Toddler, Store, Angry Dad, Chase-down, Bad knee. No matter how you look at it, no matter what math formula you use, there is NO good outcome from those combination of words.
The Missus and I had a rare day off during the week from work. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a laze around the house kind of day. No sir, it was a run around and get a bunch of errands done kind of day. The kind of day that Action and myself love SOOO much.
After a day of Dentists and errands in rainy weather, Action was at her limit and she made sure to let the Missus and myself know it. After our customary battle of trying to shove Action back into her car seat, I was ready to pull up stakes and go home. I was feeling levels of frustration similar to that time I wanted to quit life (see The Resignation.) However, I was told that there’s no quitting, so that wasn’t an option. Unfortunately, the Missus reminded me that we were doing our best impersonation of Old Mother Hubbard and that we really needed to go grocery shopping.
FML. Fine let’s get this over with.
We get to the Supermarket and Action is already screaming to get put down so she can run around. Boy I tell ya, those “Free Range Babies” may be cute, but they are a lot of work! The Missus and I worked hard to corral her, but she managed to get free once or twice, which was annoying. In addition to being fast, Action is hard-headed (she got that honest from her daddy.) The combination of trying to break free and not listening was starting to make my blood boil. When Action broke free around the frozen meats and made a break for the dairy aisle (Read: from one end of the store to the other,) I snapped and took off after her.
I want to take this moment to give shoutout to my brother and to my mother-in-law for helping me change my diet and introducing me to de-toxing. My health was failing a while back and I had chronic back and knee injuries that limited my mobility. The dietary changes I’ve made helped me lose weight and significantly reduce the swelling in my joints. If Action had tried to run away a couple of months ago, I would’ve had to cut my losses and make another baby because there is no way in Hell I would have been able to catch that kid. Thanks to the Blending and de-toxing, and some Bruce Banner-sized anger, I took off after Action without a second thought.
Though maybe I should have.
In the time it took me to blow my top and go after Action, she had gotten a significant head start on me, roughly halfway across the store. I had to move fast. Mind you, this is the first time I ran in a looooonng time. I felt a mix of shock and Joy that I was able to move so quickly. It took me back to my football practice days when he had to run the 40. I was in defense mode, ready to flatten that kid when i caught up to her. I moved with the speed of a Linebacker. Unfortunately for me, my kid moved with the speed of a Wide receiver.
For those of you who don’t watch the Football, try this analogy: I was Wil E. Coyote trying to catch the Road Runner.
As I started gaining on Action, I prayed that she didn’t turn on the after burners like in the cartoon. Or worse, suddenly cut left or right. If she did, I feared I might’ve crashed head first into the juice display.
With a final burst of speed, I dove forward and grabbed Action’
s arm. Did I mention that I heard a voice in my ear the whole time I was running? No? Well, the voice was my knee screaming
“MOTHA F***A, WHAT THE F*** ARE YOU Doing?!?!
As I slowed down, I immediately thought to myself, “Damn I’m gonna be sore as s*** tomorrow!” That’s when my body went:
That’s when I learned a hard lesson about getting older. When I was younger, whenever I really exerted myself, the pain and soreness would come down the road like a credit card payment. I learned the very hard way that now, the pain and soreness was immediate, like a C.O.D.
When I came to a complete stop, my body completely locked up.My knee and back was cursing at me in five different languages. I was afraid that if I took another step, my body would fall apart piece by piece.
Standing perfectly still, I took the verbal abuse from my body and apologized profusely for my hubris. I kept promising that if I got out of this in one piece, that I would obey Rule #18 from Zombieland before doing any more kid-chasing.
When the Missus found me walking like Frankenstein’s Monster, she asked me what happened. “Can’t talk. In pain.” I replied. Fortunately, she watched Action the remainder of the time we were in the Supermarket.
When we got home, I befriended every bottle of Advil and Aleve I could find. I downed the pills and waited for my body to accept my apology. When my body finally did forgive me, I shuffled back downstairs, a la Frankenstein’s Monster, to put the groceries away. I felt like one of those old athletes who didn’t know when to walk away and paid for it dearly.
As I gingerly walked by the Missus and Action, the Missus joked, “Hee-hee, Daddy’s old as Dust!” Action smiled at that comment, then she looked at me as if to say, “You may have caught me this time Old Man, but I made you pay for it!”
Yeeeah, I’m just gonna cut my losses and make a new kid the next time this s**t happens.