1.10.2008

Okra Doesn't Impress Me

Today, to celebrate Bee’s very successful first day of nursery school, I took my girls to her favourite lunch spot, the deli counter at our local health food store.

We loaded up our plates with savoury goodness, and sat down at one of the long tables to talk about school and gobble up our lunch. Miracle of miracles, Dove remained asleep in the stroller so Bee and I were able to really enjoy our date.

That is, until another mom with a toddler of her own showed up and joined us.

Normally I would welcome anyone who asked to join our table with open arms, and then, after the perfunctory small talk (I live in a very friendly neighbourhood), go about the business of eating with my girl because my neighbourhood is actually friendlier than I am.

But this lunch would be different. Not only was my new neighbour another mother with another toddler, which would always open up the chatting, but it was clear from her opening that she was one of THEM.

The competition had begun.

‘How old is your daughter?’

See, it wasn’t what she asked, but how she asked it. Bee sits nicely, uses grown-up cutlery like a pro, and says please. But she is also tiny, which throws people off.

‘I’m two and a half!’ Bee happily answered. I glanced at her own cute little daughter, stomping up and down on her chair while her mother fed her with a spoon and told her that it was ok not to sit down because these weren’t very good chairs.

‘How old is your daughter?’ I asked in return.

The woman glanced upwards and made a face like she was trying to figure out a very complicated problem.

‘Well, ok, so, yes, well, she’s 28 months.’

‘So, she’s two and half as well,’ I confirm.

The woman shoves a piece of okra in her daughter’s mouth. ‘She just loooooves this potato and okra curry,’ she purrs, ‘ I could bribe her to go to sleep using it.’

I look at the plate that Bee and I are sharing. Quinoa, squash and Greek salad. It’s not exactly MacDonald’s on our side of the table. We are at the deli in a health food store. Every toddler’s eating habits will be impressive here.

‘Saoirse, honey, have some more okra.’ CompetiMommy coos. Saoirse jumps and shoves her mother’s hand away.

I try not to laugh, and head to the high road. ‘Oh, Saoirse – that’s a great name,’ I say honestly. Saoirse is a fabulous name.

CM clucks. ‘Oh, we think so too! What’s your daughter’s name?’

I touch the top of Bee’s head, and tell her Bee’s name. It is also quite fabulous. Then I point to the back of our stroller where Dove hides out and tell her that I have another one back there, and tell her what Dove’s equally fabulous name is.

‘Isn’t she bored back there?’ CM asks.

‘Excuse me?’ I am not at all sure what she means.

‘With the view,’ CM explains like I’m slow, ‘in the stroller. She’s looking at the back of the other seat the entire time she’s in there.’

Wtf? Is she dissing my stroller?

‘Well, she’s 7 weeks old and sleeping, so I think she’s pretty content. When she’s a bit bigger we change the configuration and it’s more like stadium seating’

‘Yes, well, doesn’t she sit right on the ground when you do that?’

Saoirse's mommy is pretty close to being bitch-slapped, but I channel Sandra and grit my teeth.

‘We think it will be fine.’ I answer.

Now, I’ll admit, we kind of thought the same thing about the stroller, but in the end it was the best double option for us. But seriously, back off the baby gear, beeotch.

Bee reaches for a sip of mango juice.

‘Straw!’ Saoirse shrieks.

‘We have a water bottle here, sweetheart, we don’t need a straw,’ answers her mother.

I am still trying to play nice. ‘Oh, all kids love straws, don’t they?’

Saoirse's mother goes for the jugular:

‘Well, straws are about the most environmentally unsound product out there. Just devastating.’

Really? Really, Saoirse's mother? More devastating than, say, nuclear runoff? More devastating than lead in our chidren’s toys or oil spills in our oceans?

I seethe. Anybody who knows me knows that I do not make choices of consumption lightly. I also do not let toddlers handle a large glass bottle of juice without a straw.

I get Bee ready to go because we are done, and I am DONE. This is the stupid shit I hate about other women, other moms. Why do we do this? Not every mother is a stellar mother all the time, and sometimes great children act like monsters. Your stroller may offer a better view, but mine is blue camo, so fuck off. I can’t handle this kind of drama. We all win. We all lose.

Except…

Saoirse runs to the water cooler and lets a stream of water out all over the floor around her. Saoirse's mother jumps up to stop her.

Saoirse’s mother is wearing leather pants.

I win.


***

31 comments:

  1. People do that shit out of insecurity, and they're the kind of people who can't admit to it.

    Still sucks though.

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  2. CG is right - it's all about the insecurity. Leather pants eh? That would be a big load off for me too.

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  3. Trying to run the environmental load of leather pants vs. a straw. Trying to imagine running after a toddler in leather pants. Neither one computes.

    Dissing the stroller is just low though.

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  4. She was wearing LEATHER PANTS? Heck, if you weren't already wearing leather pants, you won in the first place.

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  5. A straw? Seriously? She got bent out of shape over a straw?

    I hate pretentious competimommies.

    I think you handled it as well as you could.

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  6. You got a problem with leather pants, woman? I rock me some leather pants.

