As it happens, babies turn from blobs of drooling squish to toddlers with a lot less drooling, still a tiny bit of squish and a rapidly expanding vocabulary. Then one day you turn around from filling a sippy cup and you’ve got a full-fledged kid on your hands. Somewhere in the night, the toddler version of your child slipped away without you knowing and against your stern protest that toddler morphed into a full-on kid. It chokes you and sucks the air from your lungs and as you bend the straw just right and hand them the sippy cup, and you wonder how in the hell that just happened.
Some things to know about my child:
- She has a strong sense of right and wrong, and she is forever concerned about hurting someone else or doing the wrong thing. Being a good friend is WAY high up on the priority list for my kid.
- She is über sensitive and cries at the drop of a hat. I attest this to being a girl, an only child and also, being nearly five.
- When she is hungry, she is a jerk. A whiny, non-listening, non-cooperative jerk. I cannot fault her this flaw, because both my husband & I possess it and it’s been known to rear its ugly head a time or two. Or a million. No need to argue semantics.
Last weekend we had one of those blow-outs that probably changed the course of our relationship (she & I). See, we were in the Wal-Mart. The world knows how I feel about that God-forsaken establishment. It makes me want to say bad swears. I freaking hate Wal-Mart. HATE. We had to go there after school though because we needed some things that only they carry. (Dear Target – please carry more party supplies that don’t break the bank. Please?) On the way there, Louie told me that her eye hurt and the only way it was going to feel better was if I bought her a chocolate chip cookie. Fair enough. I feel like lots of times in life a cookie is good medicine so I told her I would indeed buy said cookie to help heal her sore eyeball. We parked and walked into the McDonald’s where the chick who worked there decided after FIVE FREAKING MINUTES that she would finally get off her phone and come see what she could do to help us. I ordered one cookie and was told the wait time would indeed be 10 minutes, because they had to bake one. Well, bite my butt. We’re in Wal-Mart. There are cookies in here for sure. I tell Louie to come on, we’ll go find some cookies in the store. This is immediately unacceptable to her, so she decides that moment would be an appropriate time to start acting like a butt-face.
As I was looking at a slipcover, that little stinker STOMPED HER FOOT at me, raised her voice and told me she wanted a cookie. Oh hell no you didn’t. You’re gonna go all Wal-Mart on me… IN Wal-Mart? And then you’re gonna make me yell at you all Wal-Mart style, IN Wal-Mart. Not cool, but I’ll accept the challenge. Game on. So I proceeded to chew her butt and she promised me she’d be good. Twelve freaking seconds later this albino boy with his hair dyed black (seriously, palest kid I’ve ever seen, probably 16 years old, white eyebrows and eyelashes and 1″ white roots, long black leather trench coat, chain wallet and… loafers. The ones that aren’t real leather and you can see where the black has rubbed off the toe and it’s just that gross grey stuff) appears in the aisle next to us on his wired cell phone headset thingamabob that probably only my mother still uses. Maybe he’s afraid of sound waves in the air, too. I don’t know. Also, I’m suddenly wondering… why is he looking at throw pillows? Anyway, he’s on the phone with his friend talking about female anatomy located in the nether regions, and the act in which one “pounds” it. I’m trying to be a lady here. I am a freaking mom. Cut me some slack. He’s not being quiet on his phone call, and proceeds to make his friend a bet that he’s going to encounter some lady-bits before his friend does – they’ve bet 50 of those dungeons & dragons trading cards on this wager to determine who scores first. My brain is itching because part of me wants to tell the poor kid that I can guarantee based on the evidence presented to me that there will be no contact with real-life lady bits, that’s a sure-fire bet that I’d be willing to place, and also, my nearly 5-year-old kid is standing there staring at him. Listening to all of the words. She doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but I’m starting to have a little bit of an internal panic attack about the questions I’m going to have to answer in the car on the way home. I’m mentally cursing her intense desire to know all of the things. What do I do? What any other mom of a little girl would do, naturally. I yelled at him. IN MY MOM VOICE.
Me: (Eyebrow raised like a boss. Full on game-face.) ”Dude!”
Kid: (Shrugs shoulders. Raises eyebrow.) “What??”
Me: (Throws THE LOOK towards the toddler.) “SHE’S FIVE.”
Kid: (Shrugs shoulders again.) “AND?”
Me: ‘WATCH YOUR MOUTH.”
Kid: (Returns to phone-call about nether-region lady bits) “Sorry, Bro. I just got yelled at by some old lady.”
Um, eff you albino goth kid. I’m not old. Also? Have some respect for the toddler who stands in front of you, and for the girls you’re for sure not gonna get with the offer you’re putting on the table. Just a thought. My boss was kind enough to point out to me that I was in fact old enough to be the kids mom. I feel like that was a below-the-belt shot. Not cool. Double-whammy, not cool.
Anyway, he walked away and Louie & I went about our shopping. We made it over to the party supplies where she proceeded to hurdle massive quantities of items into the cart with such rapid fire that I literally could not keep track. Dollar signs were floating out of my cart, so I knew we had to pump the brakes. We finished up shopping for supplies while she complained the entire time about everything I picked out and we headed to the nail polish because I wanted a matte clear coat for this thing I saw on Pinterest which totally didn’t work. We found a container of chips ahoy cookies on the way to find this nail polish. In hind sight I should have put her squatty butt in the cart and let her munch on the cookies. Alas, I did not. Anyway, she’s touching things and picking up things and just being a butt. I had finally had enough when she dropped a ceramic hello kitty piggy bank on the ground (and thankfully didn’t break it). I dragged her to the front of the store, and we paid and left.
When we got to the car and I opened the door for her to get in she said “Get my cookies before you get in.” I feel as though some key words were left out there, so while I slipped them into my purse without her noticing, I didn’t say anything. She proceeded to SCREAM at me to get her the cookies. IT’s possible that I opened them and ate two in front of her. It’s also possible that she flipped out so severely at me that I did not give her a bite of anything on the way home and perhaps sent her to her room when we got home to think about the way she behaved throughout the time we were in the store and for the 20 minute drive home. ALL THE WAY HOME. ALL THE WAY. What I heard from inside of her bedroom was oddly reminiscent of the time she did this. (Turn your speakers down.)
I’ll leave you with that little nugget and tomorrow I’ll tell you about the aftermath – where she made me feel like the worst human alive.
Parenting is a tough gig.