There are countless beautiful moments in a mother’s life, none of which involve standing in the middle of a mall parking lot screaming, “HOW THE HELL DO I COLLAPSE THIS STROLLER?!”
Which is to say my afternoon was, well, somewhat ugly on Sunday.
Mr. Candy had already left on yet another one of his “business trips.” I use quotation marks not because I suspect he is doing something seedy, but because I am convinced he is just holed up in a hotel down the street somewhere and sighing contentedly, “Finally, I’ve escaped the madness!” I couldn’t blame him. It is a bit of a madhouse around here lately, what with a moody toddler who’s laughing one minute, angrily pounding on the floor the next — and a wife who is prone to doing the same. If I ever find out that Mr. Candy’s business trips are actually mental health breaks, I will have no choice but to grab him by the shoulders and scream, “IT’S MY TURN NEXT TIME!”
With my husband on the road — allegedly — and no family within a two-thousand-mile radius, I was unable to live-blog the Emmys because I had to watch Skye and make sure she didn’t do something unwise, like pull a TV on her head. It was a beautiful day here in Los Angeles, so naturally I took my one-year-old out to get some fresh air at, um, Bloomingdale’s. (Hey, sometimes Mommy needs to go to her playground, too.) Skye and I had a lovely time together. I got my much-needed Bloomie’s fix. She got to partake of her favorite pastime: people-watching. And she has no qualms about openly staring at folks for minutes on end, to the point that I feel the need to interject: “Ha, ha! She hasn’t learned her manners yet!”
Of course, what she really needs to learn is that is why sunglasses were invented.
When Skye started wrinkling her nose (loose translation: Nap. Now. Woman!), we headed out to the car, weighed down with brown Bloomingdale’s bags. Glorious, brown Bloomingdale’s bags. I rarely get to the mall these days, so I was feeling quite giddy UNTIL… I tried to collapse the stroller. It is a fairly new Maclaren umbrella stroller that Mr. Candy, our Official Baby-Thingy Expert, had always handled before. You see, I am not one of those super-moms who can install a car seat with one hand, while juggling a baby and conducting a philharmonic with the other. Heck, I was prouder than Dina Lohan on prison talent show night when I figured out how to open the stroller — after only fifteen minutes of jiggling and pulling every part of it. Unfortunately, that same approach did not work with closing Skye’s “simple” umbrella stroller. I kicked it. Punched it. Gave it a time-out. Nothing worked. So I did what any mother with a tired, screaming toddler sitting in the backseat and ornery stroller would do: I tried shoving it, as-is, in the passenger seat. And when it did not fit there, I scanned the parking lot for my savior. To my great relief, it did not take long.
PAN OVER TO: A family of five, with a FATHER PUSHING A MACLAREN STROLLER!
ME: (SENDING UP SMOKE SIGNALS) Excuse me? Help! Help!
THE FATHER: (SPOTS THE STROLLER TAKING A TIME-OUT IN THE CORNER) Just a sec. Let me get my wife.
This woman, I kid you not, had that stroller collapsed in two seconds flat. And it probably wasn’t even her best time. Her hands and feet did things to that stroller that cannot be legal in most states. Thankfully, however, this is California where those things are not only legal, but encouraged. I wanted to hug that woman with the mad mommy skillz and dexterous limbs. But I did not want to frighten her so I simply cried, “THANK YOU! OH MY GOD, YOU SAVED MY LIFE, THANK YOU, THANK YOOOUUUU!”
Oh yeah. Much more normal.