Motherhood: Not for the faint of heart

Yesterday I met Girlymama at Barnes and Noble while our older children were in school so that we could indulge in a Starbucks treat while our little girls rearranged the bookstore looked at books.  This was a great idea.  In theory.  We started many conversations.  We might have finished one of them.

You know how it goes.  There was the time that Grace (her 3-year-old) spilled coffee on herself, so they had to excuse themselves and go to the car to change.  Then there was the potty emergency in the middle of our all-important hairstyle conversation.  Then there were the twenty-five times we had to interrupt one another to remind our girls not to tear the books, not to step on the books, not to take every book off the bookshelf, not to run around the book displays, etceterahh, etceterahh, etceterahhhh.

Perhaps we should meet at the park next time.

At the beginning of our visit, as we were sitting at a little cafe table with our coffee and scones, I happened to mention how my blog fodder has been on the light side lately, and that I’ve been making up for it with long, rambling, stream-of-consciousness posts that I fear might run away all but my most loyal of readers, and I need some fresh material.

Well, ask and you shall receive.

We finished our treats and then gathered up our things along with the remnants of our breakfast so that we could go upstairs to the children’s section.  My mouth was moving a mile a minute, which is evidently a bit faster than my brain, while we walked over to deposit our trays.

I placed my still-half-full cup of coffee on top of the trash receptacle and absentmindedly tilted my tray into the trashcan, allowing everything on my tray to slide into the black hole below with a remarkable clangety-clang-clang.

I stopped talking mid-word and looked up at Girlymama as realization dawned.  I had just dumped my two ceramic plates into the trash can along with my paper trash.

Clearly, I could stand to get out more.  Or at least expand my horizons to include food establishments that don’t have Mc in the title.  I’m not accustomed to these fancy places that serve your food on real dishes.

Girlymama and I both squelched our giggles as we tried to decide whether to dig down into the trashcan  to retrieve the plates ourselves or to report the mishap to the girl working the register so she could have the pleasure.

It was then that I suddenly looked up and exclaimed with delight,


Which of course brought on a whole new surge of The Giggles as well as my realization of this new, heretofore unprecedented level of pathetic.

I managed to fish out the plates without consulting the staff, and thankfully they were none the worse for the wear, so I placed them gingerly on top of the trash receptacle, grabbed my coffee, and proceeded towards the escalator as we composed ourselves.

My mouth was still moving faster than my brain as I went to step on the escalator behind Girlymama and Gracie WITHOUT my almost-2-year-old daughter, who was following dutifully along behind me.

I’m not exactly sure WHAT I was thinking.  I didn’t forget she was there.  I guess I just subconsciously expected her to step on behind me and follow me up like she was perfectly capable of such coordination and balance at the ripe old age of two.

Well, she stepped on alright.  I looked back, as comprehension and horror washed over me, to find her tottering precariously on her step.  So with my coffee and raincoat and purse in one hand, I tried desperately to grab her with my other hand, while not losing my own balance in my four-inch-heeled boots.

My efforts were futile.  I couldn’t quite reach her hand.  And there she was, looking up at me with huge, trusting blue eyes, while she teeter-tottered and finally took a step back, somehow still managing to maintain her balance, albeit by the skin of her teeth.

I was saying something like, “Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!” while Girlymama looked on, unable to help us.

You know how it is in situations like that — like a movie in slow motion.  And while I tried to grab my daughter and keep my own balance, I had visions running through my head of us both plummeting to the bottom and getting sucked into the huge jaws of the escalator and meeting our Maker right there in the Barnes and Noble.

Fortunately, all’s well that ends well.  Somehow I managed to step down to grab her arm before she took what could have been a very bad fall resulting in serious injury, and we made it the rest of the way up the escalator and stepped off without further incident.

As I got off the escalator and planted my feet and my daughter’s firmly on solid ground, I breathed a sigh of relief and then declared vehemently, “I think I have enough blog fodder now.”

And really, while I can laugh about it now that everything’s okay, I am in no way making light of the seriousness and potential injury that could have resulted from my stupidity and carelessness.  I am fortunate that my daughter escaped from the event unscathed, and I am very very thankful.

So the moral of this story is, be careful what you wish for, especially when it’s blog fodder!