Why I’m Never Allowed to Set Foot in Ike’s Ever Again


November 22, 2013 by Sarah Christine Bolton

So, here in Memphis, a lot of people are very upset about the fact that the Ike’s (which is a Walgreens) on the corner of Cooper and Union is supposedly going to be replaced with a Fresh Market. While I’m usually nostalgic and supportive of retaining midtown icons, in this particular case, I’m incredibly relieved it’s going away. Before you scroll down to the comments, and leave me a nasty note about how I’m a heartless, cruel bitch whose children are ugly (unless that’s actually true), please read this story in its entirety.

About a month ago, a day started similar to most days over here at Castle Swartz. Two tiny children woke up, hollering for food and Yo Gabba Gabba and sippy cups and bananas sliced sideways NOT lengthwise and music and no diapers and a blanket… you get the picture.

But as the day wore on, I began to realize that something wasn’t quite right with M. And I’m not talking about her usual teenage-angst-coming-from-a 3-year-old-what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-this-child not quite right. She wasn’t feeling well. Her stomach was hurting, she felt feverish, and she didn’t have any interest in her usual naked post-breakfast twerking session to “Wobble Baby.”

I tucked her into the couch, and spent the day trying to get her to drink more than a teaspoon of water.

E. had to work that night. He always gets the luck of the draw whenever the plague hits our house. (Of course, there was that one time that we all got food poisoning, including E., and he still had to go to work and try to not crap his pants all night. So maybe “luck” isn’t quite the right word to use…)

Because I was going to have to do bedtime solo, finally, at about 7:45 p.m., I decided to bite the bullet, give into big pharma, and give M. some Tylenol so we could all get a little rest.

And then I found the empty bottle of Tylenol.

At that point, I made one of the most delusional decisions of my entire life, a decision that continues to haunt my nightmares to this day.

I decided to take two tiny children, one of which was very sick, to Walgreens, on a Friday night, at 7:45 p.m., BY MYSELF, to buy medicine.

I’m not going to lie. At first, I totally felt like a badass super mom as I whizzed through Ike’s, buying bleach and cleaning supplies, juice to hydrate the toddler, a large bottle of infant Tylenol (dye-free, of course!), wipes for baby A., who was riding happily in his carseat inside the cart. I was about to check out when I had the brilliant thought, “I deserve a bar of dark chocolate!”

Two steps away from a large bar of fair trade almond dark chocolate, the unthinkable happened. M. looked at me, her eyes wide.

“Oh no oh no!” she gurgled.

And then, like a slow-motion horror film moment, she projectile vomited all over me. Turned around, and projectile vomited all over the cart full of groceries and her baby brother. And then, just in case she had missed any spots, she turned back around and got me in the shoes one more time.

The next 7.6 seconds felt like 87 years. I stood there in shock, watching people walk by, appalled at the sight before them. I wanted to throw a handful of vomit at them, and be like, “You assholes! Like your kid has never hurled in the middle of a public store before!” But then I though, maybe their kid hadn’t ever done that. Maybe my kid was the only kid in the history of the world whose mom was stupid enough to take her shopping when she was deathly ill.

Although the idea of running away and starting a new life on a tropical island may have crossed my mind, I decided to put on my vomit-covered big girl panties, and deal with the situation in a responsible, calm manner.

…which meant picking up my daughter, slinging a baby carseat over the other arm, and running away from a cart full of vomit-soaked groceries.

I did mention the situation to the woman at the beauty counter on the way out, but she was pretty busy texting on her phone, so I’m not sure if she heard me. I’m sure the night cleaning crew got to it eventually…

And so, yes, that is exactly why I can never set foot in Ike’s again. If they turn it into a Fresh Market, maybe I’ll work through the trauma associated with that space, and try to shop there again.

Meanwhile, maybe I should start carrying those air sickness bags in my purse. Or just never try to leave my house again.

I’m gonna go with option 2.

*P.S. By the way, I’m actually quite sad about Ike’s going away. Fresh Market is cool and all… if you want to spend $20 on a tiny bag of coffee. Seriously, why are we not getting a Trader Joe’s?!


2 thoughts on “Why I’m Never Allowed to Set Foot in Ike’s Ever Again

  1. Natalie says:

    I laughed. I cried from laughing. I snorted!

  2. lauraleigh says:

    i cried. i cried for you because i was feeling every parenting feeling you felt as i read it. ok, i laughed a bit because you’re pretty damn funny. 🙂
    Sigh. wish we could hang out.
    ditto to Trader Joes! why doesn’t everyone not have a TJ’s?????

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