Posts Tagged ‘ Whole Foods ’

My Son Talks To Strangers, Part 3: The Kohl’s Incident

Monday, March 24th, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Continued from Part 2: The Talking Dog.

Dear Jack,

I remember a few months back, I read an article on that said one of the best ways to handle a child who is having a meltdown is to distract them.

So that’s exactly what I did this past weekend when we were at Kohl’s.

You were checking out the toys and came across a track for your Monster Jam trucks.

After asking both Mommy and me separately if you could get it, and we both individually told you maybe for your birthday (in November), you decided to ask a lady that works at Kohl’s.

She jokingly said yes.

Let’s just say you had a difficult time accepting the fact that a stranger’s confirmation on a $30 toy does not override your parents’ decision.

The story continues with me carrying you out, from the very back corner of the store and you crying loudly the whole time.

Fortunately, fate would have it that right next to Kohl’s, there just so happened to be a construction crew, building… something.

It doesn’t matter what it was, though I will say it reminded me of Level 8-3 of Super Mario Bros.

What does matter is that it was solid entertainment for you: a cement mixer, a crane, ladders, men in construction hats, smoke and dust.

You stood on the light pole (with me a couple feet behind you) in reverence of the real life Bob the Builder event happening right before your eyes.

My plan had worked, much better than I anticipated, actually.

Shortly afterwards, Mommy walked out of Kohl’s and met us in the parking lot, then we drove around the corner to Whole Foods to buy groceries.

I knew it wouldn’t be a good idea for you, having just had a meltdown, to be placed in a shopping cart in a grocery store.

So Mommy suggested you and I grab lunch while she shopped in the other side of the store.

Another miracle, from my fatherly perspective at least, was that there were some musicians performing there right next to our table in the Whole Foods cafe.

(Well, I guess it wasn’t that much of a miracle; after all, we do live in Nashville.)

I was able to teach you how to clap after each song ended.

That article on (“10 Ways To Handle Your Kid’s Tantrums“) was right- the art of distraction really goes a long way. Fortunately, this past weekend, there was a lot to distract you.

All because I’ve taught you to talk to strangers.





P.S. Read the entire Talking To Strangers series:

 Part 1: The Dishwasher Man

Part 2: The Talking Dog

Part 3: The Kohl’s Incident


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Classic Childhood Memory: Riding On A Grocery Shopping Cart

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

3 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

My main role when our family goes grocery shopping is to distract/entertain/keep you from knocking over the fruit stands.

Fortunately tonight, we had just come back from the Monster Jam truck show and you were occupied as long as I could keep helping you find new places to crash your toy monster trucks into each other.

As we finally were checking out at Whole Foods, you instinctly grabbed on to the end of the grocery shopping cart, as if it were understood you wanted to ride out to the car while the helpful Whole Foods staff member pushed you.

This is not something you had ever seen before- like I said, it was simply an instinct.

After gaining a quick nod of approval from me, Emily, the girl who eagerly and kindly helped us take the groceries out to the car, began pushing you out to the parking lot as Mommy and I escorted you.

That is a classic childhood memory that every kid should have. Emily, the Whole Foods girl, was very cool about it.

As you can see from the photo collage (above) I made of the event, you loved it!

Just yesterday I wrote to you about how there were certain freedoms that I got to enjoy as a child, that you won’t be able to.

Well, fortunately, riding on the end of a shopping cart was not mentioned.

The way I see it, it’s your right, as an American little boy, to enjoy riding on a shopping cart.

It’s a right of passage.

I feel as your daddy, it’s sort of my responsibility to help set the backdrop for these little adventures.

Granted, you can’t wander around the neighborhood aimlessly like I did back in the 1980s… but you can ride a shopping cart like I did back in the 1980s.

At least there’s that!





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Do Little Boys Want To Eat Spiders, Shovels, & Cookies?

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

3 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

Last Saturday morning while we were grocery shopping at Whole Foods, we were informed that a cookie decorating class was about to start and that we were invited.

What it basically meant is that I used the plant-based icing (not from petroleum or crushed bugs) to draw pictures on your cookie, while Mommy did the shopping on the other end of the store.

When I asked you how you wanted me to decorate your cookie, you responded, “A spider!”

So I drew a spider in the center of the cookie.

But there were clearly other cool colors of icing on the table, which you saw as an opportunity for me to draw other random objects- apparently the first ones that came to mind.

Therefore, I also drew you a shovel underneath the spider… as well as a picture of a cookie, on the cookie itself.


Even now, I catch myself trying to read into your artwork: What do a shovel, a spider, and a cookie all have in common?

The only answer I can come up with is that they are all things that you believed should be on a cookie.

I mean, seriously, what 3 year-old little boy wouldn’t want to eat a food in the likeness of  spiders, shovels, and cookies.

Turns out, a few days later, at school you chose to make an art collage with spiders. Why? We’re nowhere near Halloween?

In fact, I think I need to Tweet out this idea to Annie’s Homegrown…

Thanks to you, they may have just stumbled upon the next great marketing idea: Little boys want to eat food that is decorated or shaped like spiders, shovels, and cookies.

What if Annie’s Homegrown made a special edition mac-and-cheese where the noodles were shaped like those three things?

It could be the 3 Year-Old Little Boy edition. All the other boys your age would be so grateful for your clever and relevant idea of eating pasta shaped like spiders, shovels, and cookies.

