Friday, August 7, 2009

You say potato, I say don't freak me out!

If you ever work at, say, the childcare center at the YMCA, and one of your responsibilities is to go out and find the mommies when their babies need them, and you go into a dark room full of yoga students sprawled out on the floor in the dead body pose with towels over their faces, trying to find meditative bliss while a borderline disturbing mix plays loudly on the stereo (a combination of wind chimes and the instructor's voice saying things like, "I release what no longer serves my mind" over and over again in a multitude of distorted voices), and you somehow manage to pick the right mommy out from the group of dead bodies, and you tap her on the shoulder and whisper, "Are you Lam's mom?" (not a typo) and she, while gasping for air and subconsciously checking her face for drool, finds a way to nod "yes", please think of something to say to her other than, "You need to come down stairs; there's been an accident."

First of all, the weird recording that the yoga teacher obviously made in Garage Band? Strangely effective. While not exactly sleeping, this mommy was definitely not awake. Being brought back to reality by a stranger in a green shirt squatting over you is a little unnerving to say the least.

Second of all, there's been an accident? Really? Have you never watched television? That is what police officers say to prematurely gray mothers who answer their screen door while wiping flour on their ruffled aprons. "Yes, officer. What seems to be the trouble?" "There's been an accident..." That's usually all the officer has to say for the mother to know that something is wrong. Very wrong. Like little Jimmy drove the pickup off a cliff or Pa got crushed under a wheat thrasher in the field.

There's been an accident is what you say when you can't bring yourself to say what really happened. Like if you dropped Great Aunt Tilly's Fabergé egg and it broke into a million tiny pieces and you know it's the only thing in the world she truly loves. What the hell are you going to say to her? Obviously, "There's been an accident..."

I'm just saying, this mommy is most likely already a little confused and out of her element. She is probably thinking things like, How did you pick me out of a whole group of dead bodies? I've never been to this class before so the teacher couldn't have helped. Unless he pointed out the one with the most questionable core strength. And it's not like you have any idea who I am. You hardly even look up when I drop off my son. Even if I didn't have a towel over my face I am sure you couldn't pick me out of a crowd. But I did have a towel over my face. In a dark room! It just doesn't add up. Wait a minute...did you say "There's been an accident"? What kind of accident? Did my son pee his pants or crack his head? Wait! Where are you going? What's wrong with my baby?!?

Then again, maybe this whole "There's been an accident" business was strategic. I mean, I have to admit, I never knew I could feel so relieved and grateful to see my son standing in a puddle of his own pee in a public place. His new yellow rain boots ($5 at Old Navy!) looked perfectly chosen for the occasion. It was surprisingly adorable! Sure there was a lot of pee for me to clean up (I assume that's my job since you just sat there watching me) and the fact that I didn't have anything dry to change him into caused a momentary flash of panic (is three and a half too old to be carried bare bummed through a parking garage?), but I suppose it's all relative. As far as accidents are concerned, it most definitely could have been worse.


Linnet said...

What was that lady thinking?! I would have flipped if she'd said that to me. Granted I'm a worst case scenario worrier, but I think most people would have taken that statement to a dark place. Oi, lucky for her you're so chill and didn't smack her for scaring you.

irieiam said...

I have to say, it sounded like you did the very best with a tense situation...assuming you didn't run out of the yoga class while stepping on fellow 'dead posers'.

Katie said...

I cracked up reading and re-reading this entire entry! Especially the wheat thrasher and flour on apron comment!
A) she never should have phrased it that way
B) I can't believe you had to clean it up!
Isn't that what membership fees are for? it is still funny...