- “Let the words flow out of you like rain, and let the flood begin.” Quote from Michelle, Custodaris to Apollo, out of Murdering Eve.
Autumn has arrived. Temperatures tickle the 50′s at night in Texas, and pumpkin patches spring up overnight, despite 85 degree heat during the day. So, doing my motherly duty, I pack up the kids last weekend and take them. Pumpkins, a corn field maze, a house made entirely of bales of hay, a small animal farm, and of course – the dreaded face painting booth.
If you’re a parent, you hear “face paint” and immediately groan. It’s not the paint itself. It’s the appallingly slow, snaking line in which you’re forced to wait while every kid ahead of yours gets the full-face-monty of Spiderman or Tinkerbelle with glitter dust.
As we waited, my kid is muscled aside by some other rugrat’s grandma. Yeah, you heard me. GRANDMA. I hold my tongue, knowing that my eldest will take care of this herself once grandma goes to sit predictably in the shade. As the minutes turn into.. well, longer minutes, the kids get hot and tired and the line fractures in it’s military-type line. My kid is studying the face paint menu, the other is.. I don’t know… playing in the dirt let’s say. As the lastest Spiderman hops off the facepaint chair, everyone jumps to attention, and the line jockeying begins. Rugrat asserts her stolen place in line with my kid.
Enter.… the other rugrat’s mom, who hovers ever close, watching like a hawk, lest my kid get her kid’s place in line. I give the required sigh of frustration and eye-roll, and go stand next to my mom who is entertaining my toddler, who has busied herself with picking up and chunking baby-sized pumpkins as far as her chubby little arms will hurl them. After an eye-roll threatening to pull my cornea, I tell my mom what’s going on (in what I think is a quiet voice), and add jokingly about the other mother…”It’s okay, I could take her.” Any reasonable person knows that’s a joke, right? Um, nope.
A few minutes pass, and rugrat’s mom turns to me with hatred in her eyes and a voice loud enough to be heard in the next county. “I just want you to know how childish you’re being.”
Uh, what? I feel a wave of rage wash over me. Did my kid just hear that? Her name in my changes from “rugrat’s mom” to “confrontational mom”. And I want to choke her with my bare hands.
She continues, quite haughtily. “You said, ‘I can take her’. Yeah, I heard that.”
Okay, so I hadn’t meant for her to hear that, and yes, the fact that she did is quite embarrassing, but I’m too concerned with the kids overhearing supposed “grown-ups” arguing over line-cutting at a pumpkin patch.
I reply, in a low voice, “Listen, if you want to talk about this, then let’s go someplace else to do so. Somewhere not in front of the kids.”
She declines, and turns away, with another parting comment about how childish I am. Yeah, you already said that.
I’m standing there, cheeks burning with anger at confrontational mom, when I realize what my last comment may have sounded like. To her, it was probably “Let’s take this outside, be-atch, and I’ll beat your ass where the kids can’t see.”
Not at all what I intended, but the outcome was better than anticipated because confrontational mom is no longer shooting darting glances at me. In fact, she refuses to look my way at all. Then I have to take the toddler away to look at something else at least 20 feet away because I’m going to hurt myself by trying not to laugh.
When I finally do come back, someone new is shooting me angry glances. My mom. She looks like she wants to take me behind a shed herself. Apparently I’ve embarrassed her. Which makes me want to laugh again.
Luckily, by now, the kiddo is done getting her puppy dog face, which I have paid for dearly – and I’m not talking about the highway robbery price of $7 for face paint.
(Disclaimer: not my actual kid…I got this off the internet. you don’t think I’d put a pick of my REAL kid out here, do you? )
Happy weekend – and beware those confrontational moms at pumpkin patches!!!