I was on my evening commute home via the notorious NYC subway. The train car was stupidly packed, which somehow didn't stop a mother from pushing herself and a stroller into the crowd. We, the commuters who can't stand mothers with their strollers, sighed loudly and blatantly rolled our eyes. Why can't mothers with strollers choose non-commuter hours to travel on public transportation!? A question that I've asked before (here).
I was the lucky winner who was wedged between a metal pole and the stroller. So, naturally, I checked out the little bugger who was making my trip home that much more aggravating. He was not cute. First, his outfit was a disaster and not in the mismatched-because-he-dressed-himself way. More in the I-didn't-know-kids-clothes-could-be-so-ugly way and the that-shade-of-teal-is-making-me-nauseous way. Next, he had thick pen marks all over one of his cheeks. Shouldn't he be drawing with a Crayola marker and not a Papermate ballpoint? Next, his hands were purple. But it wasn't just the color that was a problem. There was sticky, thick, crumbly, purple stuff caked all under his finger nails and in every wrinkle and crevice of his little hand. Next, he was using these grubby, purple paws to eat cheddar bunnies. There were cheddar bunnies everywhere - on his coat, on his teal sweatpants, in his mouth and nose, smeared on his chin...just everywhere. The fluorescent orange of the bunny crumbs was mixing with the purple mystery goo to create a sticky rainbow nightmare. Finally, he started to scream.
|This doesn't really cover it. There was PURPLE and so many bunny crumbs.|
(images found here, here, here, here and here)
Go ahead, judge me. Comment that I'm a total asshole for thinking the baby was an uncute mess and sharing that opinion with you. I would too.
Thankfully I reached my stop before my ear drums suffered permanent damage. As I walked down the platform and through the turnstile, I got a little sad. It seemed clear to me that my guttural reaction to the purple-handed little boy was a sign that I'm probably not ready to have kids. I mean, who thinks toddlers are gross? As baby crazy as I may be, it seemed that the messy reality was not jiving with my parenthood aspirations. Humph.
But the story doesn't end there because it was THEN that I saw the cutest kid. She was probably 6-years-old, wearing a pink winter coat and sporting some lop-sided pigtails. She was holding her mother's hand and vehemently yelling. It was a mother/daughter battle for the ages. And here's how it went:
Mother - "I told you to get yourself ready, but you continued to dawdle."
Daughter - "That's not true."
Mother - "That is true. I saw you. You were dawdling and you were supposed to be getting ready."
Daughter - "You don't know what I was doing! Only I know what I was doing! Only I am me! ONLY I AM ME!!!"
I don't know that everyone would have loved that exchange, but I did. I thought it was just the cutest response and that she was just the cutest kid. I followed the pair down the sidewalk, holding back giggles and desperately wanting to interject and side with the pint-sized Johnny Cochran.
Cuteness is in the eye of the beholder. My baby craze lives on...