A few weeks ago Wyatt and I went to the library for story time. On our way home I got cocky and decided we would stop somewhere for lunch because, I GOT THIS OKAY. Stopping anywhere ever with a small, active, stubborn human being is… an adventure? We’re also in the middle of a really sweet tantrum phase, which is awesome said no parent ever. It helps zero percent that this child of mine is, I swear to you, going to be a politician. The child smiles and waves and winks and says “Hi” in the cutest voice ever TO EVERYONE. He gets all kinds of pissed when we won’t let him walk around and shake hands and tell everyone he’s running for president in 2098. It’s hilarious and then it’s OHMYGOSH. SIT ON YOUR BOTTOM AND EAT YOUR FOOD NOW, you can decide if you’re a republican or a democrat later for goodness sakes.
It also helps exactly negative percent that we are the center of attention everywhere we go because HOLY CUTENESS. It is really kind of embarrassing. I mean, strangers… literal actual strangers… come up and offer to babysit Wyatt. I’m like, I cannot with the fact that you are a stranger and we are at Chili’s and you are offering to babysit my child. And have you ever heard of stranger danger? Because YOU. It’s just really hard to get your child to eat (or really do anything productive) when people are constantly coming up to him and trying to touch his hair and his arms and squeeze his cheeks and talk to him. I don’t know. Call me crazy. It’s not like I’m trying to climb Mt. Everest with him or something. I would just like for him to sit down and eat something. Because heaven help me when approximately two seconds after we throw the food away that he did not eat because he was making eyes at you the whole dinner time, he throws down BECAUSE HUNGER.
So like an idiot I stopped for lunch with my toddler. We stopped at a “do it yourself” restaurant. And by that I mean we didn’t have a waiter. So I stood in line with my politician who is actively waving to his people and flailing his tiny body around in my arms because DOWN DOWN DOWN. (P.S. I now understand those human leash things?) So I’m pointing at things and talking in excited voices and trying to make a fun adventure out of waiting in line because that is what my life is right now. And it’s just not really working. By the grace of God we make it to the place where we order and then I almost cried when I had to try and find my wallet in the chaos that is the diaper bag. But I found it… PRAISES… and just as I uttered, thank you Jesus we’ve made it through, I forgot that I had to sign the freaking receipt with exactly zero hands and a flailing child attached to my body. Call me stuck up, but I feel like parents of small children should be exempt from signing receipts. Just a thought.
And then this: Put wallet back in diaper bag. Reposition child. Apologize to person behind us for holding up the line. Ha… Ha.. Haaa. Grab tray full of food. Pray to the Lord Almighty that we make it to a table without dropping 1) the child and 2) the tray of food. Find table. Put tray down. Go grab a high chair. Return to table with said high chair. Child is now yelling, “Beans. Beans. Beans.” Too soon, my young one. Go get napkins and forks and spoons. Return to table to put them down. Go get drinks. Return to table to put them down. Child wants DOWN. Child wants BEANS. Child wants ANYTHING OTHER THAN WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW. Go get salsa. Return to table and sit down. HALLELUJAH. Eat food for exactly 19 minutes. Toddler is done. Which means I am all done. Can someone just put that salad in IV form for me please? Thanks! Pack up diaper bag. Hand child a toy for “transition.” Put child down. Stupid. Run after child and pick him up because duh. Hold flailing, crying child and put high chair away. Walk back to table. Walk to trash can for first round of trash. Walk back to table. Child sees a dog, hyperventilates and starts yelling: “puppypuppypuppypuppy.” Grab last round of trash. Go throw it away. Walk back to table and grab diaper bag. High five, girl. YOU DID IT.
In between my kid yelling puppy one thousand times and me throwing away our last bit of trash, a girl walked up to me and said: “Do you need some help?”
UGH. I didn’t think I looked THAT frazzled and I didn’t think we were causing THAT big of a scene. Maybe I did and maybe we were. Or maybe she was just being super nice. Either way my face turned red, I laughed and said: “I mean yes but no. I’ve got it. Thanks for asking though!” In my head I was thinking: “Do I need help? Hell yes I need help. I feel like I just ran a marathon but I really only just ate lunch with my child BUT SAME THING REALLY. So yeah girl. I need some help.”
It took me a while to get over her asking me that. Really, it took me a while to get over myself. I hated so much that she asked me that. I hated so much that I really could have used help in that moment… throwing away trash for heavens sake. I hated so much that someone else thought I looked like I needed help. And then after I got over it all, I was obsessed with the fact that she asked. Who does that? Exactly no one. Motherhood is teaching me a whole lot about pride (and patience and kindness and selflessness and love and and and). And so I’ve come to this conclusion a few months into parenthood… It’s okay to actually need help. It’s okay to LOOK like you need help. It’s okay to accept help.
What I wish I had said to that girl at Baja Burrito? “Girl. The answer is yes. Could you just throw away this trash for me? Thank you so so much. And thank you so much for even asking.” Because really, the answer is yes. The answer is always so much yes. AND THAT’S OKAY.
And also? Moment of silence for waiters and waitresses. You are the reason I venture out of my house alone some days.