I’ve got to stop trying to take Maura to Whole Foods

28 May

“I’m going to the store.” I stupidly said out loud.

“Wait for me!” Maura said, grabbing her backpack, shoving a pony into it.  “I’m ready!”


The two teens looked at me with that questioning look of “Are you taking her, or should we brace for shrieking?”


“I know I’m going to regret this…” I said, causing hope to spread across the teens faces.  “Maura, we’re going to go buy food.”



“No, we’re going to the grocery store, not a restaurant.  Just going to get groceries to bring home.”


Now mind you, the last three times I pulled into Whole Foods parking lot, there was screaming and hysteria and flailing – and even then, the third time, I left the girl in the car with teens and a movie to distract her from the fact that we weren’t going to Chipolte across the parking lot.  Because ONE TIME, I took her to Chipolte for lunch before grocery shopping, and now she wants to go there all the time.

You can’t blame her, their chips are delicious.

But I’m a glutton for punishment and didn’t feel like making the teens deal with a shrieking Maura at the window as I drove off, so I took yet another one for the teen and took Maura with me.  Maura was happy in the car as I explained we were going grocery shopping – no restaurant, grocery shopping – repeatedly, hoping something would kick in.  I got all the way into the parking spot at the side of the building and put the car into park before she let out a seriously ear-splitting scream of protest.


I calmly got out of the car and decided to just wait it out as my ears bleed.  That’s my latest strategy, waiting it out.  No begging, no deal making, just standing there, waiting, calmly and quietly.

She curled up into the seat.  “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”


I opened her door.  She tried to close it.

“The door stays open Maura.” I stated.

She protested.  “I WANT FOOD!”

“There’s a whole store of food right there.” I stated.  “You can pick out any food you want.  But that’s where we’re going.” “NOOO!”


Then I sat on the curb in the shade and waited.  Really, it was a lovely spot, away from prying eyes and staring shoppers.  She calmed down.  I waited.  I heard the seat belt unbuckle.

“Okay Mom.” she said.

“Ready to go shopping?”


And just like that, her emotions were played out.  I let her get a cart, and explained we only needed one cart, I didn’t need one too.  We started getting foods.  She got giddy at the sight of the cantaloupe display.  She picked out sausages at the meat counter, I got rotisserie chicken for dinner.  I explained we needed milk and even though she didn’t want to go that way, she followed. Then we passed the eggs.


Um…okay.  We can always use eggs.  I got a carton.


“Do you want to pick out eggs?” I asked.

“YES!” and with that, she reached in and picked out one of the little cartons that contain six eggs. Weird, I thought.  Maybe she wanted the cute eggs.  Who knew what went through that brain of her sometimes.  But she was delighted with her eggs.  We went to check out and she told the cashier “MY EGGS!”  And then the bagger – “MY EGGS!”  She kept an eye on them as they went into the top of one bag. Then we got gelato, because why not and because she had been so good.  We sat outside as she ate her gelato and then half of mine.


Every so often, she’d ask – “My eggs?”

“They’re in the bag, safe.” I’d say.

We finished our gelato and went to the car, where she pulled out the little carton.

“My EGGS!” she said.

“Oh, let’s leave them in the bag, they’ll be safer.” I suggested.


Um..okay… I relented and let her hold the carton of eggs in the car…


…and she was SO happy! …and then she hugged the carton and said lovingly “My eeeegggggs.”


…and a sense of horror suddenly filled me, as I recalled a half-crumpled piece of paper I’d pulled out of her backpack that morning….


The words “the life cycle of the chicken” flashed through my head.  My daughter hugged her egg carton again.  I realized that she thought she was buying chick-producing eggs.  I cursed the school and their stupid life cycle science lessons.  I prayed that I wouldn’t make a sudden stop that would cause the eggs to go flying through the car.  My brain raced as I tried to figure out how the hell I was going to explain to Maura that her precious bundle of eggs weren’t going to produce chicks. She carried them into the house.

“Look Daddy!  EGGS!”

“Yes, those are eggs.” my clueless spouse said.  “Put them in the fridge.”


