A few weeks ago, the Nerd and I took Goo and Smush out for a bite to eat after church. Punkin has practice for the church Christmas play, so she missed out on our fine dinging experience because I haven’t gone grocery shopping and our lunch options at home were mustard and jelly sandwiches or dry cereal.
There’s kind of a hole-in-the-wall Italian joint near us that has beyond awesome food at McDonald’s prices. No joke. Enough linguine with red clam sauce for two meals, and at the price of a drive through “value” meal. They are amazing, and a favorite of ours for cheap dining out, when my children aren’t acting like a pack of rabid howler monkeys.
The restaurant has a bar attached, which you have to walk through to get to the dining area. The door leading in is made of glass. The Nerd was going to pay the check, so I took the girls to the lobby to look at the toys I never buy from those cheap quarter machines. However, Goo and I have been butting heads a lot lately, and she had been a particular breed of awesome in the restaurant, so I whipped out a quarter and made all of her little girl dreams come true: I bought her a bouncy ball.
She was so overwhelmed with joy, she spun around and ran straight away to tell the Nerd.
Straight into the glass door.
I’m talking full force frontal attack, nose first. I did what any loving mother would do:
I began laughing at her. Hysterically.
She started crying. I laughed harder.
At this point I look up and notice a large group of guys sitting at the bar, many of whom are also laughing. I then hear this, between Goo’s sobs:
Guy 1: Dude, stop laughing.
Guy 2: Nah man, it’s okay. Look, even the Mom is laughing.
*Side note: I really was holding her and trying to comfort her. I was just laughing at the same time.
I had to walk through the bar, at all the guys staring at me as I laughed uncontrollably at my crying daughter, to get to the swagger wagon. I scooped up Goo and Smush, and headed in, smiling and saying, “I know, I’m a terrible mother.”
I’m sure it’s not a big deal, but you know that some people out there – namely, the Mom critics – would be shaking their head in shame at my complete and utter lack of empathy. I’m sure someday in future therapy sessions, the story of my cold, calloused laughter will come out. In the mean time, I’m going to charge the battery on the video camera.
Because if Goo smacks her face like that again, I have to catch it on video.