Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

"Nickel off on expired baby food." - Apu, The Simpsons

When you live in a small town, and the stop sign falls down, what's the best way to repair the sign? Duct tape. It's our silvery friend. I imagine it keeps the welding rod budget down for the local road department.

I’ve written before about the sense of community of Fairbanks, and how it expresses itself in ways big and small. A series of incidents yesterday reaffirmed that.

The Mrs., The Boy, The New Boy and I were joined on our weekly quest for sustenance by Two Young Ladies, guests of the Clan Wilder that day. The Two Young Ladies were unfailingly polite and well behaved. The Boy, however, took advantage of the presence of The Two Young Ladies to show off, mainly by acting as a big a doofus as he could. I guess women near your own age have that impact early on.

Anyway, we were in the aisle favored by The New Boy, specifically all the powders and processed vegetables that he loves so much, “The Baby Aisle.” As we took snow shovels and filled our cart with a mountain of tiny baby food jars, a woman approached The Mrs.

Unknown Woman: “Excuse me.”

The Mrs.: “Yes”

Unknown Woman: “When can they eat this?” (holding up a container of Baby Veggie Puffs) “He’s my first baby, and, well, I don’t know.”

The Mrs.: “Does your baby chew?” (I assumed The Mrs. meant Red Man, or Skoal, but instead she was talking about the ability of the child to mash food up between its gums. Who knew there was so much to know raising a baby?)

Unknown Woman: “No. But it says,” pointing at the label, “these dissolve in their mouth.” (Nothing has dissolved in The New Boy’s mouth, ever. As soon as it passes his lips it is ground down, mashed, swallowed, and digested at The Speed of Food. As of yet, there is no exact velocity associated with The Speed of Food. I estimate it to be somewhere between Mach 1 and the speed of light.)

The Mrs.: “You’d probably better wait. They need a few teeth, and need to be chewing up baby food first.”

Unknown Woman: “Thanks!”

We went on down the aisle, and I reflected. Here was a woman who was looking for child rearing help from a random woman in the local grocery store. And getting it, from as good a source as you could imagine, specifically The Mrs.

Our shopping complete, we jumped in a line. Since The Boy had been a bit of a jerk during our shopping session, he was not going to receive a treat at the end. The Young Lady Visitors, however, had behaved admirably and were due a treat per the clauses of the 2006 Treaty of Safeway. This “not getting candy incident” sent The Boy into paroxysms of despair. The clerk at the register knew us, and tried to console him. The clerk at the next register also knows us, and likewise tried to console him. This held up the whole checking out process for that entire half of the store. I looked at the people behind me in line. They weren’t upset, they looked patient and kind.

As the second clerk headed back to her register, she handed me a piece of candy on the sly. “When you’re able, you give this to him. Tell him it’s from me.”



Blogger Matt Shields said...

got your ditto message...what the heck is a 'ditto' button? thanks for visiting though!

8:42 PM  
Blogger Uncle Crappy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Uncle Crappy said...

1) There's an age when we're supposed to stop showing off for girls? Nobody told me...

2) Actually, I'd recommend Copenhagen; Red Man and Skoal are both awfully sweet, especially for those who still have their baby teeth.

3) It sounds like the check-out folks at your grocery store absolutely rock. When I stopped by my grocery store this morning to buy a paper and some stuff from breakfast, the toothless woman at my register, while she is HANDLING MY FOOD, was loudly telling a customer in another line about the horrible sinus infection she was just getting over. "I didn't (SNIFF) miss any work (SNORT), though...(HACKING COUGH)"

Ahh. There's no place like home.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Al said...

Paroxysms? Looks like someone got one of those "Increase Your Vocabulary" calendars for Christmas.

6:03 PM  
Blogger John said...

Just agreeing with your comments at your place.

uncle crappy,
1) Dunno. It's just fun to see it.
2) If he brushes, is Red Man okay?
3) They're top notch. And all have teeth.

Though I did check it out to ensure proper usage, I learned that one in some long forgotten book that I read on the school bus. I had an hour trip, each way, and I was alone for the last half or more of the trip. Long bus trips=good for the vocabulary. Plus, I was first on the bus, so I sat near the heater.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

You are making a big deal of nothing. It's not only Alaskans that offer help to strangers in supermarkets. If the Unknown Woman had asked me for breastfeeding tips, I would have helped too.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Matt Shields said...

john, thanks

by the way are you familiar with another alaskan blog that has clips of surf-kayaking along alaska's west coast? i thought i found it on your links but now have lost it

9:14 PM  
Blogger Dame Koldfoot said...

Any time you need our Lil' Koldfeet to score brownie points at the supermarket (or just to have a break from all the testosterone in the Ville de Wilder), just let me know. You apparently did not have them during the quarter to half moon phase when they are downright little terrors (ie: fur growing from their backs, nasty fangs protruding from their foaming jaws and claws with shredded remants of their last babysitter still under them).

9:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

I've got so many rejoinders, I'm, well, speechless.

At least our advice was solicted . . . (word chosen with care).

Nope. Try Club Girdwood or Juneau Through Heather's Eyes (left hand side), maybe . . .

You can't fool me. The most violent they got was when one of the Koldfeet (birthday soon) pretended to be a puppy climbing on the slides at the ice park.

7:17 PM  

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