Sunday, October 21, 2007

And the award for the worst mother of the night goes to...

Yep, you guessed right, to yours truly.

What happened? Well, let me start from the beginning. My husband has a friend, who I suspect doesn't like me. I don't particularly care since my interactions with this person are very limited and I admit that the entire thing could be in my head. But this friend just had a baby, and we were invited to the celebration and religious ceremony. Since the invitation came less than a week before the event and I was under a tight deadline at work, I had to get a gift last minute (I actually tried to get it beforehand, but that's another story). I spent about 45 minutes trying to pick a perfect toy, all the while saying to the baby I have never seen, "Just because I don't like your daddy or think that he doesn't like me, doesn't mean that I have to get you a bad gift. I'll be the bigger person." (It's not as hard as it seems given my weight.) Finally I made my selections, and got in a very generous and celebratory mood. After all, the child is a blessing, and maybe the guy doesn't dislike me after all.

Because I had to finish something at work and because I couldn't possibly pick a gift in under 45 minutes, I arrived at the event about half hour late. I hoped that I came just in time and was about to go home, but it turned out that the celebration hasn't even started. Our kids were already exhausted and misbehaving. We split the kids thinking they would be easier to manage that way. I got my daughterm, and we decided to go to the second floor, which was packed with other women. My daughter wanted to see her daddy downstairs, so I managed to find a seat in the first row right in front of the balcony. Of course she had to lean over, so I was holding her very tight. The bar of the balcony barely reached her chest, and once again, I was holding her tight. So here's what happens at the event that runs an hour late and is packed with women who have very little going on in their lives and at the present time have nothing better to do than to gossip. It really is inevitable, like a law of physics. Well, almost.

My daughter was having fun watching my husband and her brother, I was holding her tight (I feel the need to repeat this yet again), trying to tune out all this talk in Farsi or whatever language all these women were speaking, when all of a sudden I heard a bark coming from my left. An elderly women started yelling at me from what seemed out of the blue, and please notice the reason for yelling, "Take her down!!! Don't you realize you are making people across from you nervous?! They think she might fall!" In my state of tiredness and complete ignorance when it comes to Farsi, I didn't realize that I was a topic of conversation for some time. And yeah, throw the kid down for all I care, just don't make people across from you nervous. So insensitive of me! Of course I put Naomi down and poor kid got yelled at when she tried to get back. As I was struggling to keep her in my lap, some woman from across the room came over and in a much nicer voice tried to tell me that what I was doing was probably dangerous, and head is heavier than body, and from where they were looking my daughter was almost all the way out. I knew I should've been nicer since the woman was polite and probably genuinely concerned and probably doing something I would've done myself, but I honestly couldn't convincingly fake gratitude. I gave her my most fake smile, thanked her and realized that we are probably better off downstairs. (Later at night I entertained the thought of finding the woman and apologizing to her, but I didn't find her, and I was also afraid that I might make things worse if she decided to give me another lecture.)

At that time hubby realized he couldn't control the baby and handed him off to me. Even though my son had complained all the time that he wanted mommy, he couldn't quite let go of daddy, who needed to pray. I tried to catch the baby a few times, and the last time my baby tried to sneak into the door after his dad, I caught his arm. Then I tried to pick him up, but the baby tried to wiggle his way out, so it looked like I raised him by one arm, which was also terribly twisted. And of course the entire episode had to be witnessed by another bunch of old ladies who also had nothing to do during the waiting time. And of course, they thought that a mother who is dumb enough to pick up her kid the way I did, wouldn't understand that they were talking about me, even though they were all raising their arms and pointing to their shoulders, to my kid and me. Oh, they are soooo conniving, so covert, they should work for KGB, CIA or Mossad. What a shame such gifts are lost on gossiping.

At that point, I couldn't take it any more and had nothing better to do than to go back upstairs. At least there were rooms without people where I could hide. Of course, the kids had the mind of their own and went to the room with the balcony. Of course, by that time it was already nine, the kids were exhausted and tried to take the place apart. Had I known the event would start this late, I would have kept them home. Luckily for me, they lost interest in the event unfolding downstairs, and simply tackled and scratched each other and tried to stick their fingers in the closing doors. A few time I was tempted to say to the onlookers, "You see, I actually have two kids that I could throw off the balcony, not just one." I guess it's payback time for all the bad thoughts I had pre-kids about parents unable to control their offspring. Sometimes they really are uncontrollable.

Finally, the praying was done with. I told the hubby that I wanted to get out ASAP, or as soon as the ceremony was over. If I could, I would have left eons ago. After another agonizing fifteen minutes with overtired kids, we finally went home. I was surprised that hubby saw things my way, and didn't think I was exaggerating. He was also annoyed about the delay, since he had to rearrange his schedule for nothing, really. He would've made the event without extra hassle since it started over an hour late. And my mood was genuinely spoiled. I spent entire day at work uncomfortably dressed, went very out of my way to get the gifts, tortured my kids and myself...for what? To be judged by the bunch of old women and leave in much worse mood than I came in with? Next time, I am staying home.

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