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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Back When I Was a Flasher

*WARNING ALL MALE READERS - This post is going to deal with (gasp) breast-feeding. Just letting you know in case you want to make your escape now before you get sucked into the estrogen vortex that unfailingly surrounds such womanish topics.*

Breastfeeding. Remember the joys? The pains? The ridiculous increase in size (that some women get so excited about)?

And the flashing.

Seriously. How many people have seen your naked breasts? Friends, family - complete strangers at Denny's - I don't think I could count the number of my own personal victims. I got to thinking about this after reading Alison Wonderland's post about being comfortable with nudity. She is a nurse, and says bodies don't bother her at all. I couldn't really understand what she meant if I hadn't breastfed four children, but I think I get it.

Remember when you had your first baby, and it was so freaky/uncomfortable when the La Leche League lady manhandled your breasts for the first time? A week later, they are no longer breasts at all. They are just suppliers of milk for that little bundle of hunger who wants to be attached to them every waking (and sleeping) moment. And half of that thirty minute break you get between feedings is spent letting them "air dry". They hurt, they bleed, the BOH won't latch on correctly - and so your mother, your neighbor, your grandma, and her friend all come over and inspect them so they can commiserate (with their own breastfeeding horror stories) and advise.

Everyone sees your breasts. You cease to care after awhile.

Right at this moment, the thought of flashing a naked boob to, well, pretty much anyone I'm not married to, makes me feel a little uncomfortable. So isn't it amazing that while breastfeeding - other than feeling sorry for the flashee - I really didn't care when strangers got the full meal deal? Back then they were just "things". Not much different than arms or legs, they were simply appendages that served a purpose.

And when I was breastfeeding, it was a show, let me tell you. When I had my first child I ballooned to a (dare I say it?) 36 I. As in A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I. Regular stores don't even carry that size. I was a freak of nature. How could I not care about flashing those to the world??!!! Yet, strange as it may seem, I was more uncomfortable walking around with clothes on, than I was with flashing a naked boob while nursing.

Example: That poor, poor man in Denny's. He has probably never recovered. You know how some of the Denney's Restaurants have curved, rather than straight walls? So if you're sitting in a booth looking down the aisle there are people on the other side of the curve looking straight back at you? Well, I was attempting to nurse my first baby in a discreet fashion there in the booth, because it was cold outside, and there was no place in the bathroom to sit other than a toilet.

I'm nursing. The blanket is camouflaging any and all inappropriate views. Everything is totally respectable. Then the child decided he was done, threw back his head and his arm - and with it took the blanket. I look down, see the boob - and look up to see this man, paralyzed by the sight, just staring back at me.

Oops. This was seriously my only thought. I think I even chuckled about it. How is this possible? If I flashed my breast in Denney's tomorrow I might never recover!

Yet, due to the constant over-exposure and clinical aspect of them at the time, all sense of modesty completely vanished. What a concept. I'm so glad I returned to normal when the breastfeeding was over. Do you suppose there are women who don't? So Alison, I get what you're saying. For myself, however, I'm happy to remain sensitized to human nakedness for the rest of my life. Somehow, it just makes things more exciting. And dangerous. Ya know?

(And can you imagine how many hits I'm going to get from typing "naked breast" so many times in this post? Too bad I don't have a really good stat counter - this may even beat out working Donny Osmond in! Ya think?)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Joys of the Christmas Cold (that would be the sniff, sniff variety, rather than the Brrr I'm freezing type)

I detest being sick. It was bad enough when I was young and my mom would take care of me. Getting sick when you are the mom is so. much. worse. It all started late Christmas Eve when I started sneezing. Just innocent, harmless little sneezes. By the time I had everyones stockings taken care of (including my own, because The Husband was busy sawing logs on the couch - and I'd bought most of the stuff for myself anyway, so what difference did it make?) and the house ready for Christmas morning, my nose was running. I took some medicine and went to bed.

The next morning when I woke up (at 4:30, 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 etc. because my nine year old "just couldn't sleep") I was miserable. I've spent two days on the couch, and apparently should have spent a third there, because today's activities have me right back where I started.

