And You’ll Know Me By The Spill of Water

Dear readers,

Did you know that plastic can shatter if enough violence is applied to it?
Did you know your face can actually feel numb when it blushes beyond the capillaries’ volume limits?
Did you know that to shop at Whole Foods it is desirable to have a big bug stuck up your ass?
And finally, did you know that humble pie is actually quite tasty? 

It’s true.  It tastes like chicken.

_______

This week’s prompt over at CHBM is a dual one because those girls are gettin’ fancy.

“My proudest moment as a mother was when…” OR “My mother/grandmother’s best piece of advice."

I sometimes get the feeling that if my heart weren’t already black and hard as stone, I could tell you a moving story from when I was pregnant or from those sleep-deprived early days, where I couldn’t believe that such a beautiful little human being had ever been inside my abdominal cavity in the first place.  Or I could narrate how even though my mother was not with me when I gave birth, she was actually coaching me and timing my contractions from 2000 miles away and making sure I stayed positive during the labor I thought was just a case of bad gas

Alas, I am a cold-hearted little Dragon Lady and you can’t make me. 

_______

Before becoming a slave to my hormonal functions, I was an even bigger and more intolerant little Dragon Miss (Miss, since I was not a married Lady).  I loved (lo-o-o-ved!) glaring at women who simply did not seem to keep their kids under control.  I would smugly think that I would know what to do because I would simply not allow myself to be in the situation that led to public misbehavior in the first place, for instance (maybe I thought I’d be taking the kid or kids to live in a secluded abbey).

Well, so you can imagine what happens next:  as I become a mother and discover that it really is very hard and it’s thankless as all getout and seriously, the easiest part really was the labor –as a few women joked with me on several different occasions while I was pregnant–  I discover that it’s easy to be arrogant and haughty and blasé with others when the people you’re bound to love the most in the entire world haven’t even made an appearance in your life to kick you in the shins and force you to be a little more humble.

My proudest moments as a mother –for there is not just one– are the ones when my beautiful baby kicks my shins with his little size-sixes-going-on-sixes-and-a-half and then smiles his beautiful smile and warms a tiny piece of my shrunken heart, and I realize that I can’t control everything and that it is all okay –which is something my mother has offered as a piece of advice far too often and which I like to dismiss just as often.
So today’s episode with the bottle of water that I’d given him to keep him amused because he loves bottles and loves saying that they are all full of "Agua!  Agua!" as he begs for the bottle to be opened so he can get a sip fits the bill very nicely.

I knew it was probably a mistake to offer a bottle of red-colored water (one of those VitaminWater things) that, in a moment of excitement, he could easily hurl over the edge of the shopping cart.  Herr Meow was reaching his edge where the excitement of shopping and saying hello to people was wearing off and hunger and boredom were setting in, but I still proffered the bottle one more time, to keep him quiet and amused and because I was not paying attention.

So he gave me what I should know as "The Look of Mischievous Impatience" and down the bottle went.  It must have hit the floor at a bad angle because the neck was smoothly bumped off when I picked up the suddenly-one-quarter-full bottle –in other words, the bit where the cap goes was actually by my feet, whereas the rest of the bottle was spilling near the side of the cart.

Rev. Mom, who was ahead of me, turned to see me sermonizing Herr Meow on how not nice what he’d done was.

"Not nice" he repeated, pouting a little.  "Not nice."

I took the water bottle we’d been sharing –which for some reason had not incurred his bottle-hurling wrath– and explained that since he’d thrown one bottle, he could not have the other one.

"Bott!  Bott!!  Bottt?"  He pleaded, although mildly.

But then I saw two things:

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the lady standing in line behind me.  She was eyeing us with aversion and disgust, as she had to manoeuver dangerously around the spill to put her groceries on the conveyor belt.

And as I turned my head, I saw my mother, giving the woman behind me a withering look.  She then turned and smiled her "Leniency, please" smile.  I relented on the kid and gave him his water bottle, which he held gently and close to him until we got home.  I told the checker of our oops and offered to pay for the drink, but he just waved his hand and smiled.

Later Rev. Mom remarked on how the woman behind me had given the baby a dirty look.  I told her I knew.

We both smiled.  We knew.

And that’s a proud mother moment.

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This entry was published on May 9, 2007 at 4:25 pm and is filed under Herr Meow!. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “And You’ll Know Me By The Spill of Water

  1. You know, the lady in line behind you sounds familiar . . .if I didn’t know better I would swear that she follows me around, just waiting for instances of less than stellar child behavior to frown upon!
    Screw her.

  2. I really enjoyed that. I’m visiting from CHBM and can’t believe this is the first time I’ve found your blog.
    When he gets bigger, he’ll do what my Stinkerbell does and be the disapproving child, tsk tsk tsk’ing at the shameful behavior of the other kids. Yeah, that’s fun.

  3. Yes. Yes, it does taste like chicken.

  4. This was a good post. I’ve noticed that people who don’t have children, or must have forgotten what it was like when their children were young tend to get terribly upset when their peace and quiet is disturbed by small children. I admit, I used to be one. However, I never went so far as to make nasty faces at children. To be honest, I’ve noticed that I tend to more give evil eyes to the parents, especially when the children are behaving absolutely horribly. It’s one thing for there to be an accident from a child being overly excited about something. It’s quite another for your child to be pulling stuff off the shelves and throwing it haphazardly about when mommy and/or daddy aren’t paying any attention. It’s also quite another when your child starts having a fit in the store and you start yelling at them like a banchee. These are things I give parents dirty looks for. If you or your child is going to behave that way in public, please don’t come out in public.

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