Sunday was Ritu's birthday. We celebrated by spending the weekend in Seattle connecting with old friends and taking the kids to see the Mariners play the Tigers. Much fun was had by all. But since we were traveling, there was no opportunity for birthday cake. And if you ask me, birthdays don't count unless there is cake involved. In a pinch, an ice cream cake counts, but generally it requires cake with that good artificially colored lardelicious frosting that they make at grocery stores.
To remedy this, I took the kids to Winco on Monday to get groceries and a cake. Winco has the cheapest groceries in town. It's a completely low budget store. Their idea of shelving is cutting open the big carton the boxes of cereal come in and slapping it on the shelf. Also, you bag your own groceries which always seems like a fine plan until it actually comes time to bag your own groceries. Winco is open 24 hours, so we're not talking the Trader Joe's crowd here, people. One thing I've noticed about shopping there is my tendency to sink to the lowest common denominator. Yes, just walking through the door turns me (and my children) into white trash.
During the glorious summer (current weather conditions: 62 degrees and raining), I am able to spend scads of quality time with my darling offspring. Seeing as they are 9 and 6 now, a trip to the grocery store is no longer a big deal. So why is it that I came closer to beating them right there in the cereal aisle than I ever have before? Part of that is the WWTF (Winco White Trash Factor) and I'll be the first to admit that I'm a little edgy lately, but would it kill them to agree on ANYthing? I had to make one of them walk in front of the cart and one behind so that they couldn't bicker or touch each other. They irritated me to the point that I refused to let them engage in our favorite grocery shopping ritual of opening egg cartons until we find a broken egg.
Somehow, we made it to the bakery beating-free. We selected a pre-made 1/4 sheet chocolate cake and I asked the bakery lady if she could write Happy Birthday Daddy on it. She readily agreed and called the kids over to her work station where she squirted out samples of frosting so they could choose colors. I leaned wearily on my cart and enjoyed a few rare moments of peace as I watched my children working together in harmony. I felt so grateful to this kind stranger for providing me with this brief interlude. She let the kids stay there while she piped the message in blue and yellow (Michigan colors!). When she finished she replaced the plastic dome and looked up at me with a big smile, clearly seeking my approval.
Stay in school, kids!