Sunday, October 07, 2007

Interview, Part III

Pull out all the stops here, and make us less than extraordinary Moms feel more normal. What was your most embarrassing "Mom moment"?

First of all, lets clear up a little misconception: there's nothing extraordinary about me! (All of my real life friends are hooting with laughter and nodding their heads at that.) I appreciate the confidence in my parenting abilities though. :)

There are so many of these that it's hard to pick one.

I asked Skeeter, and he said, "The Coke thing. Definitely." Bless my soul. There have been so many since then that I didn't even think of that one. It was a doozy though.

When Spyder was little, we wandered -- thrift stores, malls, Target. It didn't really matter where; we just liked wandering. One of our places to wander was Goldsmith's, a now-defunct department store that was bought out by Macy's. On this particular trip, Spyder was riding in his stroller, and I had the diaper bag and a can of soda in the little basket underneath.

Spyder wanted to go through two of the columns in the stroller ("like a tunnel, Mama!"), and the stroller got stuck, of course. In my efforts to get the stroller wheels unstuck, I forgot about the open can of soda in the basket. The wiggling overturned it, and it spilled into the basket and onto the floor. When I finally got the stroller out, there was a nice little brown pool on the beige carpet. Spyder immediately started saying (much more loudly than warranted), "MAMA! YOU SPILLED THE COKE ALL OVER! MAMA!! YOU SPILLED!"

Any effort to quiet him only made it that much worse. I had been trying to make my way (discreetly) to the counter to ask for paper towels. That was ruined, of course, because Spyder thought I was trying to make a getaway without cleaning the spill. "MAMA!! YOU SPILLED! YOU HAVE TO CLEAN IT UP! YOU SPILLED THE COKE, MAMA!"

You never notice department store acoustics until there's a two year old testing them out. A very vocal and emphatic two year old.

Other shoppers were looking at me as if I was a rodent who got caught nipping into the Gouda.

I couldn't leave to get the paper towels because my little angel wouldn't stand for it, but I had to clean it up. What else was there to do? I stood there for a moment, frozen with embarrassment. I thought I would buy a little time by fussing with the soda that had spilled into the basket. The diaper bag was fabric and had absorbed most of it. It was as I was pawing through the diaper bag that I realized I had towels, of a sort.

We used cloth diapers most of the time, and I had several of those in the diaper bag. Towels. Sort of. I grabbed a couple of those to clean the mess, and said, "It's okay, honey. I'm cleaning the Coke right now."

You'd think that would have made it all okay, right? No. Spyder turned around to look, and he was completely, utterly freaked out that I was using his diaper to clean the spill.


As if those diapers hadn't seen much worse.

And all of the other shoppers were still staring. I can't remember if any of them were close enough to actually see that I was using a clean cloth diaper rather than a previously used one. Or one that I had taken off of his little behind at that moment.

Cleaning the carpet of the department store with Spyder bellowing, "MAMA! THAT'S MY DIAPER!" under scrutiny of the other shoppers is not my idea of a good time. And, oh yes, there was much staring.

I cleaned up most of it, threw the wet diapers into the diaper bag, scooted over to the cashier to tell her about the spill (as if she didn't already know) and let her know that it probably needed some spot cleaner. After that, I booked it out of there as fast as I could.

Was that the end? Noooooo. Spyder had to tell everyone that "Mama spilled the Coke." Everyone. The people at Target; the next door neighbor; the person in the elevator . . . . He told everyone he met that I had spilled the Coke. And of course, he didn't leave it there. He also had to mention that I used his diaper to clean the Coke, as if it was the most humiliating thing he'd ever endured. I found myself having to explain what happened to everyone, nicely reliving my embarrassment each time, thankyouverymuch.

We attempted to go back to Goldsmith's only once, several months afterward. I'm sure you know why it was only once. I had thought that -- perhaps, just perhaps -- Spyder wouldn't think about my spill. Oh, how wrong was I. I found myself hearing, "MAMA! THIS IS WHERE YOU SPILLED THE COKE!"

I only needed to hear that once before I turned around and left. At least that time I didn't have to worry about cleaning up first.


Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I'm waiting for the sweet revenge moments when he's a teenager and you trot out all of Spyder's embarrassing moments in front of his unsuspecting girlfriends. Mwa ha ha. I've told my daughter that she'll be lucky if I don't bounce up and down on her bed while she's a sleeping teenager.

piper of love said...

THAT was excellent! haha! poor mom :) It's good to know I'm not alone with the public scenes of embarassment.

You are fantastique!