Wednesday, December 15, 2010

don't be fooled by this look of innocence

(but how rad is that christmas sweater, i ask you?)

so last saturday i was happily making my way through the shops at town square shopping for all my boys who i'd also happily left at home, when i came upon a sight. while waiting in line to make my purchase at borders i watched the mother in front of me. she looked familiar. sweats. pony tail. no make-up. toddler hanging on her leg. it's not that i had ever seen her before. she just looked like what i imagine i look like most of the time. this day however, i was showered, dressed and cunningly disguised as a normal, fully functional person. so anyway, i watched her as she fumbled through her purse, searching for her wallet, pulling out wipes and crackers and sippy cups. i smiled as she repeatedly told her son "no" to every toy, book and piece of candy he asked for. i breathed a sigh of relief as i remembered that my anxiety of toddler-managing came from my sympathy for her and not because i actually had a toddler with me to manage. it was nice. i was the person watching the frazzled mom instead of the frazzled mom being watch by the person. so anywho, soon enough multi-tasking mom got distracted by chatty cashier just as busy toddler spied a bucket full of lindt chocolate. his eyes grew wide. his mouth watered. i can't say i blamed the kid. clearly he has good taste in chocolate. he peeked at his mom on his right. still distracted. he reached on tippy toes to the chocolates on his left. snatched one. at this point i did consider mentioning to frazzled mom that sneaky toddler had snatched a chocolate but let's be honest, i was basking in my own toddler-less-ness so i kept his little secret. over the next two minutes i watched sneaky toddler's antics, trying to get the wrapper off. he hid on one side of mom, wrestled with the wrapper. no success. he fidgeted over to the other side of mom, wrestled with the wrapper, no success. he finally decided he'd call uncle and save the chocolate for later. he reached for his pocket. pockets. should i put the chocolate down my pants? is it possible to hold it just tucked under the waistband? he tried out his hypotheses all to no avail. finally he spies pockets in mom's sweats. aha! fidget, fidget, lift up mom's shirt. (ps - at this point i caught sight of evidence that mom is know what i'm referring to...and this made it even funnier.) tries mom's right pocket. can't slip it in undetected. tries mom's left pocket. same difficulty. opts for mom's waistband. lindt chocolate is just about to disappear down mom's pants when she wraps things up with chatty cashier and finally notices sneaky toddler trying to sneak delicious chocolate, into her knickers of all things! her toddler management skills kick in full gear and lindt returns to lindt bucket and toddler is escorted out lindt-less.

so i kind of laugh
and think it's real funny
and consider blogging about it
but i don't

until now

because tonight it was my turn
i was the frazzled mom. sneaky toddler was indeed my own sneaky toddler.
i'm in line at hobby lobby. i'm fumbling and fidgeting and wrestling with armloads of stuff because who can really go to hobby lobby without buying armloads of stuff? and it's not like i was smart enough to get a basket to carry the armloads of stuff because i was too busy with 1) chasing crazy toddler, 2) pushing sort-of-fussy baby in the stroller, and 3) collecting armloads of stuff, to do anything reasonable like grab a basket on my way in. so i'm waiting in line, sorting through the armloads of stuff in an attempt to make some sort of rational decision like "how much of this crap can i actually live without?" and i'm literally making piles on the floor: buy, don't buy, maybe buy, hide in the candy isle instead of return to it's proper place, etc. when i'm approached by my own crazy toddler. "mom, open?" always followed by the sweet, innocent, "pwease?" i look up from my mountains of hobby lobby crap - chocolate. the boy has found the chocolate, the boy has half-opened the chocolate, the boy plans to fully-consume the chocolate. the chocolate would have indeed been consumed had he not run into the tedious obstacle of wrapper-removal. appears that history is repeating itself. it was, in fact, the cheesy crappy gold coin chocolate. he had managed to tear open the little bag and get out a gold coin. he'd even gotten half the gold coin wrapper off but he needed mom's help if he was going to actually get that gold coin into his mouth wrapperless. so i go through the whole, "no atticus. we don't open candy in a store. then we have to buy it." this of course gets translated into, "atticus if you want me to buy you candy from the store you just have to open the wrapper." this is a life changing piece of information to a toddler. so blah, blah, blah - i add the candy to my pile of "to buy" crap and try to ignore the fact that the couple behind me has watched the whole deal go down. they were trying not to laugh. i was trying not to notice. but when atticus turned to them and triumphantly showed them his chocolate i couldn't pretend not to notice. i had to make some lame-funny comment about toddlers stealing candy when mom's not looking.
ha, ha, ha. we have a polite we're-strangers laugh together.

i'm the frazzled mom.
they're the fully functional people watching.

and since we're making confessions here - i'll just throw it out there that atticus tore an eensy weensy bit of wrapper off a pack of rolos that last time we were at that stupid hobby lobby and i was buying armloads of crap. that time i deemed it still sellable and stashed it back on the shelf. is that a crime? no chocolate was harmed in the tearing of the wrapper.
a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do, right?


Gramma Dani said...

Awesome story! Love it!!!!

erica said...

so, after it happened to you, would you have wanted the nice couple to have said something?
I wouldn't have. but if my kid was going to make me a shop-lifter, then, I think I'd want to know.

I'm a frazzled mom at the store - often.