At least there's no throwing up. And no sore throat. Although, come to think of it, those are the two types of illness that lead to instant weight loss, which is EXACTLY what I need after that stupid cookie exchange. Instead I have major congestion merging nicely with perpetual-running-of-the-nose. Yesterday my lucky husband walked in to find me sweeping the floor with a tissue hanging out of my nose. Nice. Vic's Vapor Rub is my constant companion, as well as that head-stuffed-with-cotton feeling, and a sort of out-of-body experience every time I get up to walk around.

And can I just suggest that getting sick and/or becoming extremely-low-functioning on Christmas Day is a real pain? Not because anything special was going on - our family gets together Christmas Eve - and not because people are waiting for fancy food - I never cook on Christmas Day. (Who needs more food after the Christmas Eve binge?) No, the real problem is the mess that is Christmas morning. I swear I have picked the whole place up twenty times over the last two days. Well, my children the lucky little slaves did anyway. Every time I bend over to pick anything up my sinuses congeal into a solid mass of impenetrable mucus. Believe me, I've done as little as possible.

But still, all those stupid new toys have no homes yet, so my toy closet is a disaster waiting for me to rescue it. Unfortunately, the rescue is going to have to wait, because there's no way I'm tackling that project while I feel this rotten. Consequently, having to stare at all these toys for two days has made me re-think a few things.

a. What genius decided fully automatic Nerf guns were a good idea? (answer, Mr. Darling). Can I just say how sick I am of Nerf darts? Seeing them, stepping on them, looking for them, getting shot with a fully-automated-stream of them. Left to my own devices, these toys would never have entered my world.

b. Why do I always add army guys to the boys stockings? Aside from the fact that they apparently make great targets for the above mentioned Nerf guns, I hate them. They are constantly everywhere I look. In the Christmas tree, hanging from my kitchen cupboards, hiding in my fake plants - everywhere BUT the "army guy drawer".

c. What made me think that the cool, expandable, Dora house I picked up at a garage sale for Little Miss Two would remain unmolested by her brothers? Apparently, it is the house of a Colombian drug lord, and they have constant busts there. With fully automatic Nerf guns blasting away the army guys strategically placed in the little pink and yellow house. It's just so wrong. At least I made them stop shooting the family that goes with the house - that's something, right?

All in all, however, despite being sick it was a great Christmas. Hope yours was fantastic - and I certainly hope no one else feels as lousy as I do!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Doing What I Can To Provide Entertainment To Those Bored Enough To Blog During Their Vacay

I know most everyone is still Christmas-breaking from blogland, but just in case you want something entertaining to read, I thought I should help you out. Not that I'm the one who's going to use precious vacation-braincells to bring it to you - I'm simply going to point you in the direction of the best Christmas Short Story I've read, well, ever. It was conceived over in Machen Land, and you'll need to scroll down to Christmas Short Story Part I to start at the beginning.

P.S. This story is not for the humor-impaired.

Enjoy the rest of your vacation everyone!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

In Which I Prove I'm Good For More Than Just Limericks...

Tis days before Christmas, and all through the house
the children run wild, acting very un-mouse.
Decorations are up, and Bing Crosby is singing
Of Snow, and of presents, and bells that are ringing.
Speaking of snow, what's the deal with the weather?
Fun for awhile, it's now become quite a bother
As twelve times a day they all want to go out,
So I bundle, and boot them, and haven't a doubt
That in no time at all they'll be there at the door
Because someone is cold, and the snow's now a bore.
But cheerfully I, their dear, patient mother,
Let them back in and give thanks for the dryer.
But despite all the hassle of snow on my floor,
If it means a White Christmas, then bring on some more!
And then there's the baking of too many treats,
Cookies, cakes, pies, and pastries and all other sweets
Are around every corner, where ever I turn,
I can't seem to resist them. Oh when will I learn!
But alas, and alack, I have nothing to fear,
That old resolution saves me every New Year.
Meanwhile I plan, and I shop till I drop
Buying presents for children, my Mom and my Pop.
Braving the roads, which are covered in ice,
So I can make sure that our Christmas is nice.
So far my list is all doing, and seeing,
But what's much more important is how we're all feeling.
And whether we're thinking of more than just stuff,
And counting our presents to ensure there's enough.
For everyone knows that the true Christmas season
Comes 'round every year because of a reason
Much bigger than presents (or even the treats)
That fill up our thoughts, (and our tummies with sweets).
It's all about giving, and sharing and love,
And remembering the one who came down from above
To ensure we could all make it back there someday,
And be with our families; He provided the way.
So put down that cookie, and tune out the noise
For a moment or two, and remember the Joys
That will last for forever, and all the real reasons
We all share together this greatest of seasons.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Stringing You Along Once Again...

