Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tea Party at Target


Today I'm guest posting at Momastery. I'm pretty scared of what the reaction to the post is going be. By "pretty scared" I mean that there may be dry heaving involved. The Cap'n is worried that I'm going to get creamed for being a terrible parent. Even though the folks who read Glennon's blog are amazing and kind and wonderful (we're called Monkees, by the way, those of us who read Momastery), it is the internet after all. And I told the truth and the truth is sometimes hard, embarrassing, and scary.

Kate originally wrote this post 3 years ago about kind of the same topic. It's my favorite thing she ever wrote. It's time to share it again. Because as as a parent sometimes I need to be reminded that I am all they have in the world.

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I'm sitting in my car in the Target parking lot. Typing this on my phone -- thumb-typing -- before I forget anything. Because I totally will. I'll start the car and drive home or to school or wherever, and then I'll wake up at 2AM thinking, "God dammit, all that funny stuff happened and now it's gone."

Three cars are stalking my parking space. They're gonna be pissed, because I'm gonna be here forever. Thumb typing. And I have a Band-aid on my thumb which means I'm screwing up every word and my automatic spell-checker is making stupid suggestions.

An. E. Way.

So ten minutes ago I'm wandering around Target -- because I have none of the IHPs with me and time to kill. Plus, I didn't really need anything at Target. Just wanted to wander. Maybe get Lydia a T-Box. After all, she wasn't stupid enough to give up drinking for 46 days.

I turn down the school supplies aisle, my favorite. I have a thing for markers…I buy them all the time. I think it's because we do a lot of Sharpie tattooing in our house. Someday, when the IHPs are all inked up, I'll know that it's completely my fault. But, when they say, "Mom, will you draw on me?" I'm like, "giddyup pardner…" I always wonder what the kids' teachers think when they come in looking like a whacked-out David Beckham.

Anyway, there's this mom in the aisle and she is all up close and personal in her daughter's face, like she's looking for an eyelash in her eye or something. And her back is to me, and all I hear is this gritted teeth voice:

"You see those cameras up there? It's only because of them that I'm not spanking you or dragging you out of here. You're such a horrible little girl and I could just leave you here and --"

And then I turned into MEAN KATE and in my all loud-y voice, I say, "Hello!" and she whips around and I see her little angel staring at me all big eyed and totally not sure what's gonna happen.

[Now, I have to digress for a second. I know, all too well, that I have lost my mind with my IHPs. Definitely at home, sometimes in church, probably in Target. Sadly, I still remember one time when I was all up in McGee's grill just like this mom, and this older woman came up to me and gently touched my shoulder and said, really nicely, "just remember, you're all she has in the world…" and then smiled really genuinely and patted me, but not all patronizingly. Which of course made me cry, and that's normally not OK to make me weepy, but it's not like I was gonna do anything about it. Well, I did ask her for a tissue. And just like Mrs. Doubtfire or something, she produced this tissue like out of thin air. Well, actually she had one tucked in the edge of her sleeve, which was so great. And I think that's the law that when you're an old lady you have to tuck tissues in your sleeve, just in case. And that was like 7 years ago, and I still remember everything about that moment, and she was soooooo right and even though I sometimes lose my schmidt, it's never that far. And never will be. Ever again.]

So, at this point, I don't even know what's gonna happen. Because on one hand, I want to pound her into Sharpie land, and on the other, I want to be as calm and helpful and comforting and magic tissue-producing as that woman was to me all those years ago. But I really want to pound her. So I compromise.

"Hi. See those cameras up there? That's the only reason I'm not body tackling you into that lovely display of markers. Because I can, and I really want to. But, because I don’t feel like being arrested today I'm going to instead give you this" and I hand her my phone, which is my Precious and I love it. And as she reaches out all confused-like, I turn on Nice Kate and tell her the story of me and McGee and she gets all teared up…

And then I say, "This is my Precious. And she" and I point at her daughter "is your Precious. So we're going to sit over there and have a Tea Party at Target and we're gonna let Mom finish up her shopping and we'll just sit here the whole time."

So, Lizzie -- who I immediately began calling Elizabeth the Second so I could tell everyone I had tea with the Queen at Target -- and I got the cute dishes that they put right next to the picnic tables and we pretended to have tea…and every four minutes or so mom would walk by and we'd still be there, and I guess at some point she realized I wasn't going to leave with the Queen, because that's treason or something and I'm pretty sure you get your head cut off for absconding with the head of the monarchy.
Plus, she had my Precious, and I wanted that back...

Mom came back and she looked so much happier, and actually hugged me, which people who know me know not to do. So I kinda hugged her back and then I super hugged Queen Elizabeth the Second.

