The strangest thing happened to me today...
I must first share with you a tidbit of information about my household while I'm writing this: I am holed up in my bedroom nursing my first cold beer (dinner) while Ana is currently "crying it out" from her crib. It's 9:46 p.m. and we are on our second interval of crying sessions. We started bedtime routine (late) at 8:30. The first "crying it out" session being 5 minutes, this one a little longer and producing noise at pitches only dogs can hear accompanied by some blood boiling face foaming shrieking from her crib. All of this noise originating from the same room where Ana's older sister sleeps soundly away in a bed not 5 feet from the Holy Night Terror. 9:49 and she's gathering steam.
Okay, back to my story, so the strangest thing happened. I took the girls to the grocery store after Ana's nap. Ana, of course, awoke on the wrong side of the bed, the side of the bed where she cries at the drop of a hat, clings to my trunk like a monkey on a tree, and wants EVERYTHING her sister is holding. One year olds, I swear.
Cut back to our house right now, it's 9:51 pm, the decibel level has escalated, the pitch has dropped to a low disappointed-oh wait, no, a high pitched "Weeeeee-Aaaaaauuughghhh!" repeated over and over, with a break every so often to breathe. How can I concentrate? I'll be right back....OMG she was totally asleep in my arms after five minutes of rocking until I laid her down in her crib, it's 9:57 and she is now attempting to scream out a lung, cough cough "Auuuggch! Auuueeeeghghch! Auughch!" cough cough. This is insane. And Shelby just roared a giant snore from her bed and rolled over!
Okay, so we were at the grocery store in the cereal aisle and there stood a couple, looking to be about in their 50s, a little worse for the wear, standing in front of the all natural granola section decoding ingredients in very close proximity to each other. A serious science, this ingredient stuff, obviously. So I dole out another handful of raisins from the box we are "about to buy" and Ana inhales hers and turns around in her seat at the helm of the cart to attempt stealing more raisins from her sister. When Shelby snatches them out of her reach, Ana does what every 1 year old would do at a time like this (well, maybe a little louder than normal considering her performance right this very minute-10:01, hang on, I really should go back in there now, it sounds awful!).
Phew, FINALLY, 10:08 and she's asleep, but not before blowing a gasket and chucking every soothing item as far out of her crib as possible, including pacifier AND slinky blanket. Stubborn little thing, she definitely doesn't get that from me.
Okay, so the couple in the aisle, and the raisins, and then Ana let's out this deafening scream that is so high pitched it should crack glass-it's loud, and did I already say high-pitched? And the couple, who is now just 4 feet from our cart, leans in as the woman PLACES HER HANDS OVER HER EARS AND SAYS IN A not-so-whisper-voice, "No mother should allow her child to scream like that in public!"
...uh, yeah, um, wait a second... what the...
And I'm so shocked to realize what this 50 year old woman in her smart reading glasses just blurted to her partner standing within arm's distance from us that I just stand there. I just stand there in awe of her bravado, feeling the slack in my jaw and the glaze in my eyes and retiring from my job as a parent and referee just long enough to let the audacity of this bitch sink in. And then, like a slow motion instant replay I turned to look at my darling, sweet little girls just long enough to allow the whole incident to repeat itself: Ana reaching for the raisins in her sister's hand, Shelby pulling them away and then, The Scream. But this time it was louder and longer and prouder, and I was prouder of her for expressing her one year old self in this cereal aisle, with these cereal weirdos. And the woman, who still held her hands dramatically to her ears (WTF?!) turns and jogs up the aisle like she's escaping some alien invasion in The Spencer's Market. And because I have totally abandoned my post as a parent and have embraced my new role as shocked onlooker, Ana lets out another wail because those damned raisins aren't getting any closer to her mouth and then, once more in total s-l-o-w m-o-t-i-o-n the remaining half of the cereal weirdos literally DROPS his granola box onto the floor and RUNS in the opposite direction!
And then, just as soon as the cereal weirdos disappeared, and the raisins are restocked in Ana's hands, I am overwhelmed with a multitude of emotion: Anger, Frustration, Maternal Instinct in the form of "Bitch-I-Will-Knock-You-Out-For-Insulting-Me", and Embarrassment. Yes, embarrassment that the behavior, granted the totally justified behavior, of my children sent two perfect strangers (in the visual form of adults) running away.
The rest of our outing I spent either shielding my eyes so no one would recognize the giant cloud over our cart announcing, "SHRIEKING BABY-BAD MOTHER, BEWARE!" or I was scanning the crowds to locate these cereal weirdos in their natural habitat. I mean, who are these freakazoids and what do they look like with their hands away from their ears? And why didn't I scream at them as they hurried away from my family in disgust? Why didn't I belt out in my angriest yell, "EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT TO SCREAM!!!! I'M DOING THE BEST THAT I CAN!!!!!!!!!!" And then I'd shriek into a giant megaphone connecting my voice directly to their heads the LOUDEST, MEANEST EVIL CACKLE until those cereal weirdo's heads exploded leaving only their withered devil souls to disintegrate before my eyes.
Maybe I should call my therapist.
The strangest thing happened to me today...