I didn't catch Mom's name as she negotiated a highly complex financial transaction with one of my co-workers. Apparently she had to review and approve the displayed price for each of her dozens of treasures before it was copiously wrapped and placed in a bag. (I hope the crew of the International Space Station appreciates the incoming delivery of 99-cent votive candles and holders.)
The children's names, on the other hand, are etched into my brain. Daughter Solace was compelled to leave all her worldly possessions strewn across the floor. And to touch anything within reach. And to climb to anything beyond reach. Maybe it was just my ears, but "Solace!!!" started sounding more and more like "Soulless" as it ricocheted around my skull.
Not to be outdone, son Odin demanded everything in sight. And tried to run away. And attempted to take out every adult in his path. When his ill-conceived plan failed, he threw a conniption worthy of his Norse god self. In about 25 years he'll have to tell little Thor all about it.
Seeing Solace and Odin reminded me that I haven't seen Princess Precious Cupcake and her mom in at least a year. The protective lining around my sanity has erased the Princess's real name from memory -- "Krystal" or "Angelique" or "Madisyn" or something equally precocious. Mom thought she was a Treasure (maybe that was her name).
Precious Treasure would climb all over the checkout counter and try to scan things they were buying. (Or not buying. Mom was also a "meticulous" shopper.) She'd pull things out of bags and scan them again. She'd scan random things and run away with them. Mom -- if you could peel the phone off her ear -- might notice and whimper, "I'm asking you not to do that, please. Next time I'll be sad." Baby Cupcake would shoot flames from her eyes and continue along with her evil plan.
But one day she crossed the line, invading my side of the checkout counter. Hiding and wreaking havoc. The first time in, I responded with: "You're not allowed back here; go stand with your mother." Second time: "I explained this to you; don't do it again." Third time (being the charm and all) I bent over and went eye-to-eye: "Listen to me. When you come back here and stand behind me, I can't see you. If can't see you, I'm going to step on you. When I step on you, it's going to hurt. You are not going to like it." She took my point.
I wonder where Cupcake is these days... my money's on the child pageant circuit.