She's the oldest, so of course we're stomping all new territory in the land of parenthood. I still don't know how I'm going to handle certain parenting situations because they just haven't come up. Most of her
Then there are other questions. Other moments that I just want to melt into the floor right where I stand. Like loud and detailed questions in public restrooms. Pointing and staring when someone goes by in a wheelchair...followed by more loud detailed questions. Randomly introducing herself and siblings to strangers at the store, while declaring herself "A little shy" when we introduce her to friends at church. But there's one particular moment that will stand out in my mind for a while. And I handled it about as gracefully as a hippo on roller skates:
We're at the post office. I had braved it with no stroller/form of containment for the girls. The line didn't seem long. Still (very, hugely) pregnant with Collin, I assumed I could wrangle the two of them. Well, the woman in front of us had a similar little gathering of kids, about the same age as my two, and a newborn. Hannah shyly waived at newborn baby and squealed "Mom, it's a tiny tiny baby!" The mom heard her exclamation, and sweetly asked Hannah if she was going to have another a little baby like that in her house soon. Hannah looked up at me beaming, then replied, "Yeah!!! But our baby will be white!" I covered her face quickly, smothering the words "....not brown like yours" that she added. And then I wanted to die right then and there. The moms sweet smile disappeared and she suddenly found something very interesting to fiddle with on her package...in her purse....anything that meant not having to look at us. Mortified isn't even close to how I felt. Oh how I wanted to just say "Umm, I'm not raising a racist kid. Really. She's just suddenly very aware that people are different. And feels the need to constantly point it out. Constantly. And innocently. Because really, we're not racist. Really." But of course I just stood there, maroon with embarrassment, and waited for my turn. And that short line? Felt. Like. A. MILE.
And then there was that one time, TWO DAYS LATER, when she very loudly asked why the woman just one aisle over was "soooo big and fat?" I attempted to shush her, ducked down to her level for a chat, and glanced apologetically at the woman, who pretended not to hear her. (No way that she didn't her. People at the front of the store heard. Hannah's only volume is whisper, unless of course she's trying to make her mother die of shame. Then is top volume.) I leaned in close and gave her a "mom" toned lecture - "Hannah, you can't say things like that about people, it will hurt their feelings. Do you want to hurt peoples feelings? Is that nice?" "No, mom, that's not nice." "Would you be happy if someone said that to you? Wouldn't it hurt YOUR feelings??" "Umm, no, it wouldn't mom. Because I'm not fat."
So yeah, clearly I don't have this mom thing all sewn up quite yet. Ask me where babies come from! Ask my how cellular mitosis works! Want to learn calculus?? Just for the love of Pete don't scream across the aisle "WHY DOES THAT MAN HAVE ONLY ONE LEG?!" when we're at Walmart. Cause I' might just pretend like I don't know you.