Children really do repeat everything that they hear their parents say: good, bad, and everything in between-but you can pretty much bet your ass they are going to repeat any and every single bad thing that comes out of your mouth. When my Mini Me (Jack, now 17) was one and a half, he and I went to Kroger. I hate grocery shopping. If I don’t even like to go grocery shopping alone, how much do you think I despise going grocery shopping with one or more little kids? That, my friend, is on my “worst nightmare” list. Mini Me was an especially heinous grocery store shopping companion. I cannot even begin to tell you how many hundreds of extra dollars I have spent at the grocery store, simply because he would pull things off the shelves and throw them into the buggy when I was not watching! Usually, it was shit nobody at our house would even eat-like Kraft Mac and cheese, but it would have some cartoon character on it, so he wanted it and grabbed it and threw it in when I was looking at something else. Anyway, this one day, Jack and I were at Kroger and I was looking at the Lean Cuisine’s because I was still trying to lose the 65lbs I had gained while I was pregnant with him–not all 65 by then, but probably 25. Remember, he was just one and a half in this story. Kids learn very early that the bakery at the grocery store will give them a free cookie and Mini Me had been talking about that cookie since we pulled into the parking lot. In retrospect, I should have gone straight to the damn bakery and gotten the cookie over with at the very beginning, but I was new at this. I was going to make him work for the cookie. I was going to make this one and a half year old earn his cookie by behaving himself in the grocery store. It is laughable now-how stupid and naive I was back then! I was in for it and I had no clue. Mini Me had been asking for that cookie every 5 minutes. “When Mommy is finished with the shopping”, I would answer him. While I was standing there, trying to decide between Salisbury Steak and Lemon Chicken, Jack stood up in the seat of the shopping cart (they didn’t all have seat belts 17 years ago, people), and he clenched his little fists and he screamed at the top of his lungs, “I SAID I WANT A GOD DAMMIT COOKIE!!!” I turned around and immediately clapped my hand over his mouth and sat him back down in the seat. I was beyond horrified. There were only one or two other people on the aisle, but Mini Me was so loud, I am quite sure that the entire store heard him as if they were being notified of a Blue Light Special at K-Mart. I had a buggy full of groceries. I hate grocery shopping. I was not exactly sure what I should do. Should I pick his little ass up and leave the groceries and get the hell out of there? I really did not want to do that! The thought of having to go back to the grocery store at another time was enough to keep me from doing that. Should I scold him? Should I go to the bakery immediately and get the cookie. I was at a loss. My cheeks were fire engine red. I knew exactly where the kid had heard those words. He had heard them at home. Now, truthfully, he had heard them come out of both of his parents mouths, but in my defense, he had mostly heard those particular words from his father. My personal favorite bad word happens to start with the letter F. I told Mini Me that he should not ever say that again, and especially not at the top of his lungs at Kroger. As I was trying to get my wits about me, I looked up and there was a section of serve-yourself Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Mini Me said he would much rather have a chocolate covered doughnut with sprinkles than a cookie, so I got him one. We checked out and left, and never darkened the doors of that particular Kroger in Roswell, GA again. In fact, I tried very hard never to take Mini Me to the grocery store with me again! Of course that was not actually possible, but for a long time after that, I did make great efforts to go to the store at night after JC got home from work.