Used Booby Traps

Sometimes I feel like this has become a blog about my three year old, Kate. All Kate, all the time. Kate and her potty mouth. Kate not using the potty. Kate mortifying me. Kate being Kate.

I’ve actually hesitated several times, fingers poised over my keyboard, pondering whether or not I should really write yet another play-by-play of Kate’s ability to drop salty words like a world-weary sailor. Really? I thought. Should I? People must be tired of this storyline by now. I know I am.

Whatever. In the end this endless cycle of blog posts dedicated to Kate will become part of her history, her moments of naughtiness preserved future consumption. Maybe it’s because she’s the baby of the family, or because she’s so petite, or because she’s so petite and now sports a saucy little bob. She insists on pulling her own crazy outfits together each morning and she’s just so.darn.cute.

She has the best comic timing.

She makes me laugh when I know I shouldn’t but I just can’t help myself.

Part of her charm comes from her vast range of facial expressions.  She also punctuates her words with her hands. As in those open-handed chopping movements while she impatiently reminds me, “I toad you I don’t wike hot dogs, Mom!”

A few weeks ago I decided to kill some time while Gwen was at preschool by hitting the local Goodwill. Kate loves Goodwill. She finds Beanie Babies like a champ and, during this particular visit she discovered an unopened package of SpongBob paper cups. Her excitement was infectious. I understood her joy at having found an unexpected treasure in an unlikely place. After all, that’s why we hunt at the Goodwill, always searching for white American pottery or vintage oil paintings. I didn’t score that day, but Kate sure did.

She loves the tactile experience of touching things I’d rather she didn’t touch. Though this particular Goodwill is clean and lacking that musty thrift store smell, I have a slight problem with her diving into a rack of ogre-sized bras. I mean, are they used? Who the hell buys a used bra?

“Oh.My.God,” I heard her say, “Wook.At.Dis. WOOK AT DIS, MOM! It’s a gweat big booby twap!”

“Jeeeesus, that is big!” I breathed, and was momentarily hypnotized by a set of bra cups the size of my head.

I shook it off and said, “Kate, put that back now and let’s walk over that way,” pointing to anywhere but the vicinity of potentially used undergarments.

“Wait, wook at dis booby twap. It’s got polka bots!” she screamed, holding a giant black and hot pink polka dotted bra up to her chest. She gave a little twist back and forth and admired herself in the mirror.

“Pretty!” I cooed, “Okay…let’s go this way now.” I began leading her away from the booby traps…erm, used bras.

Reluctantly, she hung the bra back up and began to follow me, the heels of her yellow rain boots thunking against the floor. As we neared the checkout, the thunk, thunk of Kate’s boots abruptly stopped. After a moment of silence, I turned to see what distracted her. The moment we made eye contact she shrieked, “Oh, no! I weft my SpongeBob cups! My SpongeBob cups!” She took off, her boots thunking at a high rate of speed as she retraced her steps.

I couldn’t see her anymore, but I followed the sound of her boots and the heads of other Goodwill shoppers who looked down as she ran past, their faces breaking into a smile. Eventually, her boots came to a stop and I heard her little voice say, “Oh! Dere dey are!”

On her way back up the aisle, and once more in my sight, she triumphantly held the SpongeBob cups up and called out, “Don’t worry, Mom. I got the ficken SpongeBob cups!”

She must have noticed my wide-eyed look of horror because she immediately said, “I said ficken not fuck. That’s okay, right Mom?”

A woman perusing winter coats began howling with laughter and turned to look down at Kate as she passed by. Then she looked at me and said, “She makes a good point!”

The Horror!

My boob fell off today. Well, to be completely honest, it was my nipple and it only seemed that way if you happen to be a 2 1/2 year old named Kate. 

For some weird reason, the two of us seem doomed to experience boobie horrors together and always smack in the middle of Toys R Us… unless you count that time at the beginning of the summer where she pulled my bikini top off at the beach. Anyway, the last time I braved an excursion to Toys R Us with Kate was in the spring. While we were waiting in line to check out, the cash register ran out of tape and Kate decided that while waiting, she should multi-task and fondle my right boob. In our defense, it did cause that rather slow cashier-person to speed things up a little so I let it slide.

Our latest boob horror began last Thursday morning when something possessed my body and caused me to enter TJ Maxx. It’s a place I don’t normally enjoy, but for some reason, last Thursday I thought it was a fantastic idea…for about 15 minutes. I found a new booby trap that isn’t meant for a 12 year old girl just beginning to bud. I know, that’s exciting news right? I also bought a little box containing silicone nipple concealers. You know, those things that look like raw chicken cutlets, only tinier. Nipple sized flesh-colored pasties..because technically, I do not require a bra. Ever. They cost me $3.99.

