To the Mom at the ice cream parlor trying to break up a "raspberry" blowing fight between her two small girls: We weren't laughing at you, we were laughing with you.
I know you weren't laughing right then, as you wiped spit off your thighs, but someday you will. Because someday you'll be out shoe shopping by yourself, and you'll hear a little voice in the next aisle say in a loud voice "Wow, those shoes are ugly." Then you'll hear an embarrassed Mom hush the child.
It will be your turn to laugh. And you will. Trust me.
You'll laugh because it was not your child that said it. It could have been. It has been. But this time is wasn't. And you'll be grateful.
I still remember dragging my two little demons through Target, wondering if I could stamp a bar code on their butts and leave them on a shelf. Just as we were about to leave I saw the World's Most Perfect Mom, along with her four adorable and well-behaved young girls.
What she would think of my two uncontrollable, arguing children? I was ready to tuck my head and run past when I realized they were having their own little "Come To Jesus" meeting -- complete with rapid finger shaking right in front of the girls' little noses, and threats of "If you ever do that again..."
She was human. Her daughters were human. I wasn't alone.
We've all had those days. I've had so many of those days that I no longer look on them as a source of frustration or embarrassment, but rather a source of encouragement and support for other parents. Whether it's an awkward child-rearing moment, or some other domestic disaster, these incidents give us all a chance to laugh at ourselves. Eventually.
All that just to set up my latest run of bad luck. A calamity of previously unimaginable proportions. A series of errors so convoluted, it could only happen to me. Or you.
We were facing a daunting evening full of activities, but I had drawn up a battle plan: Dance pictures in WL, change and race back to WB for Little League pictures, then home to change clothes and hand off the Little Princess to Dad for transport to a softball game in Cedar Rapids with the other team while I took the Little Prince to t-ball practice. I even had the first two changes of clothes with me in the car, the third was laid out at home.
What's that? The sweet sound of smug superiority? Perhaps the off-key overture of overconfidence? Whatever it was, it was soon drown out by the discord of disaster.
Oops! Missed the note about contributing to the dance teacher's gift.
Oops! The time for Little League pictures was changed, then switched to another night. Ran home to get the change of uniform while Little Princess stayed to practice.
Oops! Forgot cleats and Little Prince's t-ball gear. Back home.
Sent the Little Princess and the King off to the game. Tried to help out with Little League practice while keeping an eye on t-ball practice. Ate more than my share of gnats.
Oops! Realized Little Princess didn't have her glasses. Considered hot gluing them to her head.
Ran home to get glasses.
Oops! Forgot Little Prince's homework which would now have to be done at the ball field. Back home.
Oops! Out of gas. Filled up, drove through McDonald's.
Oops! They put the "slow" in "fast food." Made it to Cedar Rapids in time for the second game.
Somewhere along the route I managed to escape from the black cloud of doom that had been hovering over me. Perhaps it floated off while I was crawling through the one-lane, reduced speed No Work Zone on I-380. It's not like I went looking for it. I'd had enough of bad luck.
Judging from all the "thbbbbs" at ice cream parlor, that black cloud has found a new home.
For a little while.