Thursday, August 16, 2007
The good and the bad.....
When I was on holidays for three glorious weeks, the girls and I had lots of little adventures. One particular adventure made me feel like a glowing, wonderful teacher of a mommy, and the other left me feeling angry at the world and beat up. Let’s start things off with the happy story…..
It was a beautiful sunny day, and we were all out of fruit. “Girls”, I sang, “let’s go to the Market today and buy some fresh fruit!” Grace enthusiastically agreed and Edie chirped something that sounded like she was in agreement. In matching starched sundresses (well, maybe I’m exaggerating here) we were out the door. We decided to take the bus, after all, what a great opportunity to teach the girls about the environment! And we just happened to have a Suzy Sunshine of a bus-driver who welcomed the girls on her bus. Yippee! And so we took our seats and bounced along, with both girls hair smelling like sunshine (I’m having so much fun with this). The bus stopped and picked up a very scruffy middle-aged gentleman. He smiled and said hello and proceeded to talk to me about how he was going to go for coffee with some of his friends from the shelter. He was a little bit off, but, what a wonderful opportunity to teach the girls about the disadvantaged. We talked and talked and when he got off the bus the girls had lots of questions (Why was he dirty? Why did he talk so loudly? What’s a shelter?) I patiently answered all questions asked and was feeling purely Polyanna at this point. When we got off the bus, we were greeted by, well, a crazy guy, who kept yelling that any mother who gives her children liquid would end up in jail. Perfect! An opportunity to teach the children about the mentally ill. After assuring Grace I wouldn’t go to jail for giving her and her sister their sippy cups, we were off to the Market. I pulled out my canvas enviro-totes (say no to plastic!) and let the girls pick out what they wanted. Again, super-Mom strikes again by providing her charges with fresh fruit instead of gummy fruits (tsk tsk, who does that?) It was time to go and catch our bus home, and on the way we bumped into a woman in a wheel chair. She engaged us in conversation and remarked how cute the girls were, and asked if they would like to play with the buttons on her wheel chair. Ummm, hello, what kid wouldn’t want to do that? Hell, I wanted to play to! Well, after putting this woman in reverse and spinning her around umpteen times, it was time for us to board the bus, and you guessed it, talk about people in wheel chairs and different kinds of disabilities. Then, I swear to you, a blind man came on the bus, with his seeing-eye dog. And where do you suppose they were going? To the track field, near our house. Turns out he trains there, he’s a runner. He let the girls pet his dog, talked about how he runs, and how he “sees”. He told us it was time for his dog to “work” as he had to get off the bus. The girls very respectively stopped petting his dog and bid him an adieu.
When we finally arrived home, I made the girls some lunch with the fresh, whole grain bread (still warm!) and the new fruits and veggies.
I then settled Edie down for her nap while Grace mastered a puzzle geared towards 8 year olds (such a clever girl, she’s only five!) and I busied myself with hanging laundry on the clothesline (using the drier would have been a terrible waste of electricity!)
Ready for the next adventure?
It was just Edie and I on this one, and it didn’t go so well. It was a stinking hot day and I decided to take Edie on the bus to go downtown to do a little shopping. Because it was such a hot day, I brought the stroller, in case she got tired. Now, it wasn’t the little umbrella stroller, it was one of those standard fold-up strollers, I see people on the bus with them all the time. Getting downtown was fine, but once we were down there things quickly turned for the worse. At Old Navy, Edie wouldn’t let me shop (the nerve!) and pitched a shit-fit when I tried to put her back in the stroller. Deciding I should just cut my losses and leave, we hopped (well, she rolled) on the bus to go home. It was hot. The bus was getting busy. A man of considerable girth snarled at me “how the hell am I supposed to get past your stroller” as he squeezed by. Edie grabbed my one shopping bag filled with underwear and proceeded to show the whole front of the bus what I bought. The bus was now standing room only. Sitting to my left was a mentally challenged individual. A blind man, with a cane, came on the bus. To my utter amazement, no one offered him a seat. Because I was talking up room with my stroller, I offered to fold it up so he could squeeze in beside me. He said it was okay, not to bother, but I really felt he should have a seat. I struggled with folding the stroller while trying to contain Edie, who I was bribing with fruit gummies (yup, I do give my kids candy!) to stay quiet. Again, no one offered to help. No one except the gentleman to the left, who obviously had some mental deficiencies, but still had enough social graces to offer me some help. We figured things out and the blind man was able to sit. How about that, the two disabled people and lady with a baby worked it out! The bus was getting more and more crowded, so I decided to make an early exit and just walk the rest of the way home. So, up I got, with my little two year old by the hand, a shopping bag and an awkwardly folded stroller in the other. Now, I was struggling. Edie was crying. The bus was not filled with one armed, one eyed, one legged peopled. It was filled with able bodied individuals who just didn’t give a rats ass to help out. I finally asked a woman my age to take the stroller and help me off the bus. She obliged, but not overly enthusiastically. It was a bit of a hike home, I had stupid shoes on that hurt, I forgot to put sunscreen on Edie so she fried a little bit. When we finally got home, I fed her some Kraft Dinner and put her down for her nap and I sobbed quietly to myself for the lack of humanity in the world. Okay, just kidding about that last part. I actually watched a re-run of Canada’s Next Top Model.
Two very, very, different days.