I am afraid ... terrified in fact that it has finally happened to me. It has taken the better part of 5 years, but I am almost positive that the transformation is complete. In a startling, Invasion of the Body Snatchers kind of way I have become one of THOSE moms. It was easier to identify them before I had kids - in fact they were everywhere then. I occasionally see them now, but admittedly a lot less frequently than I used to. You know what I am talking about! THOSE moms that seem to not notice what their kids are doing even when it is completely inappropriate or annoying to others. You've seen them on airplanes allowing their small kids to kick the seat in front of them or in restaurants pretending not to notice that their kids are chewing up their food and showing it to the people at the table behind them. You've also undoubtedly encountered them at shopping malls, in church, at the dentist, in hotels, at the beach, etc.
I noticed one of THOSE moms the other day when I was at the Verizon store. She let her 3-year old "Oliver" run through the store with wild abandon - crashing into displays, pulling sample phones down and snapping them back on their bungy cords, knocking down boxes of batteries and chargers, bumping into people, and spinning wildly on the chairs. All the while she was talking to an obviously frazzled sales guy about how to download attachments and adobe files on her Blackberry. Oliver's mom did not miss a beat she just followed the sales guy around while he righted displays, put the phones that were swinging by the cords back on the counter, and looked at his co-workers pleadingly for help. I wonder, does this make Oliver's mom a bad mother or at a minimum an inconsiderate human being? I don't know maybe she is both or maybe she is neither. Maybe she did not care that Oliver appeared to be staring in his own episode of Nanny 911, but maybe she was just so preoccupied with the one thing she needed to get done that day she did not really notice what was going on.
Do not get me wrong, I do not condone that kind of behavior by any stretch of the imagination. I hope that Oliver's mom is an extreme case of one of THOSE moms, however I have to tell you that there is a little part of me that can understand how it is possible to tune out the havoc that your own flesh and blood can create right before your very eyes. This brings me to the part of the story where I reveal how I have come to fear that I too may be one of THOSE moms.
We recently had some remodeling done. Anyone that has ever been a victim of a remodel knows that the process is like the movie Groundhog Day ... you keeping waking up and it is the same day over and over and despite your best efforts you can't seem to figure out how to move on to a new day. In any case the kids and I were at the local Home Depot store for the 27th time in a week. On that particular day I was tasked with finding plumbing fixtures that would a) look nice and fit in the appropriate holes, and b) not require a second mortgage on our house. As you might imagine finding a) without requiring b) is no easy task. I was asking a lot of questions, conferring with the salesman, referring to my diagrams all while trying to keep Mr. 2 and 5-year old from tearing the store apart or impaling themselves on a copper pipe. I had almost reached a decision when out of the corner of my eye I catch a glimpse of Mr. 5-year old with his pants down. I whirl around and to my horror I see Mr. 5-year old peeing in one of the display toilets. I yelled S - T - O - P and ran in what seemed like slow motion over to the toilet just in time for the shake. Of course I was horrified! Mr. 5-year could not understand what the big deal was - why would someone put a toilet there if they did not want you to pee in it. I apologized to the Salesman who understandably could not believe what had just transpired. I smiled nervously and did what any self respecting person would do - I ran away like we had been shot out of a cannon. Right before we got to the door I heard an announcement over the intercom, "Housekeeping to the plumbing aisle".
Clearly my Home Depot escapade makes me one of THOSE mom, but does it make me a bad mom or an inconsiderate human being? Hell yes it does! I bet the cleaning crew had a more choice word than inconsiderate to describe me and my spawn that day.