    LOL. I'm all about using up the WHOLE cow. Snicker.

    But I use a straw when I drink red wine. No, just kidding. But my brother in law does and I laugh every time.

    I hate moms like that. And I hate when I'm all competitive like that too.

    Except now every one knows I have the best kids in the world so I don't need to be competitive anymore.

    Wink, wink.

    (You handled the situation with way more grace than I would have mustered.)

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  7. oh good lord. okra kinda pisses me the fuck off, actually.

    (said while smiling)

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  8. That whole scene should have been filmed for a sitcom of some sort. I don't know how you didn't blow a gasket.

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  9. Oh man, don't you be dissin' The Stroller lady. You are a better woman than me - if I had been there it would have been Mommy Smackdown. That stroller has been great so far, and I've gotten many admiring comments. Let me at her - I've got a few choice words to share with her. She can't run far in those leather pants.

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  10. that woman sucks. i would be SO pissed!


    and, dude, who the hell wears leather pants these days? def leopard?


    Running on empty

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  11. I knew straws were going to be the downfall of mankind - 'specially those bendy ones.

    The #1 reason I loathe doing drop-in and rec in our neighbourhood: competi mommies ooze out of the floors. It's very sticky around these parts.

    And babes, you always win (and I loooooove that stroller - screw 'er).

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  12. LMAO.Leather pants.

    I hate competitive moms. Why do some people feel the need to be better than everyone? Geesh. Isn't parenting hard enough as it is?

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  13. Every time I see or hear about leather pants I think of that episode of Friends where Ross wears the leather pants on a hot date and ends up in his date's bathroom, covered in baby powder and vaseline and sweat, half naked.

    I hope you watch Friends. ;)

    This post is awesome, Kgirl. It's so YOU. I love it.

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  14. oh good gravy. This is why I have no mommy friends but you bloggers. I can't even get with the Lululemon-sporting mommies with the massive double-wide SUV strollers who are all carrying on about their nannies and renos. Who wants to talk to them? Perhaps this is why I've never actually had one of these run-ins.

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  15. For some reason I'm visualizing a Shania Twain music video. She's singing "Okra don't impress me much" pushing around your stroller and sipping a margarita with a straw. She'd probably be wearing leather pants and leopard print bra but it's still funny.

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  16. Mm...is Saskia a rare enough name that I might know her, I wonder? If so, I share your assessment.

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  17. Yikes! This post is a prime example of why I was so terrified of joining a mother's group. Luckily, we don't have any competimommies, just ill-informed conservatives who pass around offensive emails. Sigh....

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  18. HA. That will teach her to mess with you.
    Your blue camo stroller sounds wicked. Clearly she does not know cool when she sees it. Her loss, but sorry it wrecked your lunch.
    I hate running into bitches like this. The last one I met gave me told me she didn't mind waiting at the Drs office when I asked how long she had been there.

    Anyhoo off to be devastated about my straws.

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  19. Uh-huh, like Sage I know this kid--unless Saskia wasn't her real name.

    "because these weren’t very good chairs"
    Holy crap that's whack!
    I bet she's the type of parent who would scold the sidewalk if her daughter tripped. "Bad, bad sidewalk for making Saskia fall down. Bad."

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  20. Gaw. Leather pants?!

    And don't mess with my straws, d*mmit, I love my straws. And so does my Ramekin.

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  21. Gah, I vaguely know this kid and mommy too if Saskia is her real name. Although I wonder how much of the "lost in translation" comes from english not being her first language.

    The competimommy thing is just bizarro.

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  22. Leather pants?? I just can't get past that.... I mean, it's cool if you're out on the town or Angelina Jolie. But, not cool if your one of those obnoxious mommies who thinks their DA BOMB!

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  23. all I can say is she wears leather pants, during the day! You won hands down, but really shouldn't be about winning of loosing. I think she was just insecure and was trying to make her self feel better and superior. No one needs people like that around them. As you can see Karma is a big B.

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  24. I wonder what her position on crazy straws are? I mean, who doesn't love crazy straws?

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  25. I think, I THINK, I would have put a straw up her nose.

    or two.

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  26. unbelievable. what a bitch. honestly. i would have for sure slapped her.

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  27. Just.wait.till.school. starts.

    Think you have seen competition?

    Anyhow. She disses you again I show her the boring end of my Trans Am.

    xo

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  28. argh...I can't handle moms like that.

    I love the Carrot Common, but every-time I'm there I find it's filled with judgmental women like that.
    what's up with that?
    and leather pants?!
    that about sais it all..

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  29. Wow - this is exactly why I have yet to join a mommy's group. Scary times.

    And the leather things? I once got verbally bitch-slapped by a fellow vegetarian about how I occasionally ate fish and seafood, which I was somewhat annoyed with and could sort of understand her point, right up until she told me that she loved the smell of leather - and loved her leather jacket and her leather sofa and Danier was her idea of heaven. Uh, yeah. Riiiiight.

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  30. Is this a true story?
    What a freak!

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  31. Lisa - oh yes - just wait.

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Talk to me.