A few weeks ago I took Julia with me to the grocery store and Alex stayed home with Bill. I can’t remember what exactly was going on that day…but for some reason I was stressed and in a hurry. Good thing I had Julia with me.
First of all, she didn’t want to sit in the seat part of the shopping cart, and because I am stupid, I gave in and let her hang out in the big part of the cart. I told her as long as she SAT DOWN THE WHOLE TIME, she could stay there.
Well it was an adventure. She sprouted extra arms and reached for everything. I put a package of blueberries in the seat she should have been strapped into; she wanted to hold it and grabbed it and after a brief tug of war, a few berries were freed, but I got it away from her. She wanted to hold all the produce…the cheese…the chicken salad…the salsa…the juice….
We stopped in the seafood section so I could buy something…again, I can’t remember that either. She wanted to look at the lobsters. I think she was pronouncing it "wossas" that day. She scored points with the seafood manager – he asked if she liked to look at them or liked to eat them, and I told him "both" – which is quite true. She loves lobster. Alex does too. Anyway, Julia looked and pointed and talked to the "wossas" and then said "bye bye wossas" as I rolled her toward the front of the store.
On the way to the checkout line, a small dark-haird man clad in black approached from the frozen foods aisle and I carefully did not make eye contact because I didn’t have time for a free sample or a survey.
In an over the top Italian accent he accosted me with "Would you like to try some gelato Italiano?" He said it musically – geLAHto iTALiANo – with emphasis, and with expressive sweeping hand gestures. I smiled grimly and shook my head while Julia tried to climb out of the cart.
"We ‘ave limone, coconut, and peanutbutter!" He called enticingly.
Peanutbutter? Peanutbutter "gelato Italiano"? – there’s just something that doesn’t seem right about that, but maybe it’s me. I shook my head again and said "No thank you" as pleasantly as I could.
"I know you like it!" he called after me, smiling sadly at my foolishness.
In the checkout line I had to hold Julia and then carry her out to the car in one arm while I pushed the cart with the other hand. She squirmed and thrashed and wailed angrily on the way to the car and yelled while I put her in the car and put the groceries in the back.
I got in and she was wailing "I want bloo-foe! I wanna bloo-foe!".
I’ve had only two CD’s in my car for the longest time, and we’ve been on a Beatle’s kick for months, it seems, so I hit play and "Love Me Do" started playing.
"NOOO!!! I want bloo-foe! Wanna hear BLOO-FOE!"
I’m trying to back out of the crowded parking lot without killing anyone and at the same time trying to figure out which song she was talking about. I was hot because the AC was just getting started, and the shopping had been hurried and tense with Julia and her octopus arms…and she was yelling and crying and saying "I wanna hear BLOO-FOE!!!" over and over in between sobs of anguish. Why was I torturing her????!!!
I’m driving up the road, praying for the lights to turn red so I can look at the back of the Beatles’ CD and look at all the titles and try to remember where "bloo-foe" came from. Since the lights insisted on staying green, I tried asking Julia for a little help.
"Which song do you mean, Julia? Which one? "From me to you?" That one? "Yellow Submarine?" Do you want to hear that? Is that what you mean? Julia? Julia, which song are you talking about? JULIA I DON’T KNOW WHAT BLOO-FOE IS!!!!" All this as I’m trying to be a responsible adult and just focus on DRIVING the car SAFELY. And during all this she is still wailing and saying "I want BLOO-FOE!" and "NOOOO" to every song I suggest.
We are nearing the turn onto route 113 and she suddenly changes tactics and yells "I wanna hear issteenagella!"
It was like sun breaking though thunderclouds.
It was like diving into an icy lake on a hot day.
It was not a Beatles song at all.
It was "Beautiful" from my Christina Aguilera CD.
I said "Julia, you want to hear Beautiful?"
"YEHEHEHEHSSSSS!" she cried and laughed at the same time. She was as relieved as I was.
So I put that CD in and skipped ahead to song #11.
And when she heard the music start, Julia chuckled and wiggled in her seat.
We listened to it twice through.
She told me "I do ice-keems!"
"Ice cream" is what she calls sunscreen.