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Mortifying Mommy Moment

Dear Diary,

I clenched my face tightly and applied the smoldering Mommy Stare. I removed the newest candy catch from his grasping fingers and returned it to the appropriate bin. I wanly studied the Hershey bar that I had just replaced and wondered if it was separated into pieces within the package. If it was broken, I should have to buy it. That would be the right thing to do. I didn’t know if it was broken and I didn’t want to pick it up again to find out. Perhaps ignorance was preferred at the moment. I felt a small stab of guilt about the stupid candy bar, but I was quickly distracted once again by my three year old son grabbing another prize. This time it was bubblegum. I pulled it from his hand a bit more gently this time, but hissed fiercely at him.


My son fixed me with his merry, fudge colored eyes and giggled. His arms flailed wildly in an attempt to retrieve the apprehended bubblegum from my increasingly tight grip. I had to consciously remind myself not to be squishing this candy as well.

“No!” I insisted. “I am not playing! No candy!”

I glanced over at the designated ‘No Candy Checkout Aisle’ and desperately longed to be in that line regardless of its’ length. I was tiring quickly of the Candy Grab Game. I looked at my watch. I needed to hurry. I had to pick up my other son at school in less than an hour. When I looked up again, I found my child half standing in the cart seat reaching for a box of festively colored breath mints despite the straining seatbelt. The woman in front of me glared disapprovingly at my apparent lack of parenting skills. I felt an incredible urge to flee. My embarrassment and frustration was suddenly replaced with undiluted joy. I remembered that I had a bag of Goldfish crackers in my purse! Relief flooded all the way down to my toes as my fingers pushed past an amazing array of items in there to locate the baggie filled with perfect child distraction. My son took the bag from my hand immediately and tried to return himself to a proper sitting position. He impatiently implored me to open his treat while I was attempting to disentangle him from the rather worthless excuse of a seatbelt. Once he was in place and munching happily, I allowed myself the luxury of scanning the tabloids that are placed strategically in the checkout lane above the candy. They are, of course, the proverbial adult checkout line candy.

Eventually, my turn to pay presented itself. I loaded some clothing articles onto the conveyor belt. The smiley, middle-aged cashier began to assist. She lifted a plastic storage container from my cart and chuckled as golden droplets trickled down the sides onto her hands and the counter.

“Did we spill some apple juice?” The woman smiled wide showing crooked teeth and a pleasant nature as she reached for a roll of paper towels under the register.

I was struck completely speechless with horror. There had been no juice. My eyes flitted nervously to my son’s blue shorts to observe the telltale dark, wet spot. He nonchalantly continued his feasting. The woman retrieved the last two items from my cart and I was unable to cease being motionless. Time seemed to stretch in front of me as I watched, seemingly unable to intervene or participate. I wanted to yell: “No! Stop! It’s pee!” But I couldn’t. Instead, I robotically swiped my credit card, completed the transaction and thanked her hoarsely. I pushed my cart a few feet toward the automatic doors and then swiftly turned around to return to the crime scene.

The woman looked at me quizzically as she bagged the next customer’s items. In hushed tones, I informed her that she had been handling urine, not apple juice, and that I was horribly sorry. It was her turn to be speechless. I apologized again and humbly departed.

This incident occurred seventeen years ago and still haunts me as a shining trophy in my Most Mortifying Mommy Moments Hall of Shame.



Comments on: "Mortifying Mommy Moment" (37)

  1. I hear ya, sister.
    Don’t you love how these glorious moments are burned in our mom brains?

  2. Ouch! I bet if I think about it for a few moments I could recall an incident or two like that. The problem is I don’t want to. I’m scared of what might come back out of those vaults that are our parenting memories. 😉


  3. Wow! I am not surprised that when you think about that today you still close your eyes and shudder.
    As a parent, I have my share of Mommy Horror Stories.. I;m sure that cashier double checked all groceries coming down her conveyor belt from then on.

    Great post.

  4. Omg, I cracked up when I read this. I could sense your horror! You were brave to tell the checkout lady. Thanks for the laugh!

  5. What a delightful morning read! The story reminds me of my two toddler girls, practically twins, running through the grocery aisles untamed while I was stuck tending a crying baby in the shopping cart. They were so adorable, yet so frustrating. That was twenty years ago. I’m very happy to sip my coffee in silence this morning while reading a similar shopping adventure.

    I look forward to relating to more Mortifying Mommy Moments!

    Alle Wells

  6. Omg, I cracked up when I read this. . will this b my future when i hav kids, /i wondr lol

  7. Good thing you told the poor cashier. UGH. Kids! Why do we have them?

  8. I’m not a mom (only to dogs and they don’t count here), but I still felt your pain. Makes me want to give you a hug.

  9. Ah, those memories! Horror at the time, comedy now.

  10. Great story! That tops the typical ‘left a store in a shopping mall only to realize that your little monster took a toy without your knowledge.’ Hard to top pee. Definitely deserving of the Mommy Hall of Shame!

  11. Now that the kids are older, I sometimes want to do things at the store just to embarrass them. Wet my pants? Hmmm.

  12. Hilarious, Kellianne. Mortifying also, but mostly hilarious. I can’t believe you went back to her! I think I would have run 🙂

  13. That is just…OMG!! I would just die! I’m surprised you made it the 17 years! LOL

  14. This is my first visit to your Diary, which I found through following someone else’s tweets. I enjoy the way you write so I am now a follower.

    In my opinion, for what it’s worth, you were very brave to enlighten that pleasant cashier. I think it may be what I would have done if I could be discreet about informing her. But it makes me wonder what she did after you left, go on a quick break to wash up, perhaps? I’m sure that experience altered her day somewhat. 🙂

    • haha…I didn’t look to see what she did after! I was so embarrassed but I couldn’t leave without letting her know so she could wash up! Thank you so much for your compliment 🙂

  15. Wow, remembered as if it were yesterday! And yet as I read it, I was immediately taken back to my time years back being mommy to a newborn and a toddler! Funny and scary at the same time.

  16. Wow…I’ve been a cashier for 4 years, never had that happen to me…although, my nephew did pee in one of those carts before…yep.

  17. Oh, that made me laugh. I’ve had many of them with my three. 🙂

  18. My little cherub (aged two) climbed out of the trolley, marched over to a woman lurching around the store zombie like while her newborn was screaming its head off, and walloped her on the backside. She just watched as he strolled back to the trolley, clambered in and sat down. We didn’t say a word to each other. But the look of utter exhaustion on that poor woman’s face still haunts me sixteen years on.

    I wouldn’t have been brave enough to re-enter the store.

    Julia @tinkertoldmeto

  19. Roared with laughter at this one. Thanks for sharing.

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