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Meanwhile, at the Deli

In posts past, Jensen would offer much blog fodder after trips to the grocery store. Where his incessant screaming drew disapproving stares of anyone within earshot.

The screaming has since ceased. Turns out, it wasn’t so much a personality disorder, as a product of his food allergies. Any enclosed space, filled with unfamiliar people, would cause him to scream from the moment we entered the automatic doors, until we made a hasty exit.

Which always made the shopping experience so much more enjoyable.

But, since dramatically altering his diet, Jensen screams no more. Instead, he has come up with a more creative means to keep himself entertained while shopping.

When you’re not busy screaming your head off, you notice that there are THINGS ON THE SHELVES! Brightly colored BREAKABLE things that you can reach for. And it’s so much fun to watch Mommy dive to catch that pretty jar of expensive pickles. And, if you’re really clever, you can throw your Blues Clues blanket to the left of the cart, while you snatch something on the right.


Today, I had to take Jensen and Cailey with me to run a few errands. One such errand included stopping at the local deli slash meat market (as in they sell meat, not as in a pickup joint – thought I should clarify), to pick up hormone/gluten free turkey meat, and chicken breasts that were on sale. It’s a very small and popular deli. Frequented by the elderly population of our quant little town.

I knew that the stroller was out of the question. Even though he has outgrown said stroller, and can drag his feet on the ground to force me into a full and complete stop, I still attempt to strap him in when I’m desperate. That is, any time I have to shop with him.

So, I thought I’d go with the one miniature cart that the store offers for the one fortunate customer who can snag it. I was that customer today.

What luck.

We made it through the crowded store mostly without incident, and I was able to check out after a rather lengthy wait.

Wanting to be polite, and leave the lone cart for some other sap with a toddler, I parked the cart near the wall, and reached into the basket to retrieve our bag. Unfortunately, I parked near the fire alarm. Which was an attractive bright red. So pretty in fact, that Jensen had no choice but to pull it down.

In slow motion, I saw out of the corner of my eye his chubby little hand pull the lever. I mouthed, “NOOOOOOO,” and dove over the cart to stop him. Too late. I tried to shove the handle back into it’s starting position, hoping for a “3 seconds to change your mind rule.” Nothing doing, it wouldn’t be forced back in.

Resignedly, I turned to the nearest cashier, and narked on my only boy child. “Excuse me, but my son just pulled the….”

The rest of my sentence was drowned out by the eardrum splitting alarm sound. Like something out of a science fiction movie. I could only assume that if smoke inhalation didn’t kill you, the decibels this thing was emitting would. Then the lights in the store began flashing wildly. I glanced around at the multitudes of patrons, all holding their ears, some falling to their knees. The more elderly of the crowd, hastily turned their hearing aids down. And they all looked in our direction. With very angry and judgmental eyes.

Above it all, I could hear Jensen yell, “THAT HURTS MINE EARS. THAT HURTS MINE EARS!”

Someone mercifully figured out how to disable the thing. After about 3 minutes. The longest 3 minutes of my life. I offered up one broad apology, and fled through the exit, before the fire department ascended. Certain to block all the patron’s cars parked outside.

The drive home was unusually quiet. Finally, Cailey calmly stated, “Well. (pregnant pause) That was embarrassing. I don’t think I’ll ever step foot inside that store again.”

I’m with you sister. Unless I dramatically alter my appearance, I won’t either. And besides, I’ve heard that vegetarianism is a very healthy lifestyle.

32 Responses to Meanwhile, at the Deli

  • I’m so sorry, but is it wrong of me to say that I’d love to just come shadow you for a week?

    You know you love me.

  • Kelli,
    Sure! C’mon and join the parade. But, you’ll need protective gear. 🙂

  • After these such instances, I like to remind myself that it is good that our young are so willing to provide us with fodder that will utterly embarrass them when they are older, and the story is handed verbally to others (say, girlfriends). . .

  • I feel for you! my boy did that at twice. Awana (not even my church) and at the library. my question is, why do they put those alarms so low?? so tempting to curious kids.

  • Oh my goodness! You had my laughing over my morning coffee! Reminds me of when our kids called 911 several times during a family gathering at Christmas time at my parent’s house. And the police came to the door. . .

    I’m with the first commenter. . . I’d love to be a fly on a wall and shadow you for a week!

  • Girl, you deserve a medal!

  • My three year old Tornado did this at CHURCH a couple months ago. I have never seen my pastor run so fast. Unfortunately the alarm linked automatically to the fire station and police… you can imagine the scene.

    Thankfully they still love us there.

