Sunday, March 05, 2006


The goldfish gave Bud a black eye today.

Well, okay, not directly. But I hold them responsible anyway.

Bud didn't really want to go to the grocery store with me. I was going to the far-away grocery store that requires a 30-minute car trip, instead of the preferred nearby grocery store that offers free cookies and half the travel time. But, as I reminded Bud, the nearby grocery store only carries the SMALL Pepperidge Farm goldfish, but the far-away grocery store has the BIG giant goldfish that Bud has been wanting for weeks. So, with his mind focused on goldfish with all the taste in a bigger, flatter, smilier cracker, Bud climbed happily into the car to make the long journey with me.

He was patient through the drive, through aisle after aisle of the store, and through a long wait at the deli counter, but by the time we got to the cracker aisle his patience had worn thin. He spied the big goldfish on the bottom shelf, but somehow neglected to see the shopping cart that someone had parked directly in front of the big goldfish boxes. Bud dove for the crackers - and his eye flew straight into the rounded corner of the abandoned cart's handle. I heard the loud SMACK as Bud went down, then saw him stagger to his feet, his face red, his eyes streaming, his mouth yowling, and his arms tightly clutching a box of giant goldfish.

He was inconsolable as we sat together on the floor in the middle of the cracker aisle, his face buried against my chest. When I could finally pull his face far enough away from me to get a look at it I could see that it was starting to swell. I handed him some sausages to lay against his eye until we could make it to the frozen foods section and upgrade to a bag of peas. Bud whimpered through the checkout aisle and held the peas tightly to his face, offering them up for just a moment so the clerk could ring them through. He remained pea-faced through the long ride home, and then declared that he was feeling better and banished the peas to the freezer. I could see the swelling start to return, and detected a faint reddish purple that I'm guessing will be a much lovelier and deeper shade by morning.

Bud had only one request before bed. He wanted a snack: Goldfish. Big ones.

He never was one to hold a grudge.


Anonymous said...

Wow, pushing a grocery cart through the store while your son holds a bag of frozen vegetables to his face. I could so see myself doing the same thing.

Who said fresh vegetables were the only way to go?!

kristina said...

Nick Hornby also describes using a bag of frozen peas as a fine icepack substitute in Fever Pitch (where the desired object is a (British) football game, rather than large-sized goldfish).

Charlie has also exhibited an amazing ability to detect a not-so obscure object of desire and to not see the larger objects in his way, from shopping carts to the old grandpas pushing them.

Wendy said...

Poor Bud! And poor Mommy - how awful that must have been, sitting on the floor in the grocery store, comforting your son who is hurt and crying, fellow shoppers stealing glances at you. Glad to hear that there was a light at the end of the tunnel for him though - giant Goldfish! Where were those when we were kids?! :)

Anonymous said...

My friend's son (about the same age as your Bud) is sporting a shiner too. He just joined a teeball team and they bought some supplied (including a bat) at the sporting goods store last weekend. Apparently on the ride home, the son was messing with the bat and being a general P.I.T.A. so my friend, after warnings, reached back to get the bat at the same time that her son leaned down---and she wound up smacking his eye with the bat, resulting in a black eye.

Her son had great fun telling his teacher the next day that his mom hit him in the eye with a baseball bat!

Mom to Mr. Handsome said...

Ohhhhh, poor guy. Nothing like "Keeping your eye on the prize." What our kids won't do for those goldfish crackers! We had a hard time getting rid of them when we found out Gabe was allergic to Wheat. Bye fish :o(


Alana said...

I've always said that goldfish are far more dangerous than we give them credit for...the best part of the story is Bud's ability to recover fromit all. I hope you take photos...I'm sure it was traumatic, but eventually we all find pride in our battle wounds.

Anonymous said...

Pepperidge Farms remembers!

Anonymous said...

This explains many things:
1) The constant reassurance that I received on Monday that both he, and his eye, were okay. We did admire/examine both him and his eye (shiner) in the mirror for quite awhlie, while I tried to harvest the story from Bud.

2) It explains the joy and rapture which occured during snack that day, as a giant fish or two found a home in his belly.

3) As a teacher, there are BIG topics/conversations to be had with all the's up to us to find them, and bring them into the classroom to bring powerful and meaningful words/ideas/thoughts into our daily work.

It looks like I'll be calling him "Braveheart" tomorrow.