Thursday, April 16, 2009

Story Time

We just returned from story time at the local library, where a slightly disheveled and rather timid woman failed miserably at entertaining a bunch of toddlers. We hadn't been since this time last year (above) and I'd forgotten how painful it is. But I'm all about planned events that add structure to my day, without which I might scratch my own eyes out.  At least when I attend such forums, I want to scratch someone else's eyes out instead.  Like the mom wearing a Prada trench coat and furry boots who was ordering her au pair around, straight out of The Nanny Diaries. I thought about accidentally tripping her (the mom, not the au pair) but she struck me as rather litigious.  

The librarian conducting the session was a nervous wreck and it made me curious if being a children's librarian is a particularly stressful job. It's not like she had to take any of the toddlers home with her like the rest of us.

I sat quietly judging a mom with a four-year-old boy who still sucked on a pacifier in broad daylight. And then I remembered my girls are 17 months and still on a bottle so I mentally scolded myself for being a hypocrite and looked around for someone else to judge.  Then I looked down at myself.

I was (well, am) wearing a black cotton MATERNITY turtleneck with navy workout pants. No working out was going on today, mind you. Even on my worst day pre-motherhood, I wouldn't mix black and navy, even if Lucky magazine said it was okay.  I tried to find another shirt to wear this morning but everything is dirty. I could have done laundry, I suppose, but that might have sent a very misleading message to my husband that I'm willing, and have the time, to do it. He usually does the laundry but hasn't in a while and I'm wondering if we're in some kind of silent war about who will do the next load.  I guess I could ask him if we are in a battle of wills, but then it wouldn't be a silent war, and those are my favorite kind.

I once had a roommate who liked it hotter than Hades when she slept so after we were all in bed she'd go turn off the air conditioner. And then I'd get up and turn it on. And she's turn it off. And I'd turn it on.  Oh, I could do this all night, sister, I remember thinking to myself.  In the morning we'd pretend like nothing happened, like we didn't pad quietly back and forth alternately turning up and down the air from 50 to 100 degrees, confusing the hell out of the local meter readers.  Like a baby you're no longer going to feed at night, it only took a few nights for her to realize who won and stop waking up.

The girls will be up from their nap soon and we'll head out to the swings. I was thinking of changing but then it dawned on me that Daniel Craig probably won't be at the park on Waveland Avenue this afternoon so what the hell do I care?  Plus, when my husband comes home and sees how I'm dressed, he'll get the message I will go through MY ENTIRE WARDROBE, including maternity clothes, before I do the laundry. Another cold war won.

PS -- Opes had on a couple of 14-year-olds who think they are ready to have sex. Shoot me. She had her hair straightened but then kind of curled with a curling iron at the ends. Brutal. I am going to the drugstore to buy a perming kit after which I will hide at Harpo and launch a surprise perm attack tomorrow. I haven't given a perm since 9th grade -- the results were not as anticipated and I lost a friend in the process -- but Opes' hair can't get any worse than it is now so I think she'll appreciate the effort.


  1. I think I actually snorted when I saw that you were wearing a maternity shirt. My youngest is 13 months old and I have a couple of maternity sweaters that I've just concluded are part of my permanent wardrobe now. I'm glad I'm not the only one still using the maternity clothes, although I apparently should feel a lot worse about it. : )

    I started going to school to be a children's librarian; then I got married and had three kids and sort of forgot about that plan. If your local children's librarian is that stressed, I probably ought to be glad I didn't end up pursuing that career further. I already spend my day with toddlers, minus Prada-wearing au-pair-having moms, and I'm kind of a wreck. I never would have survived.

  2. My daughter will be 2 in a week and a half. I still wear maternity sweaters and tops. I'm not ashamed! When I'm complimented, I make sure to let people know that it's maternity :-)

  3. My first roommate and I went through a silent war. My roommate would wake me up in the morning, and I'd shine lights into her eyes throughout the night to get her awake.

    She broke first. Possibly the only smart move she ever made. :)

  4. I have to tell you - your maternity wear blue/navy combo probably still outshines me on an average day. And, I am impressed by your standards. I have been known to pull a sweater out of the laundry in a pinch so long as it passes the sniff test. Wait...did I just type that out loud?

  5. Okay, seriously? You are hysterical. Your dedication to the silent stand-off is admirable. I can only do a round or two before I get bored/apologize and beg for forgiveness. I aspire to your heights!

  6. I am so cheering for you to win. I know you can take him. He doesn't have to put up with toddlers all day!

  7. Oh, you have GOT to be talking about storytime at the Bucktown Library, right? I'd recognize that description of the librarian anywhere.