When I take Annie with me to the supermarket I feel pressure for things to go well. I want A) Annie to be well behaved, and for me to find what I need and not shuffle from aisle to aisle like a lost puppy begging someone to help me find the canned tuna. This pressure is probably a little like the one women in the workplace feel to show they can perform as well as a man, because all I want to do is show Dads can be domestic too! Unfortunately, Annie doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo. In fact, today she acted like she was out to embarrass me as much as toddlerly possible.
I’ve mentioned before how Annie used to be big on calling me “Mike” instead of Dadda, and how it drove me nuts. Luckily, she now calls me “Dadda” most of the time, but lately she has become enthralled by the fact other people call me Mike.
“He call you Mike, Dadda,” she will tell me when a friend is over. Other times, apropos of nothing, she will say, “Your name is Mike, Dadda.” I think it’s cute that she’s fascinated by the idea my name is Mike (and not just Dadda), but it’s not cute that she thinks other people should find it fascinating too.
At the store today we were in the cereal aisle when she waddled over to some random lady and announced, “His name Mike!” The lady and I both chuckled. It was a cute and harmless “kids say the darndest things” kind of moment. But then on the next aisle she did it again.
“His name is Mike!” she proclaimed to the four or five people near the canned fruit. “Dadda name is Mike!”
This time it was less cute, and it only got less and less cute with each successive declaration. Finally, to distract Annie, I started to give her tasks like grabbing a box and putting it in our cart.
“Good girl, Annie!” I told her each time she did what I requested. “Good girl!”
Soon I had doled out five or six more “Good girl, Annie! Good Girl!” accolades, and we were ready to go. We went to the check-out counter, and of course the shoppers ahead of us were ones Annie had told my name to earlier. As I put our items on the belt I prayed Annie wouldn’t do the whole “His name is Mike” business again. It was embarrassing enough the first time.
Thankfully, Annie was silent as the people ahead of us were rung up, and continued to be when it was our turn. (I’m convinced she was day dreaming about Foofa.) As our items were scanned I thought, “Hey, I might get out of this without being embarrassed! Awesome.”
The checker scanned the last item, tossed it into a bag, then ripped the receipt from the machine. “Congratulations,” she said. “You saved eleven dollars with your rewards card today. Nice job!”
Annie suddenly perked up upon hearing this and said, ““Good girl, Mike. Good girl!”
Laughter broke out in what felt like the entire store, and I’m pretty sure I turned as red as Elmo. From now on, I’m sure, I will be know at the supermarket as the “Good girl!” guy.
Thanks a lot, Annie. So much for Dads being taken seriously!