So I went to the park yesterday morning with Avery. OK, so it wasn’t technically a park – more like the fancy grassy area in front of a hoity-toity hotel in Beverly Hills. But hey, Avery thinks it’s fantastic. It’s three blocks closer than the park, there is a coffee shop right there, and there aren’t any loud, filthy kids spreading their snotty germs all over. It’s the closest thing I get to peace and quiet. We were happily playing, rolling in the grass, chasing pigeons, admiring the water fountain, when this other mom rolls up. She parked her stroller with her twins, yes, twins right next to mine and let her kids out. They were about the same age as Avery, and I think in an attempt to commiserate, she turned to me and exclaimed, “I’m so embarrassed…We tried something new and just got out of the house quickly this morning and my kids are just a mess!” Thinking, I totally get you…I turned and looked at her kids – in their matching clothing, not a button undone, not a hair out of place, clean, quietly playing by her side…and I thought to myself…um…you CLEARLY don’t know what a mess is and your children are from another planet…because after spending an hour getting ready to leave the house, my son was running around with a lovely combination of raspberry and snot smeared across his face, waffle and (I think) yogurt crusted into his hair and shirt, socks and shoes thrown about the grass, running around screaming and flailing his arms about like a caged animal finally set free into the wild. We obviously have different definitions of “ready to go”.
Despite the glaring difference in our cleanliness standards, she continued to chat with me, until her son walked towards the fountain with a handful of leaves he had carefully gathered from the ground and leaned in to put them in the water. And that’s when she said (like a stepford wife mixed with an overly sweet kindergarten teacher – think Miss Lippy) *in a high pitched, sing-song tone: “Oh Johnny, we don’t put leaves in the fountain. Leaves grow on trees and float to the ground, and we respect them and let them stay there.” He paused and looked at her. And that’s when my son ran over, snatched the leaves from his hands, chucked them in the fountain, turned to me smiling from ear to ear, exclaimed “I did it!” and then clapped for himself with pride. And I was forced to apologize through my poorly concealed laughter. Because, well, I taught him that game. I call it, mommy sits and drinks her coffee while Avery finds stuff on the ground to throw in the fountain. It’s highly educational. I only let him throw leaves in (I’m not a monster – I do have some rules…no cigarette butts or mulch in the fountain). I mean come on…they fall from trees…some have to land in there anyways. Not to mention, the gardner at that hotel probably makes more than I made before I became a stay at home mom. He can manage to clean some leaves out of a fountain. Needless to say, that mom left…and I don’t think we will be scheduling any playdates any time soon.
Fun times in Beverly Hills. On to the next adventure.