And THEN…I said something about going to buy a T-box for my friend and she SCREAMED. And then I sorta forgot that I invented the word T-Box -- or maybe Lydia or Danielle or someone but I'm taking credit because it's on my list of things to add to the MDR -- and I thought "hmm, maybe I should have body slammed her" and she said "did you say T-box?" and I said, "yeah it's something I, ummm, read somewhere…" because I'm sure as sh*t not gonna say I made it up. And -- and I am soooo not kidding I thought I was gonna flip out -- and she said "ohmygodthere'sthisawesomewebsitethatiloveandtheytalkaboutt-boxesallthetime!!!!" and I was like, "I LOVE that website!" and then she introduced herself because now we're totally best friends and then I lied and I didn’t tell her my real name. So I guess we can't be best friends, huh?

So I totally (knowingly) bought her a T-Box and she totally (unknowingly) made it the best day in the history of ever because she was talking about me, to ME. It was like going to your own funeral but you're not dead and everyone is happy and not crying and they're all saying AWESOME stuff about you but they don't know you're in the room. So, yeah, it's not really anything like a funeral. But still AWESOME!

So, Mom of Queen Elizabeth the Second: Hi. I'm Kate. Nice to meet you. Remember, you're all she has in the world.

Oh, and I totally bought more Sharpies.

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69 comments:

  1. this is amazing!!!
    i will never forget it!!!!
    BRAVO KATE, BRAVO!!!!!!!

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  2. I am a new follower so I have no clue what you mean when you say t-box. BUT... I LOVE this post!

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  3. T-Box = box of wine bought at Target. Target wine box = t-box for short. Awesome, no?

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  4. You REALLY have a way of making me laugh and cry (in the 'getting -choaked-up-oh-that-it-so-wonderful-and-sweet-I-just-can't-hold-it-in-chicken-soup-for-the-soul' way). Thank you, once again, for getting my day off to a great start! I will hold both of those stories for a long time - and use them to help me remember the same about my IHPs when I am loosing my schmidt (or, even better, maybe to help me not loose it).

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  5. one of your finer moments -- thanks for sharing!

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  6. LOL! Love it!! Thanks for making my gloomy, no sugar for my coffee, he spilt an ENTIRE 32oz container of yogurt on the floor AGAIN, Mama I wet the bed, dear GOD there is MORE snow on the ground, morning Better!!!
    I look forward to seeing your blog each and every morning, it goes hand in hand with my coffee!
    ~Kim

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  7. I'm so impressed with you. Well done.

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  8. Okay, I know I'm all hormonal and what not, but this made me cry. I also love that you did that for her and LOVE that you got turn-arounds by her loving this awesome website!!! You better treat yourself to some wine on Sunday (you know, the cheat day!)

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  9. mommies helping mommies makes life that much easier for all of us. LOVE IT!!!

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  10. Yeah you! I would have totally body checked the mom! Way to be the grown up!

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  11. As I have to admit that I've had one of these moments with my oldest daughter, it was humbling and refreshing as always to see other moms do from time to time as well. So much respect for you Kate! Let us all strive to be better moms - and have each others' backs...and god forbid, DO NOT forget the T-Box!!!

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  12. Wow. I mean, WOW! What an amazing story. LOVE that nice old lady, and LOVE you. Way to go, Lady. Way to go!

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  13. As if no one else has said this, but I totally am of the belief that you can't say this enough or hear this enough . . . . I LOVE YOU. Really. HONEST & TRULY! I love you in the way that the tissue up the sleeve toting Mrs. Doubtfire 2 loved you and the way that you loved that mommy and lil' girl and the way that all mommies should love one another (b/c really, who else truly understands us?) and now I'm babbling which I tend to do when I get emotional but am trying not to cry because I can't cry as I already spilled white wine on Rosy (my laptop) last week and I don't want to get her all wet again b/c I know she won't forgive me a second time and now, I really am babbling so. . . . . Thanks and btw, I LOVE YOU (u 2 Lydia)

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  14. IHP's are indoor homeless people - the pet name Kate uses to describe her kids. If you ever wonder what the hell we're talking about (we get that a lot) - we have a sort of index of our silly made-up terms called the MommyLand Desk Reference (MDR). There's a link on the left hand side of the blog that will take you right there. Thank you so much for reading our rants!
    xo, Lydia

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  15. Great Job!!!! We Mommies gotta stick together since no one else can Truly Get It. I feel like the world is getting meaner every day and we're missing out on the days where people respect and helped each other bc it's the Right thing to do and not be we have to or for TV ratings... Way to be a great example!

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  16. OMG! I was totally on the edge of my seat throughout this story! Awesome!

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  17. That made my ENTIRE week...

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  18. Well done, Kate! I am sure you made her day...we have all "been there" with our kids at one point or another, awesome that you stepped up to help her. And even awesomer that you got your well deserved pay back! :)

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  19. ROFL!! I just found your blog and I know I'm going to love it already!! You did an awesome thing!

