As I stood at the counter waiting for my change, my toddler’s hand repeatedly snaked down the front of my blouse. “I see boobies!” she yelled. I patiently extricated her hand only to have her plunge it right back into the depths of my bra. “Boobies, Mama, BOOBIES!” she shouted and threw her head back with laughter.

The cashier in Toys R Us was a 20-something man-boy sporting a low ponytail. He pretended not to notice but I could see the flush rising in his face as he tried to change the cash register tape and get me and my boobie-grabbing girl out of his sight. “Sorry about this” he mumbled and maintained strict eye contact as Kate fondled my left boob. He was trying very hard to pretend that she wasn’t there and that he wasn’t embarassed. Mostly, I think he was under the impression that I was embarassed. I wasn’t. I’ve built up my immunity.

As Kate let a rapid-fire string of “boobies” fly, he got flustered and dropped the roll of tape. Kate began occupying herself with the padding in my bra. Her little finger repeatedly poked at my bra through my shirt while she pulled the neckline foward to investigate what was happening behind the scenes. I’m sure that, as the door slid shut behind us, he laughed. 
Four years ago, Joe and I were in the women’s locker room at the Oak Square YMCA in Brighton, Massachusetts. We went there often. I’d run while Joe stayed in the childcare room, then I’d pick him up for a swim in the YMCA pool. It was in the changing room where Joe found his voice. I was changing out of my bathing suit when he loudly exclaimed, “Mommy, you’re pee-pee is Cuh-RAZY!” I wanted to die. I quickly shushed him and pretended that Joe hadn’t shared the condition of my ‘pee-pee’ with the current occupants of the locker room. No matter how hard I tried to gracefully move on from that moment, the kid wouldn’t drop it. “Why is your pee-pee all hairy?” I had nothing. I was mortified and just wanted him to stop. For so many reasons, I wanted him to stop. Mostly, I was reminded that it had been ages since my last bikini wax. My pathetic attempts at self-grooming were hindered by the gigantic belly holding our newest bundle of joy.

Suddenly the gravity of my situation came crashing down upon me. All at once, I felt very much like a mother. I looked around me and saw throngs of childless, twenty-something women snickering about my pee-pee. I wanted to slap those smug little freshly waxed bitches and say, “Just you wait! Someday you’ll have a kid and a hairy pee-pee too!”

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