"Meanwhile at…" with Country Fried Mama

Meanwhile, at Target… With Country-Fried Mama

My husband is in marathon training, which means my two girls and I have about four hours to kill on Saturday mornings while their daddy is off running giant loops around town. My plan for this past Saturday morning included organization, redecorating, and discounts. We went to Target.

I am about halfway through a futile mission to organize our playroom. I suspect that I will never be satisfied, no matter how many plastic cubes and fabric boxes I buy, but I am plowing ahead anyway. Our next step in operation clean-up-this-stinkin’-mess-before-Mama-throws-out-all-the-toys was to return some shelves that didn’t do what I had hoped they would and use the money to buy more plastic cubes. I loaded my girls – three-year-old Miss D. and 15-month-old Belly – into a cart and headed for the Target return desk.

A nice kid working the counter smiled at Miss D. His supervisor asked how old Belly was. When I told her, she said, “Ooh, that baby is juicy.”

I said nothing. What does one say to that? Is it a compliment? I don’t think so. But it’s not exactly an insult either, I suppose, which left me in a strange position. I didn’t want to thank this woman for her bizarre comment, but I couldn’t really challenge her to step outside either. So, I said nothing. But I had trouble forgetting about it.

Belly – whose nickname came from her actual name and a desire to maintain some anonymity for my kids online – definitely has a belly. She is a healthy girl. Which is maybe a nice way of saying she is “juicy.”

When we got home from Target, Belly, clad in her bright pink jogging suit with the elastic waistband, helped me stuff blocks and toy phones and Fisher Price medical kits into our new plastic cubes and fabric boxes.

I couldn’t help but stare at her cute bum in those jogging pants and picture “Juicy” printed across it in rhinestones.

Miss D. used to have a habit of saying, “I feel juicy,” when she wanted a cup of juice. This phrase made us uncomfortable, though we couldn’t quite put our finger on why. Kids should not be described as “juicy,” no matter how pudgy or healthy or thirsty they may be.

When Miss D. said, “I feel juicy,” we responded, “Do you mean you’re thirsty? We say, ‘I feel thirsty.”

When a stranger tells me Belly is juicy, I don’t know how to respond.

Perhaps, “Do you mean she’s adorable? We say, ‘Boy, that baby is adorable.”

That doesn’t seem quite right. I have to come up with something, though, because we still have toys all over the playroom floor, and I predict another trip to Target in my near future. I need more fabric boxes, and I need a comeback to the woman who labeled my toddler.

I’m open to suggestions.

Our newest contributor to is Country-Fried Mama, a transplanted Yankee raising two girls in the land of college football, sweet tea, and refined manners. Visit her blog at and follow her on Twitter @countryfried.

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