After suffering the inevitable (if you're me) affects of a cookie exchange, I decided I needed to post about it. Then, once I got started, I realized it was a post more suited to my other blog, Desperately Seeking Skinny Pants, and so if you want to read about it, you'll need to go here.

If laughing at someone else's folly gives you warm fuzzies, I highly recommend following me over there, as I am always willing to sacrifice my personal dieting-dignity for the self esteem of women everywhere. Because let's face it - I lose all dignity when faced with a cookie.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How Santa Saved My Sanity

I will be very sad when Santa finally comes and goes this year, because (brace yourself) I have been shamelessly using his good name to keep my just-turned-five year old in line for at least three months. We all love and appreciate the parenting tools implied in the lyrics "You better watch out!" and I am no different than any other mother out there. When it comes to things that may coerce my kids into cooperation, I'll try about anything.

But I put a new spin on Santa threats this year. And can I just say that the success rate is through the roof? This has got to be the best mom-deceit scheme I've ever come up with for keeping little people in line. If only I would have thought of it way back when the first two were still susceptible to these kind of tactics - September (which is really just about as far out as you can go with the whole "Santa's watching" bit) to December would have been my favorite time of year for more reasons than just the Fall fashions.

It all started with C's fits. I know you're all about to be shocked (and I'm SURE none of your children would EVER act like this), but he is known for throwing fits when things don't go his way. One moment, he will be standing there talking to you like a civilized person, and then you say something horribly wrong and totally unacceptable (like "No"). His head falls back. His mouth opens. A hideous shrieking noise issues forth. Simultaneously, as if the effort of the sound actually renders his legs useless, he collapses to the ground - always landing on his face.

And there he remains - completely incapacitated in his continuing shriek (because he doesn't breath, but just carries on with enviable diaphramatic control) - completely deaf and blind to me, and any and all threats/suggestions/reprimands/physical-removals-to-the-naughty-corner.

And then September came. And in one desperately-trying-not-to-abuse-my-child moment, the heavens opened, divine inspiration struck, and the following words came out of my mouth:

"Santa's going to bring you baby toys for your stocking if keep acting like that. Don't you know that Santa decides what toys to bring little boys by how they act? If he sees you throwing a baby fit, you'll get baby toys for Christmas because he'll think you're only two. Do you want baby toys in your stocking?"

Bingo. It was like breaking through the tantrum-force field. The shrieking stopped, his face lifted from the floor wearing a VERY concerned expression.

C: He will?

Me: Yep. You don't want a dumb old rattle, do you?

C: (vigorous head shaking)

Me: Well then you'd better get up off the floor and start acting like a big boy, because Santa's watching.

C: (eyes furtively glancing up, down, and all around as he jumps to his feet) Now will I get big boy toys?

Me: As long as you stop throwing those baby fits, and keep acting like a big boy.

There are not words to express the victorious feelings overwhelming me at that moment. Take THAT! almost-five-year-old mentality! I am mother, HEAR ME ROAR!!!!

And can I just say how many times I've used the phrase "Do you want a rattle in your stocking?" since that blessed day? It's been saving my precious patience reserves for three months! AND, the tantrums have definitely slowed down. (Which is the only thing keeping me from panicking about January and the loss of my new best threat).

So although I know many feel Santa is a representation of all that's wrong with Christmas, I would like to disagree. He definitely serves a worthwhile purpose for a solid three months out of every year, and I think I'm giving him my vote for Most Helpful Citizen of the Year.

Thank You Santa!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

"When Cookies and Crafts Collide" or "Why I'm Not in the Kitchen"

I should be in the kitchen right now, finishing off my TWELVE DOZEN cookies for a cookie exchange tomorrow night.

