I had the day off yesterday so my friend Amy and I took Junior to Pier One (NPR, if you’re reading this, me and the boy were just pressing our bony noses against the pretty glass).
Ahem. Pier One is a lovely store, but it’s also the least child-friendly store on the planet. The aisles are ridiculously narrow. Fragile ornaments rest on wobbly stands. Long drapes billow underfoot. It’s a nightmare, but I can’t help myself. The store smells and feels like all the things I wish my house could be.
We’d only been in the store a few minutes when an employee dropped a glass vase near the registers. My first thought, which I kept to myself, was, “Serves you right, you precarious placers!” Junior’s first thought, which he shared with the entire store, was a loud “Uh oh.”
There was a cheery round of laughter. Someone said, “How cute.”
Junior, being the attention whore he is, said it again—louder. This time the laughter was a lot less cheery.
“Ok, sweetie,” I said, “everyone heard you.”
“Junior, shut it.”
“Uh oh. Uh oh. Uh oh.”
Because I’m a new mom and I’m terrified that someone will make a snarky comment about my child, which will mean I will have to punch said person’s light out, I made a beeline for the door. Junior, meanwhile, kept yammering on.
“Uh oh. Uh oh. Uh oh.”
“I swear I’m gonna—”
When we passed the employee who had dropped the vase, she stopped sweeping and looked at Junior.
“Now you’re just making me feel bad,” she told him. He did that weird eye squint he does when he’s not sure which of the seven words he’s learned is appropriate, then decided not to say anything.
On the car ride home he flailed and grunted in the back like a bronco with hot sauce in its ass, even though Amy and I so very graciously sang him 20 rounds of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star—and we have great voices! Album-worthy voices!
As Junior nears his 15 month milestone, I’ve come to the conclusion that mothering—thus far anyway—means:
1) never feeling like you know what’s going on
2) not being sure if you’re going to like the fact that your kid is a smart ass chatterbox
3) laughing wickedly as your kid drags himself across the living room floor in the puffy orange blob of a pumpkin costume you got him for Halloween and thinking Oh my God, how did I ever live without him?
P.S. I got the Halloween costume at Marshall's for half the price of the other store. They're not paying me to say this but they're having a shoe giveaway. Maybe they thought I needed some new shoes.
About me: I'm 42 and added another gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 9-year-old Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.