We've always said, there's "Emmanuel," there's "Emmanuel without his medication" and then there's "Grocery Store Emmanuel."
Emmanuel's favorite thing to do besides play soccer is go to the grocery store. We really have improved at this over the last year and a half although it is always an adventure. From the beginning, Emmanuel has always insisted on pushing the cart. My best efforts to detour him from this were highly unsuccessful. The first few times he constantly ran into old people. The older and the more disabled the better. I remember one time he ran right into the back of a 90 year old man with a walker. The man was so surprised, the hip Emmanuel had broken was of little concern compared to the heart attack I thought he might have. Emmanuel looked up at him with a smile and yelled SORRY in a very thick Liberian accent at the time. The man went from startled to more surprised and got out, "uh, that's OK."
In the next aisle he ran into a cardboard (who thought of cardboard) display of packaged soup. I was overtired and my immediate response was to laugh uncontrollably, which the manager of the store did not think was funny. Emmanuel has had some of his biggest meltdowns, petrified rock imitations, and go-kart races at the grocery store. I have turned around and lost him in an instant. On one occasion when I couldn't immediately find him again, we were known well enough to have a customer and an employee say, "your son went that way." We have made lots of friends at Cub Foods. One time Emmanuel was giving me a problem and a black man looked at him and said, "I'm watching you." Emmanuel responded like the drill sergeant in the army had threatened him with a dishonorable discharge. The man then gave him a cookie. For weeks I was able to tell Emmanuel "the man" was watching him. He would constantly ask, is that man watching me?
Emmanuel is still speedy with the cart, especially when he gets a little weight in it and gets a running start. But he is much more into helping now than he is into using the elderly as moving targets. He even gets compliments from some of them on what a good helper he is and he makes a lot of friends. What a long way my little helper has come. Oh and we usually have donuts.
Quotes From Abegail:
Abegail and Daddy are discussing who is a faster runner.
Daddy: When my knee heals I'm going to have a bionic leg
Abegail: I think your head is faster than your feet.