Friday, May 28, 2010

"Sweetie" is Code for Shut Up

*Story #2 in the game

Let me tell you a little known (or widely known – it depends on the circles you run in…although, why ARE you running in circles, anyway?) fact about my Samera. She is a major fan of the spoken word. Has been since the day we met her. It is something we struggle with in our house, because I have a high regard for quiet. Samera does not. Or rather, Samera CANNOT. Not only does she have a constant stream of words flowing from her brain to her lips to my ears, it is a loud stream. Like Niagara is a stream. She is physically incapable of speaking quietly – or of not uttering a thought once it has entered her consciousness.

Now that you know that little tidbit, let me add to the mix Samera’s ability to notice everything. Especially if it strikes her as odd (which it almost always does) or funny (which it most definitely always does). This combination of talking and noticing is a deadly weapon in any public arena.

That said, let me paint you a picture of one (of many) embarrassing moment that has resulted from being the parent of our Mera:

We (Sylas, Samera, and I) are patiently (yeah, right) waiting in line at Walmart (Seriously, once I mention Walmart, need I go on? Can't you just laugh and feel awkward for me and KNOW that whatever it was, it was really embarrassing? I mean...Walmart. C'mon), grocery cart full. I don’t pay any attention to the person checking groceries until I have unloaded the last of this week’s vittles onto the conveyor belt, when it is much too late to find a different line. You see, I notice (not due to any extra-sensory perception skills on my part) that the clerk has what looks like a family of fuzzy, black caterpillars nesting on her upper lip. HER upper lip. I am nothing but sympathetic, but I can just imagine the barrage of questions that will be thrown my way when Samera catches a glimpse. I quickly glance over and relax to see that Samera is busy breaking all the toys hanging within her reach. I try to hurry the transaction along, snatching my bags up as quickly as the lady can turn that stupid turn-table bagging thing, all the while keeping one steady eye trained on Samera for any sign that she is about to turn around. So far, so good, as the check out stand shelves seem to have been recently stocked with new tiny flashlights, lava pens, key chain etch-a-sketches, and other useless things that no one ever buys (probably because they’re already broken – by my children). I swipe my debit card, and am happily counting my lucky chickens before they’ve hatched, when I suddenly feel a change in the air. It’s the thick (albeit split-second-like brief) silence that always precedes one of Samera’s extra special nuggets of unstoppable embarrassment.

My world starts to spin in slow motion. My head slowly jerks around. I see Samera. Her eyes are huge. She is staring STRAIGHT at the check out lady, like a panther who has just spotted an injured deer. I can read what is going through her head like a blazing neon sign, and I am helpless to stop it from exiting her mouth. Her lips part. Her arm stretches out in front of her, finger pointed.

I spring at her like a wild cat, trying to paw her hand down, but it’s too late.

“Mom, look at that girl’s funny beard!” (I comfort myself with the fact that at least she temporarily forgot the word “mustache”)

I feign deafness, aggressively punching “no” when the machine asks if I want any cash back. I search the screen in vain for the “Do you want the Earth to swallow you up?” option.

“How can a girl have a beard? That’s weird.”

Ignoring doesn’t work with Samera. She WILL repeat herself over and over until she is acknowledged. This realization dawns on me as I feel warmth rising to my cheeks, so I glance around and AROUND the woman in front of us, like I am searching the store for the person my daughter is talking about, while saying something vague, like, “Huh? I don’t know what you’re talking about, Sweetie.”

The check out lady hands me a receipt, which I stuff in the purse I have been pretending to be really interested in to avoid making eye contact.

"Mom! Right THERE. That lady! She has whiskerrrrrrrsssssooooooowwww......."

(that is the sound of a child being yanked by the arm and dragged out to the car where she is given a stern talking-to by a mother who is stifling laughter, and flushed with embarrassment).


Christy said...

that is HILARIOUS. I could totally see that happening as my own girls have made similar comments to strangers. However, I can't seem to recall a lady with a "beard" at Wal-Mart...unless it was a different Wal-Mart? Not that I know every single person that comes and goes at Wal-Mart. haha. AND I am sure Wal-Mart has the highest turn- over there is! So it could very well be possible that she was hired and then quit that same night. haha. Look at me talk. Just tell me, "sweetie"...(I am shutting up now). ;)

The United Statements of Merica said...

I am laughing my head off! You are a talented story writer! AND I'm also a little sick and stressed out because I can totally relate. Avery has provided me a daily dose (or more) of humility for so long I'm numb. so now when Avery tells a lady that her chihuahua's ears are too big for it's head, or someone with a cigarette that his smoke will give her mom a headache, or a teenage girl at the ice cream parlor that her shirt is "un-repropriate".. I just whisper "we'll talk about it in the car".. and then we do. is that bad?
I will say, that if i were in your situation, the way you described it is EXACTLY how it would have gone down.. I'm still feeling REALLY uncomfortable.
Your stories are so stressful.

Sharlee said...

Haaa haaa! You know, I'm a sensitive lady and wouldn't want my kids hurting peoples' feelings but sometimes I wonder what people expect! I mean, it's the walmart checkout stand--you're going to have a million cajillion kids (and adults) coming through there every day and I'm betting that your kid (if the story is true) wasn't the first to say something.... so wax it? Bleach it? Shave it? Pluck it? Some people are just gluttons for punishment.

Rindee said...

Andrea, I LOVE Samera! I laughed out loud at your story and can also empathize with a child who never stops talking and also was born with a whisper impediment.

Beautiful imagery.

Jason said...

Oh my gosh, that is so funny! It makes me feel sooooo much better to know that other mothers have these embarrassing moments with their little ones. Bjorn and Samera sound like 2 of a kind! Never quiet as long as they're awake. And speaking every thought that enters their mind. And SOOOO observant! Bjorn notices everything. I am constantly on the edge of my seat with nervousness whenever there is a person around that doesn't look perfectly normal, which is pretty much everyone! Thanks for a good story to start my day!

Jason said...

Again, this is Amy even though it says Jason. I need to edit that somehow!

Mardee Rae said...

Oh, I can now see what you mean about Cadence and Samera--they (along with Merica's Avery) must be cut from the same cloth.
Soooo funny! keep them coming. Not ready to vote yet but I think this one is true.

Sandra said...

I'm still saving my final vote until all the stories are out, but my preliminary guess for this one is: True. It made me squirm when I read it. Anything that real must be true. Although, you might know that we would think that and so you could have made this one up just to throw us of the scent...hmmm.

Michelle said...