Last week, my sister-in-law and her three kids came to visit. It was the highlight of my busy week. We love having visitors and miss living close to family, so it is a real treat when anyone comes to stay. However, this post is going to mainly focus on my niece, Adalyn. Dear, sweet, Adalyn.

Adalyn is 5, which seems like 25 in comparison to Luke. The whole time they were here I was offering to take Adalyn and Audrey (her 7 year old sister) to the park, to the store, or WHEREVER they wanted to go! It seemed so much easier taking these "mature" girls out with me than my usual running down the aisles of the grocery store with Luke screaming while being held under my arm in a football hold.

I've always been puzzled by this one cashier at this particular supermarket in town. You see, s/he is a "Pat," i.e., I can't tell if s/he is a man or woman and it is driving me crazy. I'm not trying to be mean, but I really can't tell. Here are the facts:

1. Ambiguous Name (we'll call shim "Chris")
2. About the height of an average woman.
3. Deep voice.
4. No noticeable facial hair whatsoever.
5. Macho mannerisms.
6. Wears loose fitting clothes, so I can't tell what's going on "upstairs."
7. Short Androgynous Haircut

I have been so puzzled by this mystery that I almost asked one of the baggers once if "Chris" was a man or woman to satisfy my own curiosity. Like I said, I'M NOT TRYING TO BE MEAN, you would want to know too? Wouldn't you?

So back to Adalyn and the shopping trip. We get up to the register and what do you know - it's "Chris's" line! Right as we walk up, Adalyn tugs at my shirt and says in her loudest voice,


I ignore her, smile at "Chris", and say, "How are you doing today?" Adalyn says again,


I look at Adalyn with these pleading eyes and quietly say, "Do not talk until I tell you it's okay. " She says, "But - " I interrupt and whisper, "Please, Addie, don't say anything until I tell you it's okay."

I still don't know if "Chris" is a man or a woman, and it probably isn't my business anyway. Really, what difference is it going to make if I find out? Am I planning to set him/her up with a single friend?

I am learning that no matter what age a child may be, there will almost always be challenges when taking them grocery shopping - whether it is throwing an endless temper tantrum (like Luke) or total humiliation (thanks, Addie).


  1. If Chris is a great checker...you should call the store manager and give him/her a compliment and see if you can be sneaky and find out that way. Plus, I'm dying to know.

  2. Me too! Why don't you hang out near the restrooms at the grocery store and wait to see which one "Chris" uses! (This idea may take 4 hours... you will need a sitter for Luke, and a magazine for yourself)

  3. That is hilarious! I was laughing out loud!!

  4. Ooooh, could you refer to the he/she's out there something other than "Pat". hehehe
    When we were engaged I often introduced him as Patrick. He asked me about it once and of course I didn't tell him what I really thought because I knew all Pat's had a subconscious or conscious insecurity about their name, I would. I played if off like I didn't know if he felt even strangers should call him by his nickname...I gotta go, he's coming!

  5. That is so hilarious! Did "Chris" hear her asking you? You gotta love kids.

  6. That is so funny.. i would Just start asking the she/he questions that would make it lead up to answering the question, like ,"So, are you married?" "What do you like to do when you're not working at the grocery store, because You work a lot!" Hopefully, these questions won't come across like you're hitting on him or her. You could also ask " DO you know which isle the tampons are on?" and see how he or she reacts to the question. (Caitlin)



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