Thursday, March 02, 2006

Shocking - on so many levels

Funny how the little things trigger such sweet memories. Shopping with Fric and Frac recently reminded me of the times spent with the Shalebug in Superstore. He would be imprisoned in the cart and I would lean in to give him kisses. And promptly get shocked. I would think “Well, that hurt, but it’s over now, so let’s get more kisses” and then lean in to kiss him again and BAM! Shocked again! By this time, Shalebug would be pissed and start to fuss or if I really got him good he would try and hit me when I went in for a kiss.

Then there were the times when there was no static and I could kiss him all I wanted. I couldn’t seem to go more than two or three feet without going in for the killkiss. We would laugh and giggle and I honestly thought I had the world by the tail, if only for a moment. I would push him away from me and let the buggy go down the aisle and then chase after him and he always thought that was hilarious. Or pretend to be a crazy driver weaving and bobbing through the lanes. He loved it. Sometimes when he would get tired he would lay his head down and go to sleep in the cart. I always felt guilty - what kind of mom doesn’t take her kid home to have a nap when he’s tired?

And then there were the looks of abject horror we would get when we’d kiss and the slime would stretch between us like a taffy pull. Or when his eyes would roll behind and all you would see were the whites (particularly effective if he was so slimy he foamed at the mouth.) He got a lot of comments on the days when the sun was so blinding it hurt and he would cover his eyes with his fore arm. Inevitably, some one would comment on his shades: “Cool dude,” “Aaww, isn’t that cute,” etc... Sometimes I would explain the glasses were a necessity, sometimes I would just smile and nod my head. I always wondered what Shalebug thought when people made those comments.

Shalebug was like bait for the elderly. There he’d be, in his cart, wearing his shades, and it was inevitable that some grey haired stranger would approach him, looking for a little comic relief in their daily routine. (Kids say the darndest things, right? ) I never knew what to do in this situation, so I tried to take it one day at a time. If I was having a good day (meaning I wasn t particularly bitchy, hungry or tired) I would gently explain that the Shalebug did not talk, or smile as he had handicaps. However, there was always a little devil on my shoulder and sometimes his voice was too loud to ignore. When that happened, (usually when my defences were down - re: bitchy, hungry or tired) I tended not to deal with the situation with a lot of grace. Imagine, said grey haired elderly person of non descript gender approaching small child in grocery cart, like a missile on a mission.
Said elderly person: “Aww, aren’t you adorable. What's your name little boy?”
Shalebug: Drool.
Said elderly person at this time confused, wondering whether little boy heard him and is ignoring him because he has a bad mother or if the kid was “different" in which case they realize they may have made a horrible mistake in approaching the cute kid.
I, however, at this time, am having a ball. I know I have a choice: I can let the geriatric person off easy and compassionately or I can let them have it with both barrels. I am sad to say it was always an easy choice.
Me: “Oh, don’t mind the little one. He’s not ignoring you. He can’t see or hear you. He’s deaf, and blind.”(He wasn't, I'm just evil.)
Said elderly person: “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize. How horrible,” they say as they are hastily backing away from us while trying not to trip.

Yes, I know. Inappropriate on so many levels, but soooo fun. And I like to believe that the Shalebug got a giggle out of it as well!