How I Found Solidarity At Barnes And Noble

I feel lame that so many of my stories start with “Today, at Barnes and Noble”.  What an exciting life I lead.  Other than the park, it’s the only free place to hang out with my kid who constantly reminds me that he wants to go somewhere by walking to the door and demanding, “bye bye!”  There are always interactions there.  A grown up to talk to is my favorite part, but I also like observing everyone’s parenting styles.

A few days ago, Jack and I had to leave early because he wouldn’t stop trying to take another little boy’s juice.  It got to the point where I had no choice, but to leave.  The woman said politely, “He must be thirsty,” which I self-consciously took as “Do you not give your baby beverages?”  I swore to the woman that my child had plenty of fluids that day, and went into obnoxious details about how her son’s cup looked like Jack’s old cup and yada yada yada please-don’t-think-I-severely-dehydrate-my-kid jargon.  The annoying part of all of this is that she was just trying to keep things light-hearted while my little beast was violently trying to rob her.  Still, I couldn’t help but take her comment way too personally.  Of course this woman doesn’t think my child is dying of thirst.  Of course he’s just in a “I want that cup or I will cut you” kind of mood.  All two year olds go through that horrendous phase where they don’t understand that every object on earth is not their personal property.  Why then, do I feel the need to explain myself or the behavior of my toddler?  All anyone has to do is look at him and know that he’s doing what he’s doing because he’s a tiny human-and tiny humans are selfish. Continue reading

The Boy Who Loved Shoes

As I sit at Barnes and Noble, and watch my child and his new friend play together (and thank the book gods for the train table’s return), I realize that I’ve nearly forgotten my melancholy attitude some twenty minutes ago.  Having a moment to breathe, I can step outside of myself and examine the cause of this acute depression.  It’s shoes. Continue reading