Instead, I'm giving myself another lame blog makeover. Why the makeover? Because my cookies require dipping in chocolate, and for some reason that's feeling just a little too "crafty" to me. I hate crafts. (And if you don't understand what that statement means, OR want to commiserate as a fellow non-crafter, click here for further enlightnement). When I attempt crafts, everything always goes wrong, takes too much time, and makes me tired. I got two cookies dipped, ate one of them, and shelved the whole thing till my energy comes back.

Why is the makeover lame? Because blog makeovers can only be as cool as the person giving them is blog-savvy. I am obviously blog-lame, because every time I search the world wide web for non-lame blog templates and find one I like, it always gives me some infuriating statement about how it "isn't allowed."

I'm tired of disappointment. Which unfortunately limits my choices to the Blogger templates, and their VERY limited color pallet. (Which, consequently, doesn't look the same on my computer as it apparently does on everyone else's [possible reason for some of it's lameness], and one time I gave my background this really pretty yellow, only to discover [a month or two later when viewing on my parents' computer] that it was actually an extremely obnoxious/bright lemon yellow on every other computer in the world. Sorry for that viewers! Who knows what my new selection of lame-blogger-colors looks like to all of you... I'm crossing my fingers).

The worst part about it? I've wasted all this time not-finishing my cookies, and I don't even like my new look. I'm already missing the old one, and no, I did not save it. (Because I - lame blogger that I am - have no idea how one goes about doing such blog-savvy things).

And I keep thinking about the dipping of all those cookies. And then I start regretting my decision to go for the "dipping" cookies, when I could have gone for the "rolling in sugar" cookies. I can handle rolling. I learned that one in kindergarten. The dipping, however, (all two cookies I dipped) is giving me a real headache. I made these no-bake peanut butter crisp balls, and the recipe said to "use a toothpick or fork to dip them in chocolate."

Right.

They fell off the toothpick, and the fork left suspicious looking fork-marks all over the cookie. Currently, the cookies are resting in the fridge, where they will hopefully harden enough to stay on the toothpick and not fall off/apart when dipped.

I should have rolled. And baked. No bakes are worthless - one hundred and fifty cookies later, and my house smells like nothing. It's almost as if I never made the blasted cookies for all the holiday-aroma they provided.

And now (if it isn't already painfully obvious) I'm just killing time, rambling on, and on, about absolutely nothing.

But I should be in the kitchen dipping.

I can do it. I can actually be very "dippy" at times, so it shouldn't be beyond my abilities, right?

But next year I'm rolling.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Way Back When I Was Young...

The other day, as I was teaching piano lessons, we had a near disaster. Tired of trying to find someone willing to do it for him, C (now five) decided to make his own piece of bread and peanut butter - which he of course wanted to warm up in the microwave like his brothers always do. Always willing to help himself (whether or not he's able), C came in and asked me if how many minutes to put nuke it for.

Yes, a brief thought of caution flashed through my head, but I quickly pushed it aside. I was in the middle of a lesson, and he does know his numbers, so it shouldn't be too hard, right? So I said, "Push nine."

Meaning, of course, nine SECONDS.

Thankfully, the Lord blessed me with a phone call a few moments later, and I had to go into the kitchen. The smokey haze was seeping out from around the seal on the microwave door, and already hanging in an ominous cloud throughout my kitchen.

I looked at the microwave. I have no idea how long it was initially set for, but by the time I got there, it had nine MINUTES and fifty seconds left to go. The piece of bread? A charred chunk of very hard, unidentifiable black stuff. Black smoke billowed out, and my house stunk like burned-microwave-food for two or three days. Nice.

This experience, and conversations with my mother, have taken me back in time to the acquisition of our family's first microwave. I am certain that I am not the only one in the blogosphere who remembers the day/night the modern miracle of the microwave made it's appearance in their life.

It was evening. I must have been about eight years old. My mother and brother staggered into the kitchen lugging a humongous and very heavy box between them. Our microwave had arrived, and boy were we excited. Baffled, and completely clueless as to what we should do with it - but definitely excited.

We all stood around and watched while my brother got it plugged in and settled on the counter. Can I just say that it was HUGE??! I probably could have climbed in there if I'd wanted! I distinctly remember all of us trying to decide what we could put in the amazing new toy we knew nothing about. I think are first experiment was with something really exciting like a piece of bread and butter. Woo Hoo.

