"I WANT MY SOCKS!!"
It is 5:00 and we are at Blockbuster because one of my friends asked Charlie if he was going to go home and watch George and we don't actually own the George DVD. I thought I could gloss over it, but when we get into the car Charlie starts up politely "I want to watch George, please!" I'm tired and, facing a long ninety minutes until Ryan's return I figure a trip to Blockbuster could both kill some time and score us the coveted Curious George DVD that will take us through the rest of the evening.
"We're only going to be here for a minute, you don't need your socks" I say brightly, stuffing Charlie's bare feet into his sneakers.
Ignoring the sock-related protests I head for the "Family" aisle, certain that Charlie is behind me. I find the George DVD and turn to head for the "TV Favorites" aisle to pick up "Bridezillas" when I notice that Charlie is not with me.
He bounces up to me holding a copy of "Sex in the City" and a dated workout video featuring a leotard-clad woman with big hair. "I wanna get DIS DBD!"
"Put those back where you found them, please" I deadpan, turning to the TV aisle. He stands there clutching the DVDs, eyes flashing. "Charlie, I want you to put. those. back." He thinks for a moment, then complies. "Follow me! Let's get Mama's movie and then we can go home and watch George!" The good witch is back. I pick up "Bridezillas Season 1" and head for the New Releases, Charlie bouncing merrily along behind us. "What movie do you think Papa would like?" I ask Charlie. He picks up a copy of "Hellboy" and hands it to me.
"He like DIS DBD."
"Hmm, that looks a little scary, buddy, maybe next time."
He puts it back on the shelf. Another customer smiles knowingly at me. All is well. We head to the checkout counter to play a little game I like to call "Put it back put it back put it back putitbackputitbackputitback!!" A twenty-something couple is behind us. They hold hands and talk sweetly to one another. They are probably watching "Made of Honor" because he is probably still pretending to like chick flicks. Charlie pulls a bag of chocolate covered pretzels off the rack. "It's a snack for Charlie!" he exclaims loudly enough for everyone in the store to hear.
"Sorry buddy, not today. Put them back." After a brief standoff I take the bag and hang it back up. "Come on, Buddy, let's go get the movies so we can go home and watch George!" struggling to remain cheerful, mostly exhausted and sick of all the negotiating.
"IT'S A SNACK FOR CHARLIE!"
He is holding the pretzels again.
"I said 'no,' put them back" more firmly this time.
He throws the bag at the display. I explain that if he doesn't shape up there will be no George.
At the counter the cashier tells me I have a credit of $40.65 on my account. "What is that fro--YOU MAY NOT HAVE ANY ICE CREAM, PLEASE PUT IT BACK."
"Sometimes we make mistakes here, just go with it I say."
"I SAID PUT IT BACK."
The couple behind us is snickering. Charlie is waving three packs of Starburst around like conductor's wands. I take them and put them back and lead Charlie to the counter by the hand.
"Well I've never had such a big charge on my account, do you know what it's--CHARLIE IF YOU DON'T CLOSE THAT FREEZER AND KNOCK IT OFF RIGHT NOW WE'RE NOT GOING TO WATCH GEORGE."
"It looks like we charged you for 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' but then you returned it so we credited your account."
Charlie is rocking Wesley's carseat crazily. Wesley looks amused by all the attention, but I am worried about whiplash.
"STOPIT. OK, just these two movies, then."
He starts ringing me up. Charlie is back in the ice cream case.
"Would you like me to tell you about our Blockbuster Rewards Program?"
It's like this guy is enjoying the little floor show I've got going on here. I grab Charlie's hand, close the case firmly, pick Charlie up and plunk him down in front of the counter firmly. "DON'T MOVE" I warn. "I think we better just get out of here" I say to the cashier. Charlie is hanging by the hem of my shorts, nearly pulling them off. The twenty-somethings are in near hysterics.
Mercifully, the transaction is finally complete and I walk out of the store, Charlie bouncing along behind me "I WANNA WATCH GEORGE. I WANNA WATCH GEORGE. WHERE MY SOCKS GO?"