Clean up on aisle 5

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

You know how whenever you stub your toe, you inevitably spend the next few days whacking said toe into table legs and bed frames before running over it with your office chair because you aren’t paying attention, mostly due to the fact that you are stuffing chocolate chips in your mouth before your preschooler figures out where you are hiding?

Maybe it’s just me.

How about when you’re about to walk into a crowded room, wearing your new black pants, feeling rather Sophia Loren, only to have your old lady briefs slip up where they shouldn’t, right after you catch yourself tripping over your own heels?

Not that either?

Well, trust me, it is inexplicable and also magical – but not in a good way. I think it has something to do with magnets. Or maybe sound waves. I don’t know, really. My memory is fuzzy when it comes to Grade 10 Physics. In fact, I may not have taken that class at all.

In any case, I had one of these magnetic moments at the grocery store the other day.

Screw you aisle 5. Screw you.

Here’s the thing. My kid loves My Little Pony. It’s really my fault for trusting the Netflix ratings and letting her watch several episodes of “Friendship is Magic” before discovering the subliminal messages that run throughout each episode.

Attention preschoolers, this is Princess Celestia. Listen carefully and do as I say: Run around the house like a fool. Whinny at the top of your lungs. Jump over the sofa onto the coffee table. Pretend you are flying. Roll your eyes at your parents. Write letters to me. Put the markers in your mouth. Repeat. 

I’ve since banned the show until my daughter turns 12, but have allowed the odd toy to infiltrate the house, and by the odd toy I mean enough ponies to start a racetrack.

At the post...
I know how to set boundaries.

Also, I'm no monster. Even though - as a kid - I never become hooked on the colorful equines with insanely long tails (seriously, has anyone at Hasbro never watched a horse take a dump?), I did have a probably unhealthy addiction to smelly Strawberry Shortcake dolls and later, easy Glamour Gals figures. In other words, I understand how one could become obsessed with junk.

From this... those. Remember them?
But I digress.

There I was, at the grocery store, with the 4year old sitting calmly in the cart. Nana was at the other end of the supermarket, digging into her list while I was at the end of mine.

That’s when I saw it.

At the end of Aisle 5, a big-ass display featuring Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash. AKA: the leaders of the obnoxious Equestria gang. Also, Hot Wheels.

Son of a bitch.

I mean, it’s one thing to navigate around the candy at the checkout and the bendy straws, fuzzy worms and tiny plastic xylophones that are cleverly hung in front of the breakfast cereal and next to the peanut butter, but an entire freaking My Little Pony display?

It’s like the supermarket wanted to see me dance.

"Can I have one mommy?"


"Pleeeeeeeeease can I have one?"


"Just one?"




And so, I did what any mother would do. I pirouetted as I quickly distracted my child while turning the cart the opposite direction. You know, towards the KinderSurprise Eggs.

She didn't spot a hoof. Crisis averted.

I checked my list and lost my short-term memory in the process.

  • Dried chives. 

Spices were down at the other end of the store – on the aisle to the right, just past the…

Crap! My Little Pony! 

“Look, over there. What is that?” I shouted at my daughter diverting her gaze over to the ice cream display.

“You mean that fat lady?” She whispered, loudly and unhelpfully.

Never mind. The chives were in my cart and victory was mine.

I looked at the list again.

  • Coffee cream. 

No problem, I decided to take a shortcut and headed past the crackers towards the dairy case…

Dammit! My Little Pony! 

And so it went.

  • Almonds. 


  • Frozen peas. 

Bloody Hell! 

  • Orange juice. 

Oh for the love of god! 

Every item on my list brought me within inches of Ponyville. It was perplexing and exhausting to say the least. Both for me and for the store clerk who started to tail me after spying me on security cameras 4, 7 and 9. I must have appeared drunk as I orbited around the colorful display like a reprobate.

I ran out of distractions (Cheezies, raisins, jellybeans...) just as the last item I needed (Greek Yogurt) was in the cart.

“Here honey, open another Kinder Egg.”

What? At least those tiny toys can be easily lost in a purse, car seat or trashcan.

Suck it grocery store. I win at motherhood.

No, really.

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