Aug 20 2009
My plan is fool-proof:
1. double park in front of daycare
2. bolt through door
3. snatch children.
Mission accomplished before anyone notices my outfit: transparent tank top (bra also on display), board shorts (from mid-day leap in pool) and chunky, dirt-stained flip flops. To top it off, I smell like I’ve been mucking stalls.
Because I’ve been mucking stalls.
The daycare people won’t notice. I’m one of those irritating parents who rides the line between closing time and being late. I pull up, brakes screeching around 5:57. They practically shove me out the door.
So this day is no different except that I look — and smell — especially disheveled. But that doesn’t matter.
Until my cell phone rings. Justin’s mom is running late, Martin says. Can you get Justin and hang out until she gets there?
Of course I’m happy to help another last-minute parent — spare her the late fee and the dirty looks. But here’s the rub: once you’re booted out the daycare door, there’s nowhere to go. Except the grocery store next door.
Like everything else in Sticksville, the store isn’t a bastion of fashion. Many a farmer has ducked in wearing mud-splattered carhartts. It ain’t the big city and you can slide by with a little grunge.
Still, I feel especially trashy as I roll down the aisles, pushing 2 kids and a spare — all in the toddler age range — while trying to conceal my revealing tank top and flee the distinctive aroma of horse pee.
I’ll give the kids credit: they minimize the embarrassment level. Plied with goldfish, they keep the yelling to a dull roar. We only elicit a few smirks and one raised eyebrow from an uptight granny feeling up the tomatoes in the produce section.
We didn’t even need food so I breeze up and down a few aisles before I can’t stall any longer. Holding my head high, I present mac n’ cheese and a 6-pack of Heineken to the cashier.
Fortunately Justin’s mom appears to collect her kid, dispelling the appearance that I not only dress like Britney Spears, but get knocked up just as often.
I shouldn’t care what other people think. But maybe it’s time to reform my last-minute ways. Or at least keep a spare shirt — and deodorant — in the car.