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  20. Damn Lydia. First, I think I may have unwittingly hugged you one day, so SORRY! Second, nice job. Personally, I would never think cameras would stop you, but you did a great thing. Rock on momma.

    The Principal ;D

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  21. Wow! Wish I had the brains in my head to have that kind of compassion when I see situations like that! I like to think I'm a lot more compassionate than I used to be, but usually I forget in the moment and end up just giving dirty looks! That was bold of you to just step up and do something like that! I'm inspired to try to remember my compassionate side next time I see some mom losing it. Good for you!!! You should be proud! And thanks for sharing the story...maybe it'll remind us all that kindness is a better way to go.

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  22. Thank you, thank you! Not only for making me laugh so hard a little pee comes out EVERY time! But for this post in particular. The last week or two has been very difficult with my daughter and, well, let's just say I am not going to win any "mother of the year" awards. Today, after reading this post, I was in tears and really able to change the way I interacted with my daughter. As a result, we had a much more pleasant bed time and she is now sleeping peacefully and happily, and I am relaxed and not wracked with guilt! What a gift you have given us! KEEP IT GOING!! XOXO

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  23. wtf? my targets don't sell wine?!?!? if they did, i might actually stop by more often when my kids beg me to go. seriously. they love them some target.

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  24. Ok, totally new here, just found your blog, and I think this is the. best. post. I've ever read!!! That is just too awesome!!!!

    You've definitely got a new fan ;).

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  25. I will remember this everytime I get fed up with a pissy child. Thank you!

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  26. Kate- thank you for this post. Today was one of the hardest days in a long time with my daughter, and as I sat to read this blog, I was in fact gritting my teeth, yelling, and saying some very un "mother of the year" type things.

    This gave me some awesome perspective, and I really appreciate it...
    Thank you.

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  27. Darn. I was hoping the mom from Target would have seen this and posted a comment :-)

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  28. I really needed this today, and am so happy to see that many of us really are learning from our own experiences to be compassionate to others we see making mistakes. As twisted as it seems, it makes it just a smidge easier to forgive myself when I see another mom forgiving another mom, which is probably why you can add me to the crying-over-this bandwagon. :-) This blog is wonderful.

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  29. I love this story. Amazing, and I'm going to remember this forever.

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  30. Thank you for this story. I'm all she has in the world, too. Well, except for her totally awesome dad who is amazing beyond amazing. But I'm so scared that she'll wind up in therapy talking about what a shitty mom she had, but at least her dad was great. Thanks for this story.

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  31. Just found your blog today via a friend. Loving it!

    I had *that* moment with my youngest yesterday. I immediately felt total shame and guilt. Still do, but I know she's forgotten it. :(

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  32. This is the best story ever. Truly!

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  33. My Precious...now if I could just not say it in the Gollum voice, I would be all set next time I want to lose my schmidt on my teenager. Yes, all the above still applies in the World of Teenagers!

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  34. What an amazingly thoughtful and kind thing to do! Not only will I remember these words: "just remember, you're all he(she) has in the world…", but I will also remember your generosity and maybe one day, I will be in a store and see a mommy that just needs a break and I will do the same thing. Good job!!

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  35. Made me pissed and laugh at the same time.... BRAVO! I look forward to reading your blog often.... OH and remember when your little one's come home with a "friend" who is REALLY covered in ink... think back and say..." Did I do that?.... Yep sure did!" lol sweet dreams mommy :)

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  36. Beautiful. And I so needed to read the "all she has in the world" advice. My son takes me to the edge and back on a daily basis and because I don't know what else to do with him and because I'm at wit's end before he even comes into the picture, I'm not the kind of mommy I want to be. I will keep these words from that kind old lady in the front of my head from now on.

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  37. Wow. I am going to print this out and keep it in my purse for when my teenager boys are rubbing me the wrong way and I feel like losing it. Thank you Kate. What a beautiful story!

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  38. This post makes my heart smile. Thank you.

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  39. that is so awesome that u intervened like that... i have been in situations where ive wanted to be the mom to save the little girl/boy who is being yelled at like that but havent had the guts to get involved... you really are amazing

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  40. If this was Facebook and had a "Like" option, I would LOVE this 132639 times. And you get 9245710750 bonus points for being awesome.

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  41. I can't believe you thumb typed this entire work of wonder... that is like a magical talent.

    *thumbs up!*

    ♥ most excellent story thank you so much for being who you are to experience it and for sharing it with us ones who try to remember not to lose our schmidts on our own preciouses

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  42. Hilarious!!! Just found this blog. Thank you for this.
    And (because us mommies need to stick together) Check out www.sahmmy.com. I blog under Mother-naked. We have a very similar view on things.