Keep these creative marketing ideas coming… you never know what might happen.

Spiders, shovels, and cookies.

dig it.




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Daddy, Is Ice Cream Healthy? And Cookies, Too?

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

3 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

Last week your teacher at school introduced you and your classmates to a new concept: that not all food is healthy.

Since then, you have been asking me if every single food item you can think of is healthy or not.

“Is ice cream healthy, Daddy?” you genuinely asked me.

The same happened about cookies, too.

You later asked me about cheesy crackers, though you didn’t bother to ask about cake. However, for some reason, you’ve yet to ask me if vegetables, like broccoli and carrots, are healthy.

I snapped a few shots of your health-related project at school.

You had to decide which pictures, cut out from magazines, best resembled the kinds of foods we regularly buy each week when we get groceries, by placing the cut-outs in a paper sack.

I had to laugh at yours, compared to your friends.

Yours was so… politically correct, as the token vegetarian kid of the class:

Bell peppers, blueberries, tomatoes, and apples. That’s it and that’s all.

What I learned from this is that you are definitely paying attention when Mommy and I pick out the fruits and veggies at Whole Foods. Beyond that? Not so much.

You didn’t choose pasta, bread, beans, or rice, which are all staples in your diet. Just bell peppers, blueberries, tomatoes, and apples.

I’m pretty sure you were the only kid to not include meat in your brown grocery sack.

But with your selection, you made it look like our family is a bunch of fruitarians.

(Yes, that’s a real thing! And yes, technically, bell peppers and tomatoes are considered fruits, depending on who you ask.)

One day you’ll fully understand what meat is. All you know is that the other kids at school eat it but you don’t- you either get soy butter or veggie patties instead- which you love, by the way.

You always think I’m joking when I try to explain what the butchered meat is at Whole Foods. You ask me each week, ‘Daddy, what’s that red stuff?”

But hey… as long as we’ve got bell peppers, blueberries, tomatoes, and apples, though; that’s apparently all we need anyway.




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Born And Raised In South Detroit… Or I Just Drove Around There

Monday, November 11th, 2013

2 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

At the risk of coming across as a “selfie” pic obsessed guy, I’m delivering what I promised to you yesterday (more pictures of my trip) in my letter entitled, “Say Nice Things About Detroit.”

You know my general rule; I basically refuse to have my picture taken these days unless you and/or Mommy is in it with me. It just seems weird for a 32 year-old dad to be taking pictures of himself and posting them on the Internet…

But a picture of myself is justified when taken with my family.

Unless… I happened to be on a scavenger hunt hosted by OnStar and Buick, where in order to get credit for each event, I needed my picture taken with the OnStar logo to prove I was actually there, then Tweet it to the judges of the competition…

In that case, I guess I look less weird… or maybe it’s just my excuse this time.

So for the scavenger hunt, the dozen or so of us bloggers needed to pair up, and then hop in either a Buick Regal or Lacrosse, and accomplish as many tasks as we safely (and legally) could within the following two hours. Each task was worth an appropriate amount of points, based on difficulty.

It was only natural that the two dad bloggers teamed up. So my buddy was Fred Goodall of the blog, Mocha Dad. We named ourselves, “Team Dad.”

Fred was clever enough to think, “Let’s just do the challenges that are worth the most points first, then worry about the other ones if we have time.”

So we did.

Given that Fred has a smart phone and I don’t, I became the driver and Fred became the navigator and researcher. It helped tremendously that our Buick had OnStar on it, so I just pressed the button each time I had a new destination, and the friendly person on the other line helped me figure out which place I was trying to go, then instantly sent the directions to the built-in GPS.

It was all a blur at the time- and it still is. Actually, all you or I have to really go on are these pictures.

So appparently, Fred and I had to do our impression of the Detroit Tiger statue. And then I blocked in a competitors’ Buick while they were getting their picture made with it.

I ended up at Fisher Theatre where Mamma Mia! was evidently the answers to one of the clues.

How did “Team Dad” know the answer to that trivia question? We happened to see “Team Mom” take their picture with the poster… that’s how!

Then there was our visit to the all new Whole Foods in Detroit, where I first learned the slogan, “Say Nice Things About Detroit.” We picked up some organic food (untainted by Monsanto) then donated it to Gleaners Community Food Bank.

No, we didn’t win the scavenger hunt.

But I know we had a lot of fun driving in our classy ride across Motor City, doing random stuff a dad doesn’t normally get to do.

Most of all, I loved getting to discover the real Detroit (not the version reported by media).

Sure, along the way, I saw the “burned out buildings,” but they were alongside new ones; with growing new businesses.

It sort of reminded me of a baptism by fire- the new life is growing where the old one has faded away.

And perhaps accidently, the folks at GM and Buick used the journey of this scavenger hunt to show me the journey that Detroit is undergoing.

I’m so serious. I proudly stand behind Detroit.

Before this trip, I just didn’t realize what was actually going on- that in reality, Detroit is rebuilding, not crumbling.

Yesterday I changed my Facebook banner to the picture of the “Say Nice Things About Detroit” mural.

Something I am very passionate about is seeing a group of hardworking people overcome hard times.

That’s literally what’s happening right now in Detroit. And since the mainstream media isn’t willing to present the real news story, I am.





P.S. A special thanks to my fellow dad blogger and the other member of “Team Dad,” Fred Goodall, of Mocha Dad for taking the pictures of our scavenger hunt.


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