Saturday, May 3, 2008

Actually, No. I don't work here.

What do you do with a rainy New York Saturday when you actually have nothing on the social calendar for the first time in, perhaps, months? No birthday parties, no family obligations, no work craziness, no pressing chores?

You take your daughter to The Little Shop of Crafts, on Manhattan's Upper East Side, that's what you do! Better known (in the circle of me) as The Little Shop of Exhorbitantly Priced Cheap Crap That You Suck It Up And Pay For Because Your Daughter Is Enjoying Herself and You Want To Have Some Quality Time With Her.

Because, you know, what could possibly beat the joy a mother derives from watching her daughter paint a $15.00 plaster ice cream cone that's barely even the size of her little hand? Oh, I know. I know: Helping her create a $17 necklace using the cheapest beads imaginable at about .75 each. That kicks ass.

But I'm not a complainer, really.

Whenever I go to this section of Manhattan though,I always find myself jaw-droppingly dumbfounded by the clearly obvious differences between moms living on the Upper East Side and, well, moms like me.

Not once, but twice that afternoon, I was mistaken for an employee of The Little Shop of Crafts. Was it the fact that I was actually standing up and engaging in activity with my child, drying her plaster ice cream cone with a hairdryer, chatting with her in my plastic, paint-splattered smock? Maybe it was the hippie jewelery that made me seem like I'd be working in a pottery shop. Or the straggly, practically dredded bed-head hair I'd pulled into in a messy knot on top of my head that smelled suspiciously like patchouli. Or perhaps it's simply that these Aryan Stepford loonies never actually come across anyone like me. Unless I'm cleaning their house or waiting on them at The Whole Foods.

One woman walked up to me looking completely horrified, a flawlessly-dressed, vomit-smeared little cherub practically spilling out of her arms (clearly mom was afraid of getting something on her). She pointed one french-manicured finger at me and said, "Excuse me? Hi. Hi. Yes. My daughter just threw up in the car on the way over here, and I was wondering if you wouldn't mind if I used your bathroom?"
She was practically shoving the child at me, likely in the hopes that I would step in for the weekending nanny and scrape the puke off her myself.

"Oh! Sure! It's in the back!" I said. Why burst her bubble? She clearly had her hands, um, full.

The other thing I notice when I venture into this neighborhood is the differences in parenting styles. Next to us at the beading table was the most heinous little monster I have seen, perhaps, ever. He couldn't have been more than 6 or 7, but already was foaming at the mouth with so much bile and hatred of his mother and the world that it was physically unpleasant to be sitting near him. He got tired of making his necklace (Mom had dropped probably 50 bucks on fugly glass beads for her own monstrosity and was focused on her own project), so he decided to start screaming, "I QUIT!!! I QUIT!!!" and jumping up and down on the benches, demanding a free balloon, and swiping at his mother.

Hey, a tantrum's a tantrum. All our kids have embarrassed us at some point or another, displaying less-than-exemplary behavior in the grocery store or subway, making us wish to Christ the ground would open up and swallow us into oblivion as old neighborhood ladies look on with distaste.

But this went on for forty-five minutes.
All the while I don't think Mom looked up more than three times, but only repeated a toneless mantra of, "Jagger, if you don't stop being so bad, you're not going to get any pizza."


No pizza for Jagger.

Harsh, Mom. Harsh.

All in all, the day was fun though. I dropped more cash than I'd expected to, but Lily had a blast and we enjoyed each other immensely. Just Mom and Lil. Much-needed bonding time.

I was freaking glad to go back to Queens though. Let me tell you.


Warped Mind of Ron said...

LOL, sounds like a good time, sort of. Oh, the things you do for your kids to make them happy.

Scooter said...

Please, don't use terms like "aryan stepford loonies".

With a last name like Hergott, I had to endure throughout my childhood and young adulthood off-handed allusions that all German folk were Jew-hating fascists.

We really aren't. I mean, some of us are, but those folks usually live in prisons and have swastikas tattooed to their foreheads.

A WASP that asks if you work at a crafts store really is not in the same category.

Although that Jagger kid would do well to be exposed to a few photos of those African famine victims...

Krissyface said...

all in all, it was fun. Yeah, I'm all about the sacrifice.

I did not mean to offend. I do it without trying sometimes. I should have instead said "Bottle Blonde Robot Crotchfaces".

jeremy said...

in jagger's defense, free balloons are fucking sweet.

Anonymous said...

Ah, other people's children. So wonderful.

I have to wonder when people have these insane little kids if it's their parenting, bad genes, or what.

Pronto said...

yep, so up for the free balloons....

Anonymous said...

See what happens when you name a kid Jagger?

Prunella Jones said...

What is it about painting $15 dinosaur statues that bonds mothers and daughters together? My mom and I hung out at one of those stores last month and it was really fun. Lil looks like she's digging it.

Poor little Jagger. He was probably just uncomfortable spending time with that strange lady and was wishing for the comforting arms of Rosa the maid.

MsPuddin said...

shes too cute. lucky girl too. i remember when it rained I got construction paper and crayons...

catscratch diva said...

I would have bitch slapped Jagger.

honkeie2 said...

I see you have never been to Gimbori (sp). I took my oldest there when he was little and i was always shocked at how many black jamacian women had white babies.

Ginormous Boobs said...

This looks like a way fun place. Wish we had one in Cleveland when I was a kid.