I was waiting in line at the craft store when I found myself standing in judgment of another woman and her kids. It was just Kitty Bill and I, sandwiched in a long check-out line, and at the front of the line was what I presumed to be a Grandma, a mom, and two kids. This wasn't any kind of Grandma we have in our family-- this one had a Cha-Cha DiGregorio thing going on. The big hair, tight clothes, scarf around her neck, the whole bit.
That's fine; I'm a big Grease fan. I'm no Sandra Dee, but I probably lean more that way than the other (we're just going to leave the leg hair and Birkies out of this one, okay.) The mom-type person was also dressed more, shall we say, modern. Or retro-modern. Hip huggers, heels, hairspray, you get the picture. Anyway, aside from the Grease flashback, I wouldn't have paid these ladies any mind, that is until the kids caught my attention.
The little girl with them looked about six-years-old. She sat down on a chair, crossed her legs, put her hands out and exclaimed something about not wanting to "break a heel or chip a nail." And I was forced to do a double-take. She was younger than Sunburst, and she was wearing hip-huggers, high heels, and carrying a bustier purse. At six-years-old!
Then she got up and did some kind of dance, to which Cha-Cha Di-Grandma remarked that they should charge us all for this entertainment. The little girl said, "I make 40 bucks a day." And the little boy, about the same age, said, "Good. You can buy me a gang." And he crossed his arms in that defiant stance and pouted. At least his pants weren't hanging around his ankles, which tells you I've fully crossed over into the 'Don't trust anyone over 30' category.
The other customers and I exchanged glances that said, "Yikes!" And I instantly thought, Thank God my kids aren't like this. I paid for my glue stick, patted myself on the back, and went home to my angelic children.
We spent some time in the yard, and Sunburst announced that she had found "the bee who lost his buzz," and tromped through the house with said bee perched on a dandelion. I started to think to myself, "crazy child," but then I remembered the little bustier girl. High heels or entomologist...? No brainer there.
An hour later we hurried the kids out the door to attend our neighbor's pipe organ recital at a local church, where rows 1 and 2 were reserved for families with children. It was a beautiful room and quite small, I think, as far as churches go. We arrived a few minutes early and waited patiently. Kitty Bill shyly flirted with the women behind us, and Sunburst and Moonshine, glowing in their new Easter dresses, sat very primly and quietly exchanging glances with all the other children. Homeschool enrichment at it's finest. Perfect, I thought. And then the music started.
What was I thinking taking my kids to an organ recital? At a church, no less. People dress up, sit quietly, and don't clap or fidget or anything until the song sequence is over --and these are good ten, fifteen minute songs; it's like a Phish jam but obviously not very Phish-like. Kitty Bill only made it through the first two parts of the first song before he started audibly fussing. And so what does one do with a slightly fussy baby? Breastfeed.
In the past this handy device has worked in many scenarios where I needed to soothe and quiet my children-- whether they were teething, bleeding profusely, or I was trying to handle an important phone call or make it through my father's funeral, breastmilk has always done the trick and done it well. With all the noise in my house, I failed to recognize one thing about Kitty Bill. He does not nurse quietly. It sounded like I was suckling an army of pigs, and oh how the heads began to turn. It's pipe-organ music, and so you would think that it would drown us all out, but it wasn't like that at all. Oddly enough, every cough, sneeze or gulp reverberated just as much as the music did. The room was designed to carry voices, after all, and it was designed well. You could hear a pin drop AND the music, simultaneously.
This is when that coveted aisle seat in the back row would have come in handy for my quick and painless get-away, which was neither quick nor painless. Moonshine lasted until the middle of the next song before she started climbing around on the pew and finally squirmed out of Einstein's grasp and ran for the door where she could see me through the glass. But she couldn't get to me. Only one of the doors worked, and only from the inside. She screwed up her face and prepared to have a full-on shrieking when Einstein ran up the aisle and let her out into my arms.
While Einstein, Sunburst, and all the well-behaved children of others enjoyed the rest of the music, we crawled around the lobby and got to know it pretty well. Moonshine got into a debate with a woman about vegan diets, Kitty Bill fingered the bronzed-eyes of St. Thomas, and I let the irony of the day wash over me.
Pride cometh before a fall.
It was just another humbling moment, one of many, where I'm reminded that no, my kids aren't all that.