As many of you know, there’s a preposterous three-hour gap between our children’s bedtimes. Our eldest goes to bed at eight, but his younger sibling stays up slam dancing and crushing Jello shots with his imaginary frat brothers until around eleven. To ensure that Lindsay has some time to herself (which she’s been using lately to research flip-flops and hairstyles), I’ve been taking Arlo to Whole Foods in his pajamas at around 9:30pm to “run him.” I know people usually do that to their pets, and yes, that’s where I got the idea, but I’m telling you now that it works just as well for tiny humans.
Since it closes at 10pm, it’s empty when we get there, and honestly, the employees seem to enjoy a little entertainment before their shift ends. Either that, or we’re always gone by the time the police arrive.
You’d think I’d been winding him up in the car because the moment I place Arlo on the floor of Whole Foods, he takes off — fast. Believe me, there’s nothing cuter than a little kid sprinting through a grocery store wearing pajamas and shoes, but there’s also nothing quite as awkward as a 6’5″ father chasing him like Rocky Balboa trying to trap a chicken. He’s fast, and reckless, and I have to stay close because I don’t want him knocking over a cheese display, falling into a giant barrel of quinoa, or getting clothes-lined by a swordfish. The place isn’t designed to be a safe toddler obstacle course, so there are certain things we have to be very careful to avoid, like the bamboo-cotton-blend Yoga clothing which if he touched would likely make his skin smell permanently of jasmine and parsley.
Before you get all “I’M VERY ANNOYED BY PEOPLE LIKE YOU. PLEASE CONTROL YOUR CHILDREN!” on me, we’ve never done any damage, or hurt anyone, and I always buy something. It’s impossible to leave Whole Foods without purchasing a canister of zinc-infused kidney flush, or at least the most recent issue of “Dwell” magazine. I understand that I have a responsibility to pay for our use of their square footage, ample aisle width, and tranquil environment. The Good family does not freeload (except in Target).
We’re both sweating from our workout by the time we get back into the car. When we arrive home, he’s still another forty-five minutes from falling asleep, but at least we can spend that time helping Lindsay decide on a new hair style while watching “So You Think You Can Dance?”
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