For quite awhile, we didn't really do anything constructive with it. Well, not when Mom was around, anyway. When she was gone, my older sister and I would experiment with different things. Some of our better attempts were microwaved s'mores (graham cracker, several chocolate chips, marshmallow, and another graham cracker cooked until just before marshmallow exploded), and microwaved toasted cheese sandwiches (achieved by toasting bread in toaster, while nuking slices of cheese on a plate, and then using a spatula to scrape cheese off plate and onto toast).

Apparently, several other families in the ward were dealing with similar we-have-a-microwave-and-don't-have-a-clue-what-to-do-with-it issues, because it wasn't long before we had a "Microwave Cooking" Homemaking Lesson at our house. I still remember learning how "all microwaves have hot spots where they cook faster," and to find them you were supposed to cut a paper bag to fit the bottom of your microwave (of course there was no rotating plate), dampen it with water, and cook it to see which spots dried up first.

My favorite microwave memory, however, was our first Sunday roast cooked in the microwave. Of course it was Fast Sunday (when we fore go dinner and breakfast, and come home from church famished), and apparently my mother missed the memo about how microwaves cook in A LOT LESS TIME than conventional ovens.

She stuck it in the microwave, set it to cook for three hours, and we left for church.

Three hours later, with my teenage brothers dying of starvation, we pulled into the garage. We could smell it before we got in the house. Devastated, my brothers rushed to the scene of the tragedy, and emerged a few moments later with our dinner. It was roughly the size of a baseball, black, VERY hard, and fit right in with the rocks in the driveway. What a tragedy.

I could go on with stories about "crustless" microwaved bread, and all the special "microwave cookware" everyone bought, but I won't. I am kind of glad, however, that I get to remember things like "life before the microwave." For some reason it makes me feel just a little bit cool - almost like someone being able to say "I remember life before indoor plumbing." It's not necessarily something to be envied, yet it says something about me. I lived before life was as easy as it is now. We didn't used to be able to make s'mores in our kitchen. Wow.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Reminiscing Rexburg

I was recently reminiscing with some friends about my days at Ricks College, and there's a topic I just have to bring up.

The ice.

Seriously. Whether it was in my nose, under my feet (where it belonged), or flying at my face as I did a triple-twist-land-on-my-rear in front of all those people, I have to say it is one of the top three things that instantly comes to mind when I think of the most memorable aspects of Ricks College life.

I'm from the Northwest. We don't do cold over here. Occasionally we'll get a little cold snap, but it rarely gets below 20, and doesn't usually last more than a few days. On average, if it hovers around freezing everyone here thinks it "sooo cold." I definitely belonged in this club.

Until the first time my nose hairs froze.

Can I just say what a shock it was walking out into Rexburg's sub-zero-freeze-your-rear-off temperature and having my nose hairs freeze? One innocent sniff of that arid, frigid, Rexburg wind and my nostrils became an ice forest. So unpleasant.

Then there was the battle up to the Smith Building. Eight o'clock am religion class - aka good-luck-getting-there-alive-because-they-haven't-salted-the-east-campus-sidewalks-yet. I vividly remember trying to make it up the sidewalk (in the dark) as that same arid, frigid, Rexburg wind (that was busy freezing my nose hairs) hit me so hard I would find myself sliding backwards down the hill. You can bet I was more careful in my schedule planning after that first semester. Nothing uphill until after nine. (Nothing period until after nine, if you really want to know).

But the worst thing about the ice, hands down, was the regular public humiliation that came with falling. It's almost like the Lord put the school in Rexburg just to ensure humility in all prospective students. You'd be walking innocently along, thinking you were doing fine, when all of the sudden BAM! Down on the ice. It wasn't so bad if you had a roomie or friend with you, because then the two of you could laugh together and you could act as if falling in front of hordes of people didn't bother you at all. On a good day, your roomie would go down with you (which could sometimes be arranged mid-fall), and you could share your humiliation as you crawled to the safety of a clear patch before attempting to once more attain a standing position.

But then there were the solo falls. The walking-all-alone-and-really-look-like-a-dork falls. It was like time froze as my feet flew out from under me, my arms desperately windmilling, and my legs flailing in a sad attempt to keep from actually hitting the ground. As I'd sense everyone suddenly slowing to watch the show (no doubt secretly hoping it was a worthwhile crash) I'd try to decide how to salvage a little self-respect once I was lying on the cold, hard, ground.

