It’s never good to go too long between cries

I cried in the grocery store today. Okay, I managed to choke back the tears until I made it out the door, but once I had my sunglasses back on, the tears came a-runnin’.

It all started when I had this fabulous idea to take Auggie’s piggy bank to the neat-o Coinstar machine at the store, since we would be going there to do a little shopping for a dinner we were going to make for some friends with a new baby. Sure, Coinstar robs you of nine cents for every dollar, but who rolls coins anymore? Not me. The exorbitant fees are worth it, plus the machine itself is kinda cool. (As a matter of fact, I am that easily amused.)

Anyway, I was going to make this all another great Lesson In Being A Steward Of Money for August. We already make a big deal about finding the coins to put in the piggy bank (Name? Piggy, of course. Auggie will probably name his first child “Baby.”), so converting those coins into cash, then to be deposited in his savings account, would naturally lead to his great love of compounding interest, and he will be forever solvent.

I hope it’s not selling your child too short when some days the most you can wish for him is future solvency.

So we get to the store, and August insists on carrying in his (ceramic) yellow Piggy. As per usual, he does not want to sit in the cart, so after much reasoning and cajoling by Mommy, he is made to sit in the cart. And, being a nearly two-year-old, he throws Piggy down from the cart, where Piggy shatters into a hundred pieces and change flies everywhere as horrified grandmas look on.

I won’t go into too many details about the cleanup, except to say that luckily, the store wasn’t busy and two very nice employees helped me. Bless them.

I pressed on, though, moving on to the Coinstar machine with Piggy’s once-innards in a plastic shopping bag. Our reward? $14. Not bad, but it hurts to know that the $1.50 lost to Coinstar is going to take a while to earn back in Auggie’s 3% interest savings account. I think again of the futility of rolling coins, and soldier on.

We’re shopping, we’re shopping. Auggie is being pretty good, not demanding a cookie or anything, and I’ve only got a couple of things to get. Sour cream is 2 for $2.95, so I get two, impetuously. ‘Hey, the expiration date isn’t until September 1, let’s live dangerously!’

I wheel up to the check out lanes and find that there are three lanes open, with approximately four people in each line, carts full to the brim. I hastily count my ten items and head for the express lane.

When it’s finally our turn, I set out our items — oops! There are 11! Didn’t see that extra sour cream there in the basket with Auggie — and I get a disapproving look from the cashier.

“This item is for 10 items or less, ma’am,” she says.

‘I-I-I-I thought I had 10. There are 11,” I stammered, ashamed of my flagrant flouting of their Express Lane trust. I hand her the cash and get out of there as fast as I can, my eyes shiny with tears.

August, meanwhile, is having a blast, babbling away at the cars in the parking lot. Once the groceries are loaded into the car, and Auggie is stowed in his car seat, I crumple over the steering wheel and dissolve into tears.

If I wasn’t so certain — and I mean certain, Mom — I would think that I was pregnant. Now that would be something to cry about.