“She learned about the life cycle of the chicken.” I said, sharing the horror of the situation with my husband.

“Oh nooooooo.”

We convinced Maura that her eggs would be safer in the fridge and she relented.  But this morning, I woke up and found her sitting in front of the tv with her carton of egg buddies next to her.  Which is better than her sitting ON the carton of eggs, which is what we worried about last night.  Then I convinced her that the eggs had to stay at home, that they couldn’t go to school with her.  You’re welcome teaching staff. Now…now I’m just trying to figure out what the next plan of action is.  I’m considering pin holing each egg and draining them and filling them with wax.  Because, you know, THAT makes sense.  Or maybe replacing them with wooden eggs.  I’m also trying to figure out which saint is the Patron Saint of “Oh Dear God, please don’t let her hide eggs in the house!” and finding the perfect sangria recipe while reconsidering ever taking her out of the house again and explaining to her teachers why they shouldn’t try to teach her SO much.


freaking eggs.

Because the internet needs to know what happened to the eggs…


29 Responses to “I’ve got to stop trying to take Maura to Whole Foods”

  1. Anna May 28, 2015 at 11:25 am #

    Sweet girl. Hope she doesn’t hide them. Would she stand for them to be swapped out for a stuffed chicken?

    • phoebz4 May 28, 2015 at 11:54 am #

      I’m considering crocheting chicks to put in there as well, LOL!

  2. Charlie Shotsky May 28, 2015 at 11:30 am #

    You are one incredible woman, Phoebe. Not only are you intuitive, but you have the gift of sharing your life with us. Thank you for taking the time and allowing us to peek into the complex world of caring for special needs children. We lost our little granddaughter five years ago when she was 11. I always thoroughly and lovingly admired our daughter and her family as they cared for her. And reading your blog just reminds how blessed we were to have Rachel in our lives. Hope the ‘waiting therapy’ continues to work for Maura.

    • phoebz4 May 28, 2015 at 11:58 am #

      Thank you for sharing about Rachel – these kids get into our hearts don’t they?

      And yes, I hope the “waiting therapy” continues to work!

  3. cair75 May 28, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

    The good news is there was transfer of knowledge from school to real life?

    I think I’d vote for wax. If there’s not time for that maybe hard cooked. At least hard cooked wouldn’t make such a mess if it cracked.

    I’m in solidarity with you. Good luck.

  4. franhunne4u May 28, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

    Boil them, while she is at school – they last a little longer that way – and when you need a hard boiled egg you can use one of them – and replace them with another

  5. Anita May 28, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

    They sell white ceramic eggs at some of the hobby stores. Maybe you could trade them and they would look and feel similar but be less messy.

  6. Dana D May 28, 2015 at 1:54 pm #

    This made me laugh out loud and brought tears to my eyes! I love how young brains work and how she is making sense of her world! Too funny! Not at all sure how you are going to explain or get around this one, I only hope that it makes a fantastic end to this story! (and hope you are laughing at this as much as I am – even if it ends in a stinky or gooey mess.)

  7. Darcy Pennington Arnold May 28, 2015 at 2:34 pm #

    God bless you, Phoebe! ‘Forgive them, they know not what they do’:).

  8. Mary C. May 28, 2015 at 6:48 pm #

    This is a link for the Heartsong catalog. They have a toy that is literally a half a dozen eggs. Please look at the link before you try wax…good luck! I really do get it!

  9. Mama Fry May 29, 2015 at 6:55 am #

    1) In her defense, Chipotle is delish and now I want some for lunch. 🙂 2) OMG! This could be my Kiddo. Freaking school teaching them stuff. Thanks a lot school!

  10. Marcia Mason May 29, 2015 at 7:07 am #

    I think i would buy this lol

  11. Kim Penny May 29, 2015 at 7:22 am #

    You can buy rubber eggs! They look like real eggs but they are for if you keep chickens and one is reluctant to let you at the eggs and keeps sitting on them. You replace it with a rubber one. That might work.