It doesn't matter how you play this one off, you're a loser either way. Try to act cool and get up as if you didn't just make a complete fool of yourself - and the crowd of people who stopped to watch just stand there and stare, reminding you that no, you are not cool.

Try to look like you're so well adjusted and secure that you can laugh at yourself and do your best to demonstrate how hilarious you think your acrobatics were - and the staring crowd doesn't crack a smile. In fact, you get the impression that they're all thinking you're a little insane, and that none of them have ever been the victims of icy-sidewalks. Liars.

Seriously. Staring people are so annoying.

Looking back, however, I have to say that overall that these repeated (and humiliating) falls were experiences in self-discovery. I learned that humiliation actually wouldn't kill me. I learned to be more considerate of others falling around me. And I learned that despite the hazards, I was not willing to resign myself to clunky old hiking boots every day. For me, feeling cute was worth the risks - both physical and emotional.

Let's face it - at the end of the day, it's all about the shoes.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Getting My Just Desserts

This weekend was our ward (church) Christmas party. I was in charge. Somehow I managed to live through it. And I haven't looked at a single blog in three days, not to mention the laundry, dishes, or my children. Sometimes I envy people who get paid by their churches to do this sort of thing - not saying I think we should, just saying wouldn't that be nice.

After three days of non-stop running around, phone-calling, tablecloth-dilemmas, decorating, stressed-out-runs-to-the-store, and general feelings of panic and coordination-anxiety, I would just like to say that it all came together, and was a smashing success.

But my feet still hurt.

And next week I'm going to the other ward's Christmas party, I'm not bringing my children, and I'm going to spend the whole time eating, socializing (since it's not like I don't know most of them anyway) and enjoying myself. And secretly crying because their menu has mashed potatoes instead of scalloped/funeral/yummy style like we did, and I didn't get any, and can't seem to get over it. I was very depressed when I cornered their activities person in the hall today (skipping the last bit of sacrament meeting to do so) and found out this sad, sad, piece of news. I don't even like mashed potatoes - except with cottage cheese, which they obviously won't have. Maybe I should bring my own? Hmmm, a possibility...

But then again, I may come out on top after all, because they're having home-made desserts (we did Costco pies), so there's no telling what kind of yummy things people might show up with.

So next Saturday night, I have a date. With myself - and the entire First Ward. And my husband if I can talk him into coming. (Yeah, the odds on that one aren't so good, so I suggest holding off on the bets). And now, just to prove how exhausted I really am after this whole ordeal, I am going to bed. BEFORE ten-thirty. Without reading a SINGLE blog (although it's extremely tempting). And I can honestly say, I don't remember the last time this combination of early-bedtime/non-blog-reading happened. So have a great week, and send lots of little mind-messages to the ladies in the First Ward to make really delicious desserts, because I deserve it.

(And I'm definitely considering the cottage cheese option - do you think I could keep it hidden in my purse? I'd stuff it down my bra, but somehow I think that might not work so well... Wish me luck!!)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"Too Much Information" or "Another Mom Brain Fried in the Wal-Mart Checkout"

There seriously is nothing like the microscope of the Wal-Mart Checkout to fry a mother's brain. We've all seen it. We've probably all been victimized by it.

But some incidents are more painful to watch (and hear) than others. Such was the case tonight.

The scene: 9:30 in Wal-Mart's Garden Center Checkout.

The players: Me, a young mother with her two children, and about twenty other witnesses.

The situation: Very, very, very sad.

Here's how it went. After a long, meandering, child-free shopping trip, I purchased all my goods but one and loaded my car. I then drove over to the Garden Center to pick up a bike (for C's 5th birthday tomorrow) that I'd set aside at the checkout. As I came around the check station to get in line I see the following:

The said young mother and her kids. She was standing behind her cart, about five yards behind the last person in line, pleading with her 3-4 yr old boy to let her move forward.

His foot (and body weight) were blocking further progress.

Me: Oh, are you in line?

YM: Well, kind of. I'm trying to be. I've been standing here for twenty minutes.