  • LOL! Oh, come on! That’s probably the most excitement those elderly folks have had in a while….they’ll be alright! I narrowly escaped my 2 year old pushing that bright red bar on the door at Blockbuster….I figure my day is coming!

  • Oh DeeDee, I feel your pain. I work for the Fire Marshal’s Office and YOU are not the only person this has ever happened. I wish the pull stations (the bright shiney red box) could be a little higher but state life safety codes say other wise. Funny thing is I was in Home Depot not to long ago and their fire alarm was going off and people were still walking in and shopping. Have a great day and don’t for get your protective gear!

  • What a great story to tell at his wedding someday. Thanks for the laugh this morning! Blessings always!

  • I think I’m going to stay single for a few more years. This story hurt mine stomach because I was laughing so much! Have a quiet day! You could use one!


  • That was funny. And Caroline is a hoot.

  • I meant Cailey. Not Caroline. Cailey. Stupid me.

  • Life’s never dull around your place is it 🙂

  • LOL, never a dull moment with your clan! 🙂

  • Cailey’s comment is priceless!! ROFLOLPIMP!! I am so sorry to laugh at your expense but…..thanks for the laugh this morning! Sounds like some handcuffs or duct tape might be a good thing! LOL!!! (just joking…..maybe!)

  • If my son had been there, he would have been Jensen’s wing man. He’s been jonesing to pull a fire alarm ever since he saw Chicken Little.

  • Promise me you will repay that boy when he’s a teenager, adult and if he runs for some office.
    Start planning your revenge now as I’m sure it will help keep you from strapping a For Sale Sign on his butt and parking him out front.

  • Isn’t it funny how once they stop screaming they suddenly start DOING things? Oh my.

  • The Boy did pulled it once at the church – when he was 7 and KNEW BETTER. Fortunately it was on a Saturday and there were very few people there. You can only imagine what the conversation was like regarding “DON’T TOUCH THINGS!” and such.

    I guess we could have changed church, but it would have taken too much effort…

  • I’m sorry to laugh at your embarrassment, but…HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, that was funny! I loved Cailey’s comment.

  • HILARIOUS – especially what Cailey said – I would LOVE to live in the same town with you – to be able to sit down and have a cup of coffee and a great laugh every day – that would be SO priceless! You are SUCH a joy! Thank you SO much for sharing your life – adventures and daily happenings with us – Sunshine

  • And THAT’S why you have a blog.


    The change in personality is astonishing after you take their allergens out of their diet isn’t it?

    But it keeps you on your toes because then they can think of all sorts of cool stuff they’d never thought of before.


  • LOL I totally feel your pain and embarassment. Sometimes it’s easier to laugh than cry and it’s alot more stress relieving. I love Cailey’s comment.

  • Oh my goodness!!! “THAT HURTS MINE EARS!!!” I love it!

    On the bright side.. Think of all the exercise you get with that son of yours: diving, sprinting, getting into strange yoga-looking positions…

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you for this. Somedays I wish I lived closer so I could experience these moments in person. For moral support of course, not to laugh at you 🙂

  • What a hoot, I laughed until I cried. I agree, this is why I come here daily. You’re a trooper and that sister is a funny one too!

  • Sounds like a recent adventure in our family… My son pulled the fire alarm in the main lodge of the campground where we were on a family retreat. Why on EARTH the stupid alarm was within reach of a five-year-old is beyond me.

    Anyway…thank you for being the courteous person who returns her cart. You are awesome. 🙂

  • Oh I am really starting to love this blog. This post just left me giggling and giggling. You just make me, a mother of four, feel so, well, normal.

    But how great is it that Jensen’s new diet has had so many positive effects! Even if the people at that store may have preferred the screaming version.

  • WooHoo! *breaks out in applause*

    I can finally say, “My kids have NEVER done that!” :o)

    Now, I’ll just keep them out of public for the rest of our lives because just as sure as I’ve said that, they’ll pull one tomorrow!

  • Oh my, I attended our first “official” homeschooling event yesterday with my 4yr old, 2 yr old, and 1 yr old. It might have been a little early for that, I now admit. In a convention center crowd of 200 or so, my 2 yr old pulled the fire alarm on the way to the bathroom and for the first 60 seconds, I didn’t even know we did it! “How bothersome” I thought when I saw the alarm start. Ignorance is bliss isn’t it! That thought quickly changed to a heart wrenching, “…OH BOTHER!!” It was us!!! My child! AHHHhhhhhh! Now can I run screaming from the building??! Well, at least I know this homeschooling thing is going to be EXCITING! 🙂 Thanks for sharing.