I’m starting to realize the seductive power of letting your identity take a backseat to your child or children: namely, you get some MAD ATTENTION when you’re with kids.
Let me add a few adulterated examples to illustrate my point:
Grocery shopping without kid(s):
* Arrive at grocery store by whatever means your fancy takes you
* Go through own list or walk through aisles in as much formication as you may find necessary.
* Defiantly push asshole’s cart which is blocking your access to your necessity.
* Assert in your mind that citron honey is a necessity.
* Roll your eyes when bitch with the slingbacks tries to cut ahead of you at the deli counter.
* Push past person who clearly has sixteen items and is trying to beat you to the "15 or
Less Fewer!" aisle.
* Grab gum, water, chocolate bar at impulse-buy aisle.
* Realize a little too late that the chocolate bar pushed you to sixteen items.
* Schlep groceries home by whatever means you can.
Grocery shopping with kid(s):
* Arrive at grocery store in car clearly designed to haul provisions to Foreign Legion.
* Check purse for snacks, water, toy.
* Systematically avoid aisles with temptations.
* If venturing in such aisles, premeditate the attack and announce you will buy treat of your own choosing.
* Make a beeline for whatever samples are available, as child has inhaled snack.
* Issue myriad heartfelt "pardon me", "excuse me!" "so sorry" and "my mistake"-type sentences any time your child says something loud/obnoxious/hysterical, yet inapporpriate/way too loudly.
* Wait for five minutes while the nice lady in the slingback pumps coos and flirts with child.
* Get stopped way too often because people want the child to say hello or goodbye or want to ask you how old he/she is.
* Realize child has torn/eaten list.
** Bonus: share with complete stranger that this has happened. Enjoy mirthful exchange of stories (or rarely, stunned silence)
* Start again.
* Explain to child why it’s not such a good idea to sit on the cart.
* Watch child dangle like monkey from cart and climb another cart.
* Finally, attempt to ward off the balloon temptation. Fail.
* Load child up.
* Load groceries up.
* Realize that CPS might come get you if you leave child in car while you return grocery cart.
* Have inner struggle where you weigh the cosmic karma involved in leaving the shopping cart far away vs. leaving child in car.
* Optional: angel appears out of nowhere, asks you how old child is, makes small talk, takes your cart.
See? Whether positive or negative attention, you get far more attention if you have one munchkin trailing behind you (or two or three or..). I mean… it’s like attention whore paradise!
Disclaimer: I did not just call you a whore. I said, "attention whore".
Another example? Oh, you humor me too much, ladies and gentlemen.
Going for an autumnal walk without kid(s):
* Check weather.
* Dress accordingly.
* Grab keys and wallet/purse/whatever you use, jeez.
* Open door.
* Come back, invigorated, exhilarated, serene.
* Optional: Cautiously place your collection of perfect mottled leaves on the counter, knowing that you’ll find it in the same spot and in the same arrangement when you’re ready to do tasteful collage to decorate a room.
Going for an autumnal walk with kid(s):
* Check weather.
* Check again and grab extra clothing –whether it be for warmer or cooler weather.
* Grab camera just in case child does something worth recording.
* Realize child ALWAYS does something worth recording.
* Grab extra memory card.
* Bundle child up.
* Bundle self up.
* Grab stroller/sling, umbrella, extra diapers (if applicable), snack, flashlight.
* Grab Elmo/object of child’s true love and affection.
* Go outdoors.
* Realize that you want child to experience thrill of walking through the crunch of dead leaves.
* Unleash child.
* Watch as they walk through delightful crunch of autumn leaves for 27 seconds.
* Watch in horror as child takes off running toward oncoming traffic.
* Run after child.
* See other people also react to child.
* Yell all manner of threats at child.
* See little poophead stop short of the curb, turn to look at you and laugh butt off.
* Feel fire shooting out of your eyes.
* Fend off well-meaning people’s questions about child’s well-being.
* Be told how cute child is.
* Overhear comments about how people either miss or do not miss my child’s age.
** Bonus: have stranger assume your boy is a girl or your girl is a boy.
* Grab child and attempt to finish enjoying walk.
* Ignore whines and cries and bawls emerging from child, who thoroughly enjoyed walking –like you thought he/she would– and is not enjoying being restrained as much.
* Roll eyes.
* Answer more questions about how old your child is.
* Wheel self and posse back home.
* Unload "stuff"
* Realize you didn’t take one picture.
* Take picture of your now sleeping angel (if applicable)
* Reach for the stiff stuff.
See? I’m telling you.
Having a child is like money in the attention bank! But I guess the larger question is, Are You Ready For That Attention Jelly? And furthermore, can you as nothing more than a mere mortal, stand that much attention?
After rereading this list however, I must say that a prescription for Valium (or generic equivalent) should definitely be issued by the state when one has had a baby.
Pee Ess: How do you like my words of the day? Didn’t I make you think weird thoughts?
The “with” part I remember well. Like it or not, kids will get you noticed. I think some people like it just a little TOO much, from what I’ve seen. Thanks for the chuckle, and the vocabulary lessons!
I absolutely love this post… So funny – and all too true!
wow. i had no idea that people repeatedly ask you your child’s age when you’re out with your kid. whenever i’ve been out with my niece, she gets complimented and stuff, but no one ever asks her age. i’m sure they’re just making small talk to be nice and get some extra time in the presence of your adorable child tho.
Best Post Ever. You had me rolling on the floor laughing (well, not literally, but there was much giggling and loud ha ha-ing). What I mean to say is ‘damn you’re funny’. Thanks for the laughs.
It’s true. You _are_ funny. The before/after meditation is such a strange one anyway, but your guided version gives much residual chuckle.
*grins* You have not yet hit the loss of identity when you start meeting people who say “Hello. Oh, you’re so-and-so’s mother. I’m different-so-and-so’s mother.” Of course, all the kids in the neighbourhood also know you as so-and-so’s mother. After a while you start forgetting what your real name is, especially if your husband hasn’t called you by name for a while. So when you meet someone who wants your name you’re thinking “I can’t say Dear or Darling, that’s what my husband calls me. I can’t say Mommy or so-and-so’s mother, this isn’t a kid or a parent. What is my name again?” Then you make a quick excuse about needing to use the bathroom and once there pull out your ID to see who you are again. Then you return with dignity and extend your freshly washed hand (to continue with the excuse) and politely introduce yourself by name!
It gets even more fun when you try telling your child what your name is and they won’t believe you. 🙂