Kate happened to be in the closet this morning while I artfully arranged my new skin colored pasties. When I turned to face her, she was intrigued then confused and ultimately, screamed at my right boob before running into the bathroom to escape. From the other room I heard her freaked out little voice, “Oh…your boobie Mommy?”

Later, Joe and Gwen begged me to drive them over to Toys R Us so they could cash in their birthday loot. Gift cards in hand, we spent an unbelievably painful amount of time wandering the aisles, searching for the elusive $25 toy of their dreams. I was becoming coated with a slick sheen of sweat as I pushed the cart, lifted the toddler, bent and stretched to retrieve toys for inspection and rejection. I had completely forgotten about my pasties.

In the Barbie aisle, I was forced to stand on my tippy-toes and stretch my right arm up to the top of the shelf to grab a gaudy Fairy Barbie. As my fingertips grazed the box, pushing it just out of my reach, I swore under my breath. Then, using the bottom shelf as a step, I lunged for the box and simultaneously heard a light THWACK on the tile beneath me.

I cluelessly stepped back onto the floor and passed the Fairy Barbie to Gwen.

“What is that thing?” I turned to see Joe squinting at something on the floor and wearing a look of utter disgust.

Gwen shrieked, “It’s mom’s boob! MOM! Your boob fell off!”

“That’s not her boob, Gwen…what is that thing anyway?” He cautiously inched closer to get a good look.

Kate pushed her way through the crowd and crouched down to inspect it. She poked it with her finger and, when she determined that it wasn’t alive, she picked it up. She straightened her little body to its full 2′ 8″ length and waved the pastie in the air. “Here, Mamma…your boobie.”

Silicone Nipple Concealers? FAIL.

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Monday

I spent the last seven days of my life immersed in writing samples, trying to select the perfect pieces for my residency’s manuscript submission. Thank God for David who took the bull by the horns and dealt with the financial aid stuff, made dinner for the family all weekend and entertained the kids while I sat at my computer telling them all to shut the hell up. I hate noise when I’m under pressure.

One of the side effects of ADHD is that when I’m focused on something with a deadline, something that needs to be just right, I’m not capable of acting like a normal human being. I forget everything else. I’m sure that to the rest of the world I appear to be a complete moron. David understands this. He might not necessarily appreciate it, but he gets it and works with me. He flips the pancakes that I started then walked away from to go clean the bathroom. Thanks to David, the house doesn’t burn down.

I picked my essays and started fine-tuning them yesterday afternoon. I felt good. Yup, I had it all together. No sign of any ADHD induced memory lapses at all. David and I even stayed up later than 9:00 last night.

This morning I was exhausted, yet for some reason when I rolled out of bed, I decided to flat iron my hair and slap on some makeup before driving Gwen to preschool. If only I had taken off the t-shirt that I slept in and put on a bra.

We were walking up to the front gate of the preschool when Gwen asked, “I’m the leader today, right Mommy?”

You know those dreams where you show up for school/work/your wedding and you’re naked? Yeah, well that’s how I felt as I stood on the sidewalk in front of Gwen’s preschool when I realized that it was my day to be parent helper. Technically, I was late, I didn’t have the fruit for snack, I didn’t bring a roll of paper towels and most alarming, I wasn’t wearing a bra.

I wracked my brain, trying to recall the contents of the mini-van, praying that I’d left a sweater in there at some point. For a brief moment, I was relieved when I remembered that I took my bra off at a red light a few weeks ago. Then I remembered that I hated that bra, took it off because it was uncomfortable and threw it in the trash at the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru.

image courtesy Google image search

We walked inside and I apologized profusely to the preschool teacher who, by the way, I swear is a direct descendant of Mary Poppins. She was totally cool with our late arrival and full of ‘don’t worries’ and ‘no problems’.

Sighing, I took off my coat and tried to pretend it wasn’t cold. I was thankful for the thin camisole I was wearing under the t-shirt. I took a deep breath and held my head high, as if going braless was a conscious decision and then Gwen said, “ummmm, Mommy…are you wearing your booby traps or no?”

I spent the morning playing memory match, circle time and serving snacks in what was, technically, my pajamas. Kate, who had dressed herself this morning, was clad in a pair of pants, a sweater dress and a pajama top. Her hair was sticky from breakfast. I tried to brush it with my fingers and ended up tucking it behind her ear.

That was my day.

image courtesy Google image search