Oh. My. Goodness. I just spent about 50 minutes at Wal-Mart, the last 20 of which found Emmett in full tantrum mode. Whoever thought it would be a good idea to use balloons to decorate racks or advertise sales obviously never had a child. Particularly never had a child with an obsession for balloons that borders on pathological. (The last time we brought balloons home from a restaurant Josh and I found ourselves discreetly murdering them--the balloons that is, not the children--the colorful, buoyant creatures were holding us hostage.) And so I found myself today with a nearly full cart and four children, one screaming and arching and refusing to be cajoled. What do you do? I attempted to show him the balloons were tied to the racks. That did not help. I contemplated abandoning the cart and running for the doors. But I was really hungry--I had already spent the last few days being incredibly creative with what was left in the cupboard. ("Sorry guys, here's some dry cheerios for breakfast . . . ") So I stuck it out. Marissa commandeered the cart while I carried the resistant child. We made it through check-out, his screams diminishing to a whimpering "Boon, peeeese, boon . . ." on repeat. We emerged from the store, the crying resumed, but it was OVER. I ran into a lady from church entering as I left. I must have looked murderous. "You survived!" she said with a huge smile. Ha! I buckle Emmett into his carseat--he's asleep in two minutes. Carrying on that long must be utterly exhausting. POOR GUY! (Yes, um, that would be some sarcasm leaking into my tone . . .) So, all that to say, balloons are not my friends and I will think twice before attempting another grocery excursion with four children--even if all I have in the cupboards is a can of kidney beans and some ramen noodles.