Friday, May 16, 2008

See and Be Seen

Someday, my child will embarrass me in public. This may or may not involve the loud chanting of things I would rather that people not know, or perhaps a tantrum or two. Or a tantrum times ten to the power of eight.

Someday, I will embarrass my child in public. Probably for being way cooler than the other moms. No, that's not it. Probably for having wacky hair and a skeletal system that looks like it was assembled by someone with the fortune of owning super-glue, and the misfortune of attention deficit disorder. She just won't care when I tell her that I used to appear normal, but co-sleeping with an active baby who likes to kick me in the face with both feet does a number on your entire system.

Currently, I endure the "unwanted attention in public because you have a baby" stage. Perhaps I should blame public schools- where else would random strangers get the collective idea that peering into my baby's eyes at a distance of three micrometers and bellowing "Ah-BOOOO!" is a positive thing?

We draw a crowd at church. Typically, I need to change Gianna as soon as we get there. It seems church has a laxative effect on her. This involves making my way through her crowd of loyal fans, young and old. Then, desecrating the nursery with the scent of three days worth of taste testing food, including blueberries, which never ever ever come out of diapers. Ever. Unless you sun them, and then they do. Unless you leave the diaper out in the rain, and then forever after you look critically at each one as it comes out of the dryer and wonder- are you the diaper I left outside so carelessly?

My parenting choices sometimes draw a crowd. Yesterday I was talking to two other moms at the park, while Gianna sat in the mulch and inquired about each one.

Me: "Blah blah boring grownup talk, blah blah"

Gianna, holding up a piece of mulch: "Dis?"

Me: "Mulch."

Gianna, holding up a different piece of mulch: "Dis?"

Me: "Mulch."

Gianna, holding up a different piece of mulch: "Dis?" And so on and so forth. She dug through all one thousand, eight hundred and seventy-two pieces in front of her until she hit dirt. Mmmm. After scrubbing her hand in the dirt very seriously, holding her hand in front of her even more seriously, and then going ahead and giving it a taste, she decided that it wasn't for her. With a ring of dirt around her mouth, she moved on to more of her interview: "Dis?" "Mulch." "Dis?" "Mulch." "Dis?"

Suddenly, a mom who wasn't a part of her group rushed over. "Ma'am, do you know your daughter is EATING DIRT?!?" She was quite horrified, and I'm sure she'd be even more horrified that sometimes, the dog creeps over to the highchair and gives Gianna's fist full of banana a surreptitious lick, before I roar and the dog flees to the comforts of the Neighborhood Dog Choir.

I glanced down. Gianna glanced up, telltale ring around her mouth. I couldn't hide that, could I? "Um, yeah!" I answered. Then I didn't know what to say, so I put on my best, "I'm not crazy" smile and waited. She stared at me, and walked back to her group. Probably to blog about the crazy-haired woman who fed her daughter dirt later in the day, who knows.

There just is no blending into the crowd with a baby.

1 comment:

gs said...

When I was growing up, and someone reported to my mother that I, or my brother or sister, was eating dirt, my mother would glibly reply, "Everyone needs to eat a peck of dirt before they die." Looking back on it, it seems odd that my mother would allow us to eat dirt if she really believed this, since if we could be prevented from achieving our peck quota, we would live forever, but I think what she really believed was that some people stuck their noses in where they didn't belong.