  12. Charlotte May 29, 2015 at 7:24 am #

    Eek! Maybe you could find a nearby farm with new chicks. Then while she’s been out tell her you had to rush her eggs to the farm to hatch?

  13. Erica May 29, 2015 at 9:09 am #

    Could you crack and clean out the eggs and explain the chicks went home to their mommy? Just a thought!

  14. Karla Sandness Traxel May 29, 2015 at 10:49 am #

    This is my first visit to your blog, Autism with a Side of Fries shared this post. I was enjoying the story (I know the screaming and the looks from the other kids so well) and how cute she was and how much she loved her eggs. When you realized WHY she loved her eggs… I just lost it, I laughed so hard I cried. So awful and so amazing and so funny!

    I was going to suggest taking her to visit some chicks somewhere but that might be a cycle that she’d want to repeat every time you go to the store. So maybe not. I vote you send the eggs with her to school and let the teachers deal with what they started. lol 😉

  15. Stephanie May 29, 2015 at 11:56 am #

    Blue.. She colored the egg blue.. did she open her eggs? Can you convince her they turn plastic, pretty colors during the life cycle/ (not a great teaching, but plastic eggs… good will/ last easter egg hunt? maybe the floral section of the craft store?)… possibly gradually replaced with toys that look like the life cycle? My youngest is loving the life cycle of birds right now too, but is afraid of our kitchen (not a clue why.. but the house is new as of last September, and the kitchen has always freaked her out)… so she prefers drawing the life cycle, and labeling it, “Dock.” note to self: do not let her near eggs…

    • phoebz4 May 29, 2015 at 12:03 pm #

      I don’t think she colored the egg…she doesn’t color that neatly, lol! I think her para started it but she didn’t finish.

  16. Jeffie May 29, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

    Maybe you could look at the life cycle chart together, and emphasize that the eggs have to be warmed by a mother hen to hatch. Then as a family outing, you could visit a farm with chicks and give them the eggs, and Maura could “hand off care” so to speak. It’s touching how tenderly she held the eggs 🙂

  17. Shelley G May 29, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

    The entirety of this post- I feel ya mama.
    And I’m totally going to park away and let a future disappointmelt finish like you did! Brilliant!
    I have no advice, other than the F’eggs, but you’d have to match them. And possibly explain why they won’t crack open ever. So, no. Lol
    Teacher note: Follow the life cycle worksheet with a farm-egg-store-plate worksheet.

  18. Michelle May 29, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

    What about hard boiling them?

  19. some dude May 30, 2015 at 10:34 am #

    I hope this doesn’t sound ridiculous, but this made my day. possibly my week, it’s been kind of a hard week.

    • phoebz4 May 30, 2015 at 11:46 am #

      I’m glad we could share some happy ridiculousness your way!

  20. Jen May 30, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

    (Slowly raises fist in solidarity) great job mama. But I’d have sent the eggs to school with her with a note to the teacher that they now have to explain the difference between grocery store eggs and hatching eggs.

    • phoebz4 May 30, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

      Maura’s IEP is coming up. I’m SO sharing this with them, lol!

  21. summerallyearround12 May 31, 2015 at 6:14 am #

    Awww sweet Maura! Children on the specteum are not givem enough credit, not saying by you friend, I mean in general. These kids KNOW and they are AWARE! They hear more than we think and understand more than we realize. was determined, on a mission and set her plan into action! However, now what? Like you said. She sounds like a vivacious, energetic, fun girl! Would you guys ever consider getting a chicken? Or do you live in a more populated/city type of area? Summer has 2 they are awesome. She can even hug them! Summer would share her chickens with Maura if she could😉

  22. lexiemom June 1, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

    That is so funny!!!! I’m sorry. I know this is not funny when you are in the situation, but I could just picture the whole scene in my head, and I started roaring with laughter. I would send you a bottle of wine if I could!! LOL!!!!


  1. Because the internet NEEDS to know what happened with the eggs… | Herding Cats - May 30, 2015

    […] are all too great.  I’ve had so many suggestions about how to handle Maura’s egg adoption situation.  One of you asked the next day how it was going, and I shared that she had adopted twelve more […]

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