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A clue to keeping peace at the grocery store

Submitted by on Friday, 13 March 2009 No Comment

handy_dandy_notebookI’d like to claim I’d planned it, but like most of my instances of parenting genius the new grocery-store game was pure accident.

It started as I rummaged through the garbage can that my car has degenerated to again, trying to retrieve a toy train Boots had dropped. My frantic clawing instead unearthed two tiny notepads I’d grabbed for the guys at a long-ago meeting.

One had a green cover, and at two-inches-by-three-inches it looked familiar enough that Boots got excited. “A notebook! A notebook! It’s a handy-handy notebook!”

That’s not exactly what it’s called on “Blue’s Clues,” but I took the hint. “It sure is.  Do you want to look for clues?”

“Yeah!” he grinned. “I’ll find Glue’s Clues.”

“I want to find clues, too!” Big Guy added, not wanting to miss out on the fun.

The children shall lead and I shall follow, because I’m notoriously bad at coming up with this stuff on my own.

Usually, when there’s something yucky to be done – and grocery shopping with the guys falls into that category 10 times out 0f 10 – I prefer to just put my head down and get it done as quickly as possible, before a SWAT team surrounds the store and someone barks “come out with your hands up” over a bullhorn.

Big Guy has done better of late, particularly since he’s discovered the power of selecting vegetables he’ll never eat and comparing prices on hot-dog buns. Unable to read numbers or reach much produce, Boots has remained frustrated.

Blue’s Clues was the perfect game for him, though.

“Look! A clue! A clue!” he shouted in the cereal aisle. I feigned seeing the trademark blue paw print, which Boots pretended to draw the clue.

Big Guy, too sophisticated to draw his clues, started writing what he saw. He sounded out the words without asking me how to spell them, something he usually refuses to do.

In the end, the grocery-story trip took just as long as it always did. But it at least was peaceful, and no one showed up in riot gear.

The handy-handy notebooks walked to school this morning, too, with Boots identifying clues on trees and mailboxes and Big Guy drawing pictures of people he saw along the way.

My only fear: Where the heck am I going to find notebooks to fit inside the cases when the notepads are empty? At the rate they’re going, that could happen by this time tomorrow.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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