There is a tiny children's library in the mall near my home. They host story time and sing-alongs for kids throughout the week, and the two times I've taken Kate, she nearly worked up a lather she was so stoked to be clapping, swaying and watching tons of babies and moms basically make fools of themselves. I was horrified the first time I went. I literally thought to myself, "I don't belong here." This happened the second time we went back, but despite all my misgiving I saw how much Kate was enjoying it, so I vowed to make it a priority that we go once a week and that I actively participate instead of thinking how much more I would enjoy it with a cocktail in hand.
This morning, Kate woke early and surly. I mean, this was a girl who was NOT a happy camper. And for no obvious or outward reason. I called Ben to complain about how hard life is when your toddler thinks you are an idiot and he invited me to meet him out for lunch. I figured having Ben in charge for an entire lunch hour was just the break I needed so I loaded Kate in the car seat where she screamed at top voice for the full 15 minutes it took to get to the restaurant. As soon as we entered the door and she saw Daddy though, girl turned into an absolute angel. I mean, playing peek a boo, waving, flirting with strangers and all around charming the pants off everyone around her. I knew better. While young, she is still my daughter and her ability to manipulate the people around her are uncanny. But at least she was good, and she ate like a champ. Half an avocado, chicken, black beans, corn. This girl was taking it DOWN.
After lunch, Ben put her in the car seat and she groused slightly until he closed the door and was out of ear shot. And then, as soon as she knew we were alone, she gave a piercing howl and proceeded to give me an ass chewing for just being alive. I decided that it was now the perfect time to go to the mall for the sing-along, because I could not stand the thought of taking Kate home and being yelled at for an entire afternoon. I figured the class would entertain her and I may even get to do some shopping afterwards.
We arrived slightly late and took a seat in the corner. Now, I probably will have to do a whole other post dedicated to the stay-at-home mom in Dallas, but needless to say some moms intimidate the hell out of me -- and this class was full of them. I found myself apologizing when Kate crawled over to play with someone else's baby, because everyone else's kids are just kind of sitting around and staring into space or actually singing along, and Kate wants to, you know, PLAY. Like, come ON, what is WRONG with you? You don't get it, here you just stick my fist in your mouth, like this...
And then I'm apologizing for my daughter sticking her full fist in some kids mouth. Who, by the way, didn't really seem to mind, but whatever.
So I keep Kate in my lap during the singing, and she really is just NOT enjoying it. But I grit my teeth and we stay through the entire half hour. Once the formal class is finished and people start to file out, I let Kate down to cut a rug, and she is crawling around like a manic off her meds. At one point I look down to see her urp up a little lunch and crawl right through it. I'm embarrassed and start to swing down to grab her but she is on the move and before you can say "STOP, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!" she horks up her entire lunch, I'm talking PROJECTILE vomits, all over the floor next to some woman's shoe.
Some women's DESIGNER shoe. I'm stunned. She is stunned. Kate is FINALLY happy and starts babbling as she PLAYS WITH HER VOMIT ON THE FLOOR.
It is at that moment that I seriously hoped lightening would strike me dead. Sure, Kate would be an orphan, but Ben has a good family support system, and I think they would be okay. I start spewing apologies as I mop up the mess and can literally feel my face go from embarrassed red to KILL ME, KILL ME, KILL ME red.
We hustled out of there and I rushed to the car, where I stripped Kate naked and strapped her in her seat. Despite having just emptied the contents of her stomach, she seemed to finally be back to my sweet and loving baby. She stroked my face and cooed at me and there was no screaming or fussing of any kind. I got her home and into bed and she conked out and is still sleeping. My guess is that she is probably is having lovely dreams of puppies and rainbows and music sing-alongs with bells.
I on the other hand have the shakes, nausea and am dreaming of world where babies poop sunshine. Where, oh where, is THAT world? I'd be a really good mommy there...