A trifecta of fail at Safeway yesterday afternoon:

1. The store is out of the single-serving microwave sticky rice I eat several times a week with lemon pepper tuna and shredded cheese. Dammit.

2. Miss Seven, as we pass by the feminine hygiene products, picks up a big pink box of Playtex tampons and yells over to me, “WHAT ARE THESE?” I try to keep moving. “Tampons,” I tell her, in a quiet voice. The shoppers around us kindly pretend like they aren’t paying attention. “WHAT ARE THEY FOR?” MissSeven continues. I let out a sigh that rattles the meat case. Mr11 turns pale. “They are for women,” I say as I move the cart around the corner, “Please put them back on the shelf.” “BUT WHAT DO WOMEN USE THEM FOR??” OK. I’m clearly not getting out of this one. As a professional parent, I know that these kinds of questions absolutely never come at any kind of good or non-embarrassing time. You have to answer them. I bend down to the ear of my tiny daughter and try to explain in one sentence and in appropriate language, the menstrual cycle. Her eyes widen. “WHERE DO THE TAMPONS GO IN THE WOMAN?” Oh dear christ god shit. That’s enough. I whisper to her that I will be glad to answer the rest of her questions at home, but the Safeway is not really the best place to talk about private bodily functions. I attempt a calm smile, and she accepts my deflection. Mr11 has melted into a puddle of shame in Aisle 8.

3. As we are checking out and unloading the contents of the cart onto the belt, Mr11 accidentally dumps an entire pint carton of blueberries onto the floor.

Maybe I will go to the QFC next time.