Friday, January 10, 2014

The Day Hayden Found Out About the People of Walmart

One evening last month I was coaching Davis' DI team in the dining room. It is a team of seven kids and the meetings include a lot of interaction and brainstorming to solve a challenge.

Because Blake and Nathan's voice can be heard round the world, Jeff often uses this time to get the other kids out of the house so that the team can focus without the sounds of complete mayhem filling up the room.

This particular night he took them to the grocery store to pick up a few things and invited Hayden along to help him.

Jeff managed his way through the aisles of the store and picked up our organic fruits, vegetables, and milk.

(And mac and cheese and pop tarts).

You know, the basics.

I'm sure it was quite a scene - as it always is when you have a man overseeing three kids and two baskets (one for the kids and one for the food).

Anyway, Jeff and the kids made their way to the checkout line and an elderly cashier began ringing up their groceries.

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

When the man went to scan the milk he accidentally dropped it and it began to leak. He held it up to show Jeff.

Jeff acknowledged that it was in fact leaking and then kind of paused - hoping that the cashier would call over a manager? another cashier? a runner? to go to the back of the store and grab another gallon of milk, given the Retail Industry is all about the customer.

But instead the man just sat there continuing to hold up the jug of milk and asked "Do you still want it?"

"Uhm. No. I guess I will just go grab another one." Jeff said, a bit shocked by the whole exchange and knowing he couldn't show back up to the house without milk since we seem to go through about 33 gallons a week.

Jeff thought for a minute and decided that it was too much trouble to drag the kids and the carts all the way to the back of the store with him - so he asked Hayden to go.

Hayden quickly declined.

(Hayden is the type of kid that could get lost in his own bedroom - and he knows this about himself.)

So Jeff decided to do it alone. But before he left, he instructed Hayden to STAY NEXT TO THE BABIES - AND DON'T LET THEM JUMP OUT OF THE CART!

Hayden nodded like a deer in the headlights and Jeff started trekking through the store- around the $5 movie bin, through the women's workout clothes - past the wine and to his destination - the Great Value Milk.

While Jeff was on his way, the elderly cashier stopped ringing groceries behind the counter and made his way over to stand next to Hayden and the grocery carts.

Maybe he overheard the stern warnings from Jeff to NOT LET THE BABIES JUMP OUT OF THE CART or maybe the man just wanted to use the extra time to get to know Hayden - but whatever the case he was now positioned in the checkout line with Hayden, Blake and Nathan.

And that's when he began his ice breaker questions.

Elderly Cashier Man: Hi!

Blake: Hi!

Hayden: silently thinking:  whenisdadcomingback? whenisdadcomingback? whenisdadcomingback?

Elderly Cashier Man: How old are you?!

Blake: Free! (Three)

Elderly Cashier Man: Can you take your teeth out?

Hayden: silently thinking:  whenisdadcomingback? whenisdadcomingback? whenisdadcomingback?

Blake: No! (confused, intrigued - I have no idea what Blake is thinking at this point)

Elderly Cashier Man: Do you want to see me take my teeth out?

Hayden: silently thinking:  whenisdadcomingback? whenisdadcomingback? whenisdadcomingback?

Blake: YES! 

And so that's the story of how Hayden found himself in the Walmart check out line at age 10, making sure that two small children DID NOT JUMP OUT OF THE CART while the cashier pulled out his fake teeth and held them up for all to get a closer look.

I can only imagine Hayden's face.  

When he got home that night and retold the story, he took a long sigh and asked - Why are people in Walmart SO WEIRD?!?

And while I couldn't answer that question, I let him know that there is an entire website dedicated to that very topic (, but told him that we have to continue shopping there because they really do offer a Great Value. 

Then I rubbed his head and told him that one day - when he gets to be a grown up he can start shopping at Market Street and Central Market and all those other fancy-shmancy grocery stores that probably hire cashiers that won't take out their teeth in an effort to make conversation. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was hilarious!

Love you,