Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Awkward Mom vs the Children's Museum

We now return you to the ongoing adventures of the Amazing Brothers and their side-kick, Awkward Mom! When we last left our intrepid trio, they were preparing to face that foe of awkward moms everywhere….The Children’s Museum…..

OK, maybe no one saw us enter the room. Enter…more like fall, but anyway, maybe no one saw…..You see, what happened was…..the baby is teething. This makes him rather slippery, and I am trying to keep him up on my hip, but his head control isn’t exactly where we would like it. Most of the time he is fine, but every couple steps or so, he’s reeling back like he is about to fall off a ledge. He does about the time that the toddler, who is really excited about the promise of kids to play with, trips over his feet and mine. So, I am adjusting my hold on the baby, hitting the Niagara Falls of droll and desperate not to drop him, while I am tripping over the toddler, and it doesn’t help that I am wearing those cute chucky heeled shoes with the flared bell bottomed jeans. But they make me look taller…and thinner. You see, I don’t want a repeat of last time. Last time we were here, I was wearing a skirt from the back of the closet that really ought to stay there and some flip flops that showed, in total glory, my un-pedicure toes and dry feet. The shirt covered with spit-up I can’t really do anything about, but at least I am sure I remembered to comb my hair and brush my teeth this morning. Pretty sure.

Anyway, so all this juggling happens right at the entrance to the toddler play area, which is, as evidenced by my toddler’s excitement, full of kids. It is also full of moms, to my utter dismay. I mean, I want to connect to other moms, but not all at once. And not when they are all witness to our entrance, I mean flop, into the room. The toddler out and out falls, skids across the floor, pops up, and takes off for the gaggle of kids by the play kitchen. I wobble on my heels, while holding the baby aloft, like some sort of baby beacon, and end up doing some sort of wiggle dance that is 1 part teeter and 2 parts stumble and no part grace.

OK…so there is a bit of a silence when we land, just a little one. It is quickly engulfed by the melodic tones of children happily screaming. Ah…ok, I can do this. We find a bench near some moms and sit down. Ok, plop down, but the baby is hungry……again. So, I feed him and settle in for some peace, if not quiet. Maybe some mom bonding. Yes, today is the day. Today we will make friends! I will be approachable but not needy. Relaxed yet not careless. I will impress. I will be charming. I will…be covered in spit up. Hey baby, a little warning next time. Oh, you didn’t only get me this time, baby. I am so sorry, ma’am. No, you don’t have to leave. It is ok. Here let me wipe that off you; can’t imagine how he gets it so far. Maybe he will be in sports or something. Not that projectile spitting is a sport…..yet. Oh, you have to go, ok….nice to meet you, sorta. Yep, yet again, the baby and I clear the bench. At least, it isn’t the room…..this time.

I spy the toddler across the room. He seems to be faring better than us. He has attached himself to a little girl, and they are playing some version of house that involves washing Barbies and Tonka Trucks in the refrigerator. Oh well, he seems happy. Wonder who that girl’s mom is? Maybe I should say hi, you know, since our children are playing so nicely……hmmm…..some nice looking moms over there. No….they belong with those kids by the water table. How about that sleepy looking one by the corner? Nope; twin baby girls, should’ve know. Maybe it is that one; she looks nice. Ponytail, jeans, t-shirt; oh, is that a stain? This could work, she looks normal. She is looking over by the play kitchen; Yes! Wait….no, false alarm; she must be with the boy next to it with the legos. So, who is this girl’s mother? Oh. There she is. Sweater set. Perfect hair, with makeup and nail polish. Summer skirt, ironed, no less. Strappy Sandals, with…wait for it… yes, a pedicure. Great.Perfect Mom.

The toddler calls me over to meet his new friend. I inch my way through a game of tag, an army of dinosaurs, and 2 runaway babies. I greet the toddler, who hands me a play orange. His new friend gives me a block with an H on it. They then proceed to ignore me completely. I sidle over to perfect mom, who also ignores me completely. I stand there for awhile, watching the happy moms chat and smile; cursing my luck and wondering how to get this woman’s attention without being weird. The baby must want to help. All of a sudden, his diaper explodes. And I mean it; it explodes. The smell hits me about the same time I feel the wet ooze out of his onsie onto my hip. The smell also gets to perfect mom. What multi-tasking skills! I have never seen anyone grab a child so fast, rubbing her down completely with Hand Sanitizer and wipes, while shooing away my toddler and texting the whole incident to someone on her brand new iphone. I am equally impressed and horrified.

I gingerly carry the baby toward the door, not wanting to shake anything loose onto the carpet or a passing child. I call to the toddler to come, but, feeling the sudden loss of his friend and not wanting to go yet, he looks at me with that look. You know that look. The tiny little warning you get that a sound loud enough to peel paint is about to exit his tiny little mouth. I try, but I am just not that fast. The meltdown to rule all other meltdowns erupts right there in the play kitchen. Toys go flying; a banana goes by my ear. Some dishes get all the way to the water table. I think his sheer volume knocks over a little girl and deafens a passing boy. It also starts a chain reaction of tears that immediately has the collective mom hate honed in on me and my brood. This, of course, results in the complete and total attention of the whole room, as I try to somehow back out the door, while carrying both of them and avoiding kicking legs, waving arms, and whatever that wet stuff is running down my back. Needless to say, I walk right into the door.

It appears that her old foes Children’s Museum and Perfect Mom have bested Awkward Mom once again. Can she recover? Will the toddler ever stop crying? And just what is the wet stuff oozing down her back? For the answers and more, join us next time! Same mom time, same mom channel.

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