Last night I was at the grocery store with boys in tow, waiting to check out. In line ahead of me were two little girls and their very pregnant, very tired Mommy, who was still in work clothes despite the late hour. The older girl might have been four, and she was very excited to meet me. I was her new best friend. It starts young, doesn’t it?
She held up a bag of potato chips for me to see, a bag half as big as she was, with a picture of bright orange chips on the front.
“Oh my gosh, are you getting those?”
‘Uh-HUH!” And she starts to swivel rapidly from her knees up, she’s so exited. “A BAG OF CHIPS!”
Her mother looks at me, and I know that look; it says, “I lost this battle, I didn’t have the energy for this, and tonight they won.”
“You are so, so lucky. What kind of potato chips did you pick?” I ask the little girl.
“Uhm….” She turns the bag around to look at the picture, and furrows her little brow for a moment, before breaking into a huge smile. “ORANGE!”
“Orange flavor? No way! Are you sure?”
She looks at me with something close to pity, “Yeees. Orange like orange juice. Don’t you know orange juice?” Then she starts hopping, chanting, “Chips, chips, chips chips chips,” And her mother looks like she might cry.
“Dude, I do not think those chips are orange flavored.”
“Nooooo, orange JUICE flavor!”
“Are you sure?”
She turns the bag to herself again, “Ummmmm….”
“I bet cheddar cheese flavored chips would be awesome!” Because that’s what she’s holding.
“They’re all-natural.” Her mother says this quietly, but her daughter is still considering cheddar cheese flavored chips.
“Eww. No. They’re orange, orange, orange, orange, orange.” More hopping. Suddenly she stops, and points to her little sister, who is sitting in the cart. “She has some, too.”
The little sister holds her own bag up for me to see. Regular potato chips.
“Wow, those look delicious! Do you like potato chips?”
Little sister will never need to learn to speak, because big sister is there to speak for her, “Yes, she does. Hers are BANANA!”
“Dude. Are you serious? Those aren’t just regular old yummy potato chips? ”
“Nooo! They’re BANANA potato chips!”
Her little sister’s eyes sparkle, and she whispers, “Banana.”
Jake has been watching all this with a smile, and grabs a bag of chips out of our cart; one of two bags, because I caved, too. I have no idea if they are all-natural, and I’ll worry about that some other day. The bag he holds are his favorite, salt and pepper. The picture on the front is an extreme close-up of heavily peppered potato chips.
Jake holds them up for the little girl to see, “We have some, too! What flavor are these?”
“Uhmm,” more swiveling as she processes what she’s seeing, “Chocolate chip, I think.”
“Ewww!” I say. “That would be so gross! These are salt and pepper.”
She scrunches up her nose, “Salt and pepper?
“Yeah, like you have on the dinner table.”
“SALT AND PEPPER? That’s NASTY!” Because salt and pepper chips are unreasonable, whilst the flavors of banana and orange juice naturally lend themselves to potato chips.
The girls’ Mom has finished paying, and as she rounds up her bags and her daughters, she turns to me, “You have three? ”
“Yup. They’re good guys.”
She puts one hand on her giant belly, “Are boys easier?” She’s so beautiful and so tired and so pregnant.
“Absolutely,” I lie. “Much.”
Sometimes is takes the third to realize two was a really good number.