Me: (thinking she meant she'd been waiting in line twenty minutes like I just had) Well then I'll just get behind you.

YM: (Look of panic and desperation set in as I move in behind her)

She then begins explaining how he wants this toy (which I'll call a "blah,blah" since that's what it sounded like when she said it), but there weren't any more - all the while desperately pushing against the kid to get him to move toward the line. He doesn't budge. Two more customers get behind me. She gets more desperate.

Apparently desperation makes her want to talk.

So as she moves to the front of the cart to battle more effectively with her child, she tells me (loudly - definitely loud enough for the man behind me to hear) that she "just needed to get tampons" (waves box in air to prove point). Then she turns to the child:

YM: They don't have a blah,blah. They're all gone. You need to move.

Child: I want blah,blah (whine, whine)

YM: They don't have a blah,blah! You need to move, there are people behind us.

Child: I want blah,blah (whine, whine)

YM: (sounding a little frantic, but still sane) We need to move! They don't have the toy! (physically tries moving child - child goes limp - she gains about three inches - woman two people back sighs loudly).

Child: I want blah,blah (whine, whine)

YM: (to me)(loudly)(getting VERY frustrated)(and probably starting to sweat) I was just sitting on my couch, and I started my period! So I just had to come and get some tampons (waves box again)(I feel man behind me cringe).

Me: (to make her feel better, and to get her off the tampon subject) It's okay, I have four of my own.

YM: How do you do it! I am done. I'm not having any more. (tugs on kid, gains a few more inches. There's still a few people in front of her, so she's okay).

Me: Really? Are you sure? (don't ask why I said it. I don't know. I was trying to make conversation).

YM: (again, speaking loudly) When I had HIM (points to angelic 15 month old in cart) the doctor asked me if I wanted a TUBAL LIGATION. I asked him, "a TUBAL LIGATION?" and he said, "Yeah, a TUBAL LIGATION." I said, "you mean get my TUBES TIED?" and he said "yes, a TUBAL LIGATION." I said "of course I want my TUBES TIED!!! I don't want ANY more!" and he said, "well we could have, since you had a c-section, but you have to give us twenty day's notice, so it's too late."

I swear she really did say TUBAL LIGATION at least that many times. And what's up with her doctor?

About this time the person in front of her moves up. This is when she really started to lose it, and started bargaining with the child. (And where I wished I could help her, but knew that every mother must do her time in the Wal-Mart checkout, and there was nothing to do but watch, and feel a LOT of pity).

YM: (to child, who has been incessantly saying "I want blah,blah" since we last mentioned him) You have to move. If you move, I'll come back in the morning and get you the toy.

Child: I want blah,blah (whine, whine)

YM: Fine. If you don't move, I'll take away the "blah,blah" you already have when we get home.

Child: I want blah,blah (whine, whine)

YM: (repeats this last exchange at least five times before moving on to...) Don't be such a cry baby! I'm taking away your toy. You're such a whiny brat, why can't you be good like your baby brother? You're the one acting like the baby. Don't be a whiny baby.

Child: I want blah,blah (whine, whine)

YM: You're being such a brat! Stop it! If you don't stop crying like a cry baby, I'll call you a baby - I'll call you Riley! (apparently they know a crybaby named Riley) Did you hear me? Do you want me to call you Riley?

Child: No.

YM: Well I will. I'll call you Riley if you keep being such a bratty cry baby.

Child: (miraculously stops crying, moves away from cart, and line proceeds forward).

She then admitted to me (loudly) that she really had always wanted three, but since her first two had different dads she was worried people would think she was a whore.

Another mom-brain fried, compliments of Wal-Mart.

So I think we should all have a few moments of silence for this poor young mother, and all the others like her, who have been recent casualties of the Wal-Mart checkout. If you're among the fallen, you're included. We salute you. (we've all BEEN you). There is no mother who is immune to this hazard (except for those that do all their shopping online), whether it is because of inexperience, over-confidence, crabby/sick/difficult children, or any other contributing factor to public meltdowns of offspring.

Please don't feel bad. This too shall pass.

(But whatever you do, try not to mention your period, tubal ligations, or suggest {under ANY circumstances} that you might be a whore. And if you must mention any of these things, I advise whispering).

(ouch).