Stores You Don’t See at the Mall

When our kids were little, we lived in a small city.  We had a huge garden, mostly roses, but also veggies.  The whole connect-the-kids-to-the-land idea.  You try to be a good mom…it never quite works out how you planned, does it?

One day I heard our almost-five year old son Micah talking to his best friend Hector on the stoop.

“How come you can’t come over?” says Hector

“We gotta go to the store” Micah explains

Hector nods.  Food.  “Think you’ll get Oreos?”  asks Hector, ever hopeful.

“Not that kind of store” says Micah, dejectedly.

No doubt he’s also thinking of Oreos.

“What do you mean? You gotta get clothes? Hector infuses this with the disgust one has at almost-five for clothing.

“Nah.  We’re going to the Poop Store.”


I might have been a smidge off in handling the compost-for-the-garden thing.  It’s hard enough being the kid with two moms, without adding that one of the moms takes you to shop at a Poop Store.

Hector is speechless.  He’s not sure he heard Micah correctly.

“Uh…where do you hafta go?”

“We gotta go get some poop.”

Hector, bless him, asks the obvious: “Why?”

“The tomatoes eat it.”

I can only imagine what Hector is picturing.  The Tomatoes That Eat Poop.

He nods.  When you’re four, outlandish concepts are still a daily occurrence.  You look to see if all the adults around you consider the outlandish concept normal, and if they do, you accept and adapt.

Hector is a thoughtful child.  “Why do you gotta buy it?”

Micah, who has never gone to get compost before (“I wanna go in the truck!  I wanna go in the truck!!  Please please…PLEASE?“), has this worked out already.  Clearly he’s asked himself that question.  He answers with exaggerated patience.

“Because it would be too hard to get out of the toilet.”

They both contemplate the reality of that statement.  Nets? Buckets? Vacuum cleaner?

Could I possibly have done this any worse?  I calculate how much his therapy will cost in 15 years, and if I can move that Roth over to cover.  Forget college.  He’s gonna need it for a shrink.

When Micah and I finally pull into the compost yard, he’s wowed by all the giant earth moving machines and beehive like activity.  It’s kiddie Sci-Fi gone Postal.  Clearly not what he was expecting.

“It’s not exactly a store like you’re used to” I say, trying for a partial save…maybe I can get out of this without too much ridicule when he’s 20.  “There’s only an office where you pay for the compost.”

“You mean the poop?” Micah asks, carefully, making sure we’re on the same page.

No save for me.  “Yup, that’s what compost is…” I try harder. (I should know by now this is never a good idea.) “It’s kind of a cooked poop.”

Oh good grief,  did I just really say that?   Wow. Turns out I COULD make it worse.

Micah accepts the idea of cooked poop.  He’s looking around for a kitchen & pots of some sort.

I am humbled, no awed, by his trust, and humiliated at what an incredible moron I am.

Make that a Roth AND a CD.

Copyright © 2009. The Literary Horse. All rights reserved.

6 thoughts on “Stores You Don’t See at the Mall

  1. theliteraryhorse Post author

    I have to admit that was brilliant. Maybe the next time we have all the kids in the neighborhood over for family-only night? Nah. I forget…14 years old, not cool. Unless it’s their idea. Come over and plant the seed? Blackmail photo op!


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