Friday, May 31, 2013

Forts > Sharpies

This is the tale of two moms.

While at Target the other day, I happened upon two different sets of mothers, each accompanied by a child.  The first mother-child pair I observed was leisurely shopping around the hardware department and the second pair was on a not-so-leisurely mission in office supplies.  Both mothers were talking to their children, but each with a different purpose and in very different tones.  

I won’t say I was eavesdropping, but…

Who am I kidding? 

I was totally eavesdropping.  

Leisurely Mom was so engaged with everything her kid was saying.  He was telling her about the fort that he was going to build when they got home. Leisurely Mom asked Leisurely Kid lots of questions about said fort.  Questions like: “Where will you build the fort?” “Will your fort have windows?” “Can I come in your fort?” “Can your sister come, too?”  She not only listened intently, she completely hung on his every word and with each answer he gave her responses made it obvious that she was both listening and genuinely interested in what her kid had to say. It was a precious dialogue, really, and they both appeared to be enjoying themselves and each other's company.  At one point I even gave her the “I’m eavesdropping on your conversation and your kid is darling” wink and smile.  When I finally stopped following them around shopping near them, I left the hardware department and headed towards office supplies, all the while thinking about the sweet mother-child exchange I had just witnessed.

By the way...  Target's hardware "department" is more like an aisle-and-a-half instead of a whole department.  I don't even know why they bother with it.  Let's be honest... People don't go to Target for hardware and what Target lacks in their hardware selection is made up for in baby stuff. And candles. And housewares. And shoes. And feminine products.  If you're going to Target solely for hardware then I hope it's only because Home Depot is closed.  On the other side of that coin, I hope you don't go to Home Depot for feminine products 'cause I'm pretty sure you won't find them there.  That's what I've heard, anyway.  

This is going downhill fast.  Let's pick up where I left off.

...And then I ended up in the office supplies aisle where the warm-and-fuzzy buzz I got in hardware was officially killed.

It wasn’t the office supplies that killed my buzz; I love office supplies, especially binder clips.  It was the mother who was stressed out and snapping at her whining her child that brought me back to earth.  Not-so-Leisurely Mom was obviously in a hurry and the Sharpie selection was perplexing her.  Seriously, the Sharpies were getting the best of her.  There were either too many to choose from or too little, but she couldn't seem to find what she was looking for.  She ignored half of what her kid was saying (even when he wasn't whining anymore) and the other half was met with short, "I'm only pretending to listen to you" acknowledgements.  Not-so-Leisurely Kid wasn't moving fast enough for her, either, because when they left she took his hand and told him “WALK FASTER” (yes, she used her bold and all-caps voice).  I felt sorry for the Not-so-Leisurely Kid and when I stopped being judgmental, I felt sorry for Not-so-Leisurely Mom, too.      

Once again, I had witnessed a mother-child exchange that I couldn’t stop thinking about.

And it quickly dawned on me…  I’ve been there.  I’ve been both of those moms and Susan has been both of those kids.  And chances are I’m the Not-so-Leisurely Mom more often than I’d like to acknowledge or admit.

So I started wondering… When I’m the too-rushed-to-talk, Not-so-Leisurely mom, what is it that makes me that way?  

And I don’t really have a good answer for that, other than that I might have a skewed idea of what’s important sometimes. 

And I’m not trying to put pressure on myself or any other mother to be Leisurely Mom 100% of the time (because really, how do we deal with whining in a leisurely way?) but maybe when I take the pressure off of myself when it comes to "finding the perfect Sharpie" (or whatever it is that’s stressing me out), then the Leisurely Mom within me will naturally emerge. I think it's worth a try.

So yeah... Forts > Sharpies.

Speaking of Leisure…  My friend Melody introduced me to Prancercising today.  Not literally (although the thought makes me laugh), but through this gem of a video:

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