Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Another One of Those Days


Today I smeared mayonnaise on my wall...on purpose. My son started it by drawing about a dozen foot long vertical lines on the wall in black crayon. I did take a few moments to analyze his artistic expression. Perhaps he's feeling a certain sense of darkness. Maybe those are supposed to be prison bars and he's trying to tell me that he feels trapped, that he's suffering from a lack of autonomy and doesn't feel the sense of freedom that he hoped for in this world. Oh wait...maybe that's me. Nevermind.

So after some internet research I discovered that crayon can be removed with mayonnaise. The website I visited provided a number of crayon removal techniques, but said that the mayonnaise method required the least amount of elbow grease. It did actually work, but elbow grease was definitely required. And I think my wall still smells vaguely like mayonnaise. Not the happiest morning.

This afternoon I wanted to take it easy--no tantrums, no fights, just a relaxing time. So I took my son with me to pick up some groceries, and to avoid total freak outs I let him walk with me and help me put vegetables in our basket rather than strapping him into a stroller. However, he's not the sort of kid who likes to stick with a parent and he's prone to dashing out in traffic, tripping other people, and generally causing mayhem. So if I want to let him walk I have to make him wear a backpack with a leash on it. It's the only way to keep him both safe and happy, so I do it.

And then I was totally judged by a 12 year old who was standing behind us in line at the Kins Market. He was quite a dapper looking pre-teen. Well dressed, perfectly styled hair. He looked at me with my child on a leash and said to his mother with obvious disapproval "I can't believe that kid is on a leash!". I shouldn't have felt crappy. It was a 12 year old after all who knows just about zero about caring for a child, but I still felt just a tiny bit of shame creeping in, because I never really thought I would be that mom with her kid on a leash. I, in my younger days, couldn't figure out why anyone would need to harness their child in order to go for a walk. But when you have given birth to the equivalent of a hyperactive chimpanzee you suddenly see the logic of it.

After my shopping trip I slunk guiltily to the McDonald's where I intended to have a peaceful meal. Before the judgements start pouring forth let me just say that I am totally aware that bringing my child to McDonald's is going to make him obese, physically incapable of eating anything healthy for the rest of his life, and may very well result in an immediate and spontaneous diabetic coma. But if that's the price I have to pay for half an hour of well mannered dining, then I'm willing to pay it. The occasional ingestion of chicken nuggets is just one more of those coping mechanisms I never thought I would need as a parent, but it turns out that I need all the help I can get.

We bought our dinner and we were sitting happily devouring processed chicken that probably isn't even meat and is actually just a salt-lick in disguise. My son was joyously dipping artery clogging french fries in ketchup (aka red sugar) and sucking the ketchup off. I was killing myself slowly with a McChicken sandwich. We were having a good time: mother and son side-by-side sharing a moment that didn't involve crying or punching or screaming or hysterics of any kind. Then my son spilled an entire container of milk into my lap. When I stood up I found that it most definitely appeared that I had peed my pants. My jeans were soaked through at the crotch and milk was dripping down my pant legs. I had to walk up to the front counter where I declared loudly that my son had spilled milk on me, just in case anyone was ready to go home and tell their friends that some poor woman peed herself in the McDonald's.

Humiliated and defeated I took my son back to our car, but he didn't want to get in, and he pulled the back arching trick so I couldn't bend him into his car seat, then he had the screaming, crying tantrum I had been trying so desperately to avoid and I sat in my wet pants and drove uncomfortably home where I was able to change into the signature defeated mommy yoga pants that are the trade-mark of crushed dreams everywhere and I am now counting down the minutes to bed-time so I can sit in a bath of nearly scalding water in an attempt to wash away my milk encrusted day.

I will live to fight another day tomorrow.