    Thanks again.
    Beth Navarro

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  43. Almost a year after you wrote this I found it and it has me in tears. Thank you for sharing the truth that a granny shared with you. It's so easy to forget to see things through the kiddo's eyes when life is just stress after stress!

    I linked to this post from my blog, hope that's ok.

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  44. Best. Story. Ever. I sooooo wish I could have been behind the monitor of one of "those cameras up there"!

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  45. Us mommies have to stick together.

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  46. This inspires me to pay this action forward. We will all have days like this and sometimes we need to be reminded to snap out of it and act in love not anger.

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  47. Although far less of an awesome story, this reminds me of the time I helped out an exasperated mother and her cute meltdown-toddler. It was at the Japanese market, and given my small amount of Japanese from college, I walked up to the kicking, screaming little girl and asked her (in Japanese) how she was doing, what her name was, and introduced myself. The girl was so shocked and surprised by random Japanese-speaking, non-Japanese lady that she stopped crying, told me her name, and smiled. The mother was soooo grateful. The meltdown was over. :-D My good deed of the day and my college education was put to good use.

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  48. I hate you for making me cry when I came to this site for a laugh today.

    (It's not your fault - I'm 8 months pregnant, my hubster has been acting like a piece of schmidt all week, and my two-year-old has JUST decided to fully embrace the Webster definition of "terrible twos", so I cry at EVERYTHING.)

    Really, though, this is a great story. Thanks for sharing!

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  49. I have read this post several times, and love it every time. I hope that I have the sense to help another mom out like this sometime... and also that said mom doesn't punch me in the face for interfering. BRAVO.

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  50. I am new to reading your blog. This is only the second one (so far) I have read. The first being your blog about being in "5 guys" - Which I completely lost control and was laughing and crying hysterically at the same time - so much so that my dogs were wondering what the hell was wrong with me and started barking uncontrollably at me - until I stopped. I love moments like that...the ones you are laughing so hard that you begin to cry. It helps me in so many ways to deal with life as we know it and as we live it. I have many friends who write blogs too and I love reading them. What I have noticed is that you all share some things in common...your great wit, great sense of humor and genuine love to make people laugh (and cry) by sharing your stories of real life experiences. Please don't stop - ever! Even when your children have children of their own...please keep sharing. You may not realize how much you touch a person's life (a stranger's life) by sharing! Thank you!

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  51. New follower!!!!!!! And you are cracking me up! I need to put the computer down and go spend time with my daughter, but I can't wait to read more :)

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  52. LOVED, loved, LOVED your post on Momastery!!! I am another new follower, looking forward to your next post and starting through your archive in the meantime :)

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  53. your guest post on Momastery was perfect. the list made me smile and tear up at the same time! LOVELOVELOVE

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  54. Loved your post on Momastery! It was just what I needed to hear after one of my worst nights as a parent ever surrounding dramma over infected ears from earrings. Sounds fun right. A new day and a chance to try again :)

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  55. Love this story & LOVED your post on momastary!! New follower:-)

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  56. Yes. Yes. This post is fabulous. As is your guest post over on Momastery, my dear! What a lovely perfect post day!

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  57. Just discovered you. Loved your Momastery post, and loved this one. You are awesome!!! Thank you!!

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  58. This is a fabulous post, and reading the comments has made me all teary. this week mummy, daddy and bub have all had bad colds and are all exhausted. You know how they day that nobody notices what mummy does until she can't do it? In my house the only person who noticed was mummy. Now just before my second mother's day, I'm tired, sick,trying to get our house ready to go on the market, and under appreciated.

    I'm just so glad for this blog and knowing that mums appreciate other mums, and understand.

    Louise
    www.lulu.com/spotlight/scratched

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  59. That is one of the best things I have ever read! As a new follower, I'm glad you decided to run this "repeat"!

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  60. i'm a monkee who followed the link from your momastery post (which was AWESOME and i'm making those signs) to THIS amazingness. thank you. love them both. needed them both today (and prob every day). thank you.

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  61. This was one of the first posts I read here at mommyland and it forever made me love you guys!!! Thanks for resharing!!!!

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  62. Hi. Your guest post on Momastery was everything I was feeling that I didn't have the courage to admit. And I felt so relieved when I read your post. Then I headed over here to read more and I immediately told my friend about this blog, "We have found our people." I love it when we find more of our people.

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  63. Hi - I'm such a fan of Mommy Blogs and I don't even have children. (long story). Your posts are so funny to read and believe it or not - I can relate. Why, because of my HUGH family. And, I did used to be a Mom...another long story. Look forward to reading more. www.lifeasamorticianswife.com

    Lynne Houston

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  64. This post had me laughing, gasping, and "oh my-ing." Thank GOD you had that previous (albeit humbling experience) to use mentally in that situation. That woman will never forget you!
    :)

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