritated as I’m searching for the cereal while trying to keep an eye on the wandering hands attached to the tapping feet.
“Well… we should get her this one.” She shows me yet another jar of mixed mush.
“Ayay. Stop. If one falls off the shelf, it might break because it’s glass. Then there will be a mess AND we’ll have to pay for it. We don’t need that stuff.” I reach for the Gerber cereal.
“But…I think we should get these,” she says. Out of the corner of my eye I see both of her hands grasping baby jars. She’s waving them high above her head as she cha chas further down the aisle.
“Will you please not argue. Put those back. I’m asking you not to touch anything. I’ve asked you several times. Show me you’re a good listener,” I say with more than obvious frustration.
“STOP TOUCHING THE BABY FOOD!” I practically scream.
Did my head explode? I look down and see a jar of baby food on the floor next to Ayay’s silver sparkly shoes.
“See. It didn’t break!” Ayay says proudly as she picks it up and does a jig toward the checkout line.