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R: I don’t like the small carts. Let’s get a big one so I can ride on the front.

I like the small ones, they’re easier to push. And I can’t push the big cart with big fat you on the front anyway.

R: okay, I’ll drive it. I can practice my real driving skills. Not this one. Let’s get a better one inside.

R selects a shopping cart and makes a U-turn, missing his mentor by an inch. Doors open, we are shopping.

First, fruits and veggies.

R: I’m not big on salad. We don’t need more of that. Wait, those tomatoes grow on a vine? Ours don’t grow on vines. Cool. Oh, avocados…..my mom and dad like them but I just can’t like them. It’s the consistency. It’s like too-soft butter. Yech. I don’t think I ever had grapefruit. What’s it like?

Like an orange. Juicy, red inside. We select a grapefruit for testing.

R: oh, I would try that. OOOOOOH…..WATERMELON! I LOVE WATERMELON! Can we get watermelon??

We choose a small watermelon.

R: can this whole thing be mine? It’s not very big. I can eat this whole thing, okay? There’s no milk inside this coconut. Aunt Joan says not to eat plain coconut. She had it in Ghana and it didn’t taste good. I think I would like this mozzarella. [we have moved on to fresh cheeses! olives! Italian style meats!] Can you make that pizza like you did before? That was so good.

We are suddenly in among the sushi, kimchi, and other Asian foods.

R: oh, can I get sushi? I can have it for lunch. They don’t have crab roll. Here’s cucumber roll. Can I get this?

We move on. There follows a critical remark or two about cart driving. Don’t go so fast. Ouch! Stay back a little more from my heels. Wait a minute til I put this in. Don’t crash into the old people…they have to go slower. Watch out turning corners. Pass on the left. THE LEFT! SLOW DOWN!

In the canned meats aisle, we are appropriately repelled by the canned octopus. But the snacks aisle requires some thoughtful research.

R: I like cheese puffs. Not Utz….I like Herr’s. It sounds funny when you say that: it’s not HERS, it’s Herr’s. I’m looking for the round ball ones. I never had them. I want to see how they feel in my mouth. I only had the curly ones. No, not those, that’s not the same thing. Well, I’ll get these.

And so it goes, through yogurt….

R: This is the kind my dad gets with the turquoise lid. Well, I like it but I really want to have the vanilla Greek yogurt because I don’t have that at home. The four-pack is a better buy than the individual ones. Can I get two? I’ll eat them in almost one shot. I’m going through a growth spurt…..I keep eating.

And Beef jerky…

R: oh please? This will just be a snack for me.

And bread…..

R: I really don’t like pumpernickel. It’s too dense. Let’s get this instead.

And finally, checkout, where my efficient helper loads the belt, packs the bags we’ve brought and stashes everything in the cart. I help. Plus, I drive home.

Yes, it takes longer ….. And probably costs a little more! But shopping with this guy is a summertime fun excursion I don’t mind. Look at all I learned!

Tomorrow: the bank and the post office. Who knows what wonders await? It’s all in the eye of the beholder!

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