May 22, 2010

The Mother Bear II

Husband out of town. Me and the kids. To the Mall of Georgia. Thinking I had recovered from our last big outing where I was flying solo, I strap them into the carseats, and off we go. (Yes, I am playing Madagascar 2 in the car. Yes, I am a hypocrite).

My first sign was the fact I could not remember how to unlock the double stroller. Usually it doesn't lock itself. Sometimes it does, and usually Jason is there to figure it out. I call him. He doesn't remember. The kids are in the car crying for five minutes before I figure it out. Finally. And we're off.

James, Stella and I head to the indoor play area near Nordstrom, and I've got both kids in my sight, standing by the entrance - well, more like guarding the entrance to pen in my little runaway Bond, James Bond. Everything is peachy. Someone from the Nordstrom cafe brings by smoothie samples. Awesome. So now, I'm sipping a smoothie, watching the monkeys have a grand time.

Stella makes a friend.

A little boy (let's call him Diablo for reasons you will later understand). So, Diablo looks about one year old, and he's quite cute. Plaid shorts, polo shirt, sandals. Little Abercrombie kid. The two munchkins are sitting in the airplane together, jabbering and picking at each other. Diablo puts his arms around Stella and gives her a hug. Stella squeals with delight, and I smile. 

I see Diablo's mother (let's call her Lucifera), standing nearby, sipping her Starbucks with her fresh-from-the-beach tan and cutsy minidress. She and I exchange that fake regonition nod, our kids like each other how cute, and we go back to watching the kids.

Next thing I know, Stella is turning red. That little bastard Diablo has both of his demon hands around her neck. As usual, things start to move in slow-mo, and I hear Lucifera quietly saying, "gentle, gentle, gentle" and Diablo is squeezing harder.

In the span of about a millisecond, I determine that this mother and son crackhead team are actually from Hades, and I leap the four steps over to Stella and Diablo. All while Lucifera continues to chant gentle gentle gentle. I put my hands on Diablo and wrench him from Stella, and literally toss him sideways onto the playroom floor. Stella is recovering and breathing, and I turn around seething.

"What the hell?" I scream to Lucifera.

She looks at me, blinks, and says, "Why did you lay your hands on my child?"

I stand up straight. "Excuse me?"

And as if she really thought I did not hear her, she repeats, "Why did you lay your hands on my child?"

I step closer to her, and I feel the blood in my face. "Lady, you are lucky I'm not about to lay my hands on you."

In that moment, the Mother Bear was unleashed, and I knew that I would claw her across the face if she said another word to me. Maybe my nostrils were flaring, or my insta-claws had actually been unveiled, because Lucifera turned and trotted off with Diablo to the other side of the play area.

The kids and I went on to have a fabulous day: real train ride, carousel ride (complete with horsey sticker), lunch and cookies.

There was one final moment, however. 

On the train ride, I saw Lucifera and Diablo leaving the play area. For a split second, I considered hijacking the mini-train and running them down, while ringing the bell and screaming choo choo choo choo, to the tune of her gentle gentle gentle. Eventually, I calmed down and as I said, the day was great.

Still. I do these people find me?

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