Sleep Walking at Target

Posted: May 20th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Housewife Superhero, Miss Kate, Mom, Paigey Waigey Wiggle Pop | 1 Comment »

So Paigey is starting to laugh! I discovered this the other day when I was doing the old baby routine of big inhale followed by lunge for the cheek or neck and kiss kiss kiss. That one evidently just slays her.

Her laugh is this kind of slow staccato haaa-haaa-haaa. Hopefully it’ll soften and lighten up a bit over time so she doesn’t suffer some horrible Seinfeldian fate. (“So I was out with this really attractive woman the other night. We’re having this great conversation over dinner, but then I said something funny and…”)

Anyway, yesterday while peppering her with a skillion Obsessive Maternal Cheek Kisses and trying to elicit more laughs from her I realized that her cheeks were as sweet and soft as–as normal baby cheeks! No dry leathery skin! No stinky yeast funk rising up from her neck! No scratch scabs criss-crossing her face! All this and no zits too!

Woo hoo! The I-can’t-eat-anything-I-want-to diet seems to be paying off. Even tonight as we were sitting on the couch in the sweet post-kid-bedtime lull, Mark said, “So it’s kind of like Paige is finally our soft sweet baby.”

I’m thrilled. And of course, now I want to eat her.

Though Miss Sweet Cheeks did get me up a couple times last night. Enough to leave me feeling somewhat zombie-like this morning as I showered, dressed and fed her, and bustled Kate off to school (usually Mark’s gig, but he had his every-decade-or-so dentist appointment today).

Usually when Kate goes to school it’s like I’m playing Beat the Clock to see how much I can cram into five toddler-free hours. Achiever that I am, what I can accomplish is generally quite impressive. Though not today.

Every American mother worth her weight in Merona clothing certainly starts most errand outings at Target. Of course half the fun of Targe-ay has historically been my latte stop at the embedded Starbucks. Alas, this morning I tried to satisfy myself with one of their fairly crummy blueberry muffins, with hopes that they aren’t made with any butter. Somehow it didn’t give me the kick I was needing.

At one point after I’d ticked all the things I needed off my list, and after Paige had fallen asleep in the shopping cart, I realized that for some Godforsaken amount of time I’d just been kind of sleepwalking around the store–leaning into the shopping cart like it was some kind of walker and mindlessly making my way up and down the aisles. I have no idea how long I’d been doing this, but when it dawned on my that I should “wake up” and get out of the store I could barely shake myself into action. Getting to the check-out area seemed an epic moon walk away. But as I looked around at the other shopping Mamas I realized I wasn’t alone.

How many other women find themselves wandering the aisles aimlessly at Target, basking in the upbeat merchandising, browsing anonymously in a low-impact with slight feeling-of-accomplishment way? It’s like airplane sleeping–you’re kinda asleep but you can still hear the flight attendants walking through the plane asking everyone, “Pasta or chicken? Pasta or chicken?” 

I’m telling you women like me are EVERYWHERE. Targets around the country are packed with us, haplessly sleep walking until the older kid needs to get picked up from school, and racking up couple-hundred-dollar tabs for non-essential items. If we all didn’t come by our exhaustion honestly and I didn’t love the company as ardently as I do, I’d think Target was pumping some kinda mind-control chemical out through the air ducts.

Outside the store–once I finally swam through a Jello-like haze to get there–I stopped at the nursery to look for a plant for the great one-dollar plant stand I got at a yard sale this weekend. (Plant stand = $1, Fern = $20. Bargain? You decide.)

A woman around my age and her mother walked past me. Glancing down at my cart I heard the older woman say, “Oh look at that fern. Do you remember when I was trying to grow those?”

For some reason it totally reminded me of my mother. She was an avid gardener and I don’t remember if she went through a fern-growing phase, but it’s the kind of thing I could just picture her saying. “Oh those gerananiums. I tried and tried to grow them in that side garden we had.”

The thought came at me in that gut-punching kind of way that you never expect. It’s like when Mother’s Day approaches and you gear yourself up for being all sad that your mother’s not alive and then a few days later you realize that you never even had a Big Sad Moment that day. Then you hear some mom talking to her daughter about her fern-growin’ and you want to sit on the floor at the Target nursery and cry.

There must be something in the air around here–or maybe it’s my mother herself–but Kate has gotten on this kick of saying “I’m calling your Mama,” whenever I unwittingly leave one of the phones in her reach. “What you Mama’s name again?” she’ll ask. “Vicki? I’m calling Vicki. Hello Kristen’s Mama! This is Kate! How are you? Okay, you talk to my Mama now.” Then she hands the phone to me.

The first time this happened Mark was listening from the kitchen and walked into Paige’s room where Kate and I were. His face was all red and covered with tears. Oddly, I wasn’t crying. I was too busy thinking about what I’d say if I really could talk to my mother on the phone. In Kate’s game I’ve said something like, “Hi Mom. I’m here with Kate and Paige and we’re thinking about you!” Then Kate is off busying herself with another toy, or grabs the phone back and starts dialing Tokyo.

The whole thing also has me wondering why Kate asks me about my mother, but hasn’t ever thought to ask where she is, or why she hasn’t met her. Of course I’m avoiding telling her about death until she’s at least 25.

Yesterday when we were in the park having a PB&J picnic, a mother was coercing her kids to get in their stroller. “Come on, Lucy, we have to go home! Grandma’s coming over for lunch.” How jealous-making is that? First off their grandma is alive, secondly she lives close enough to come over for lunch.

It’s not fair. I miss my Mama.

Hi Mom. I have two beautiful daughters now, Kate and Paige. I know you would just love them. Paigey’s had a skin thing but it’s so much better now. And Kate loves school and is such a good big sister. And even though we’re sometimes tired or impatient I think Mark and I are doing a pretty good job with them. And I really really really wish you could come over for lunch some day.

1 Comment »

One Comment on “Sleep Walking at Target”

  1. 1 Christian Ruzich said at 6:13 am on May 21st, 2008:

    Aww, Kristen. Great post. I’m sure your Mom knows all those things.

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