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I've been a mom for the past three years, so of course I've got tons of experience and can tell other people what to do all the time. But when the tables are turned, hoo boy does it smart! Like today's inevitable trip to Whole Foods. Inevitable because two days of Halloween (thank you, Jefferson Parish and biblical rains) followed by daylight effing savings time. Which means ORGANIC COFFEE STAT. And, um, vegetables too.

So I bundle my beautiful baby girl into her stroller (compliant with all California flamibility and non-tox requirements). And of course she starts screaming when we head towards the store because that's what happens when you're 3.2 years old. So I stop, kneel down in front of the stroller and explain the sitch to her. Like dude, we don't have anything for dinner and I need some sherpa-certified eco-cert stuff stat because after two days of pizza and chocolate I am jonesing. To which she replies: "You took the wrong direction! You took the wrong direction! Go back to the car and DO IT AGAIN!"

Yes this is a literal transcription. I blame her fuzzy logic on my parenting shortcomings, which include totally turning my back last night when she started whining, then proceeded to raid the plastic witches' cauldron full of leftover kiddy-crack. Meaning that I staved off that meltdown until...exactly now.

Then from behind me I hear an agave-sweet voice,

"Oh, it's hard being a baby sometimes isn't it?"

Out of the corner of my eye I catch a Tory Burch pebbled leather tote hanging off a perfectly-toned arm that could probably kick my donkey at yoga. I opt for a neutral response. She did ask a question after all--and it would be rude not to respond, wouldn't it?

"Yeah. And sometimes it's hard being a mom too."

I hear her crisp Manolo Blahniks clicking across the pavement as she comes closer. The aroma of Bond No. 9 does battle with the fresh herbs display I'm desperately inching my way to. Bond No. 9 wins. She gives me a triumphant glance, then attempts to soften her eyes as she begins,

"Oh, honey the time goes by so fast. You're going to look back and miss these days, I promise."

"Huh," I mumble as I mentally calculate the amount of time I have left for actual shopping. Usually 15 minutes from the time I diffuse a tantrum to the time I locate the raisins (awesome toddler silencer) to the time I wheel my girl out of the store screaming (and by screaming I mean either her, me or both). I'm at 14:45 seconds and time is running out and she's still freaking standing there. So I nod and mumble a non-committal "Uh huh" that really means I'm done talking to you, k thanks bye.

The Manolo Blahniks click closer. "Oh, honey, I'm 62 and my kids are in their thirties and oh my goodness, there isn't anything I wouldn't do to have them little like that again, for just a minute--to have them screaming in their stroller you know what I mean?"

I give her one of my classic looks. If it had words, it would probably go something like this:

So much for neutrality, you know what I mean?

She shakes her glorious, keratin-kissed locks as if I'm God's most unenlightened creature. And maybe I am. Maybe I really should be farting rainbows about every single minute of parenthood instead of quietly, inconspicuously attempting to get my child to calm down so I can shop for one meal without a fellow shopper calling for an exorcist and/or shooting stink-eye at the lady with the screaming pram. Maybe I should drop to my knees, risk ripping my organic cotton yoga pants and thank this beatific stranger--nay angel--for reminding me of the gift of life and the way that gratitude conquers all. Maybe.

Instead, I just walk away. While wondering if I could possibly lodge a complaint with customer service. Uh, yeah, there's this chick in a Range Rover hawking sanctimony in your parking lot. And she was really interfering with my ability to spend my entire paycheck on your products.



Me and B.
Life on the other side of twee

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