After many years of getting mostly odd comments at grocery stores about our noticeably large bunch of kids, I tend to savor the funny or overtly positive comments related to shopping trips with the gang in tow. Here are a few that happened recently...
We went to Trader Joe's last week on our way home from a visit to the Milwaukee Public Museum. The children were very delighted to get Trader Joe's balloons (thanks to Terri, who very politely asked about the bunch floating from one of the registers). The balloon strings were pre-tied to tighten around the children's wrists, so we didn't have much trouble affixing them as needed before we walked into the great outdoors with its always-present threat of swallowing up helium balloons for ever.
Except that Terri accidentally dropped hers while we were still in the store. The balloon came to "rest" on the ceiling with the end of the string dangling a few feet above my head. Naturally, I tried to reach it. I jumped up and only just brushed it with my fingers the first time. The second time, I was able to grab it and we went on our merry way - until I brought back the shopping cart to the store entrance. Another mom walking out of the store called out to me - "Great catch!" I smiled and thanked her, slightly embarrassed (and only just considering that I might have had an audience). But she wasn't done yet, "We were all amazed that you could reach it! Someone else said it was just like the Tyson commercial - and you were tall enough too!!!" Well, it is kind of fun for this slightly dumpy mother of six to be the "cool" mom for a few moments. :) (But I still haven't seen the Tyson commercial in question.)
A few weeks ago I was making my way through the check-out line at Target with my five younger kids in tow. Several of them had asked to wait on the bench just past the register and I gave them permission. As the lady in front of me picked up her bags and left, she looked over her shoulder. "Are they all yours?" she asked. When I answered in the affirmative, she said, "Wow, you're one brave lady," and walked away.
I turned to the cashier - a slight, older woman and said (with a somewhat puzzled expression on my face), "I guess I'll take that as a compliment." The lady looked up with me with sudden sincerity and seriousness and said, "Oh, you should! Your children are extremely well behaved!"