The things we do for a paycheck: Part II

Within the last two or three years, the number of recent parents among people I know, has exploded.

Exploded with babies...
...walking away in slo-mo.
Honestly, I was completely weirded out at first. I mean, kids are for the future, when we all magically transform into responsible adults.

What's that? I'm almost 26 and should probably get with the program? Before I become the creepy old woman at the bar?
Well, still beats being the creepy old man.
Am I right, ladies?
At any rate, there's lots of tiny drunks babies drooling around these days. And even though they smell funny and are occasionally evil, their capacity for being adorable and giving finger squeezes is unmatched. So yeah, I kind of dig kids.

As long as I can give them back.
Yes. Even you.
But since they're young and socially inept, there's also a tendency for little kids to dissolve into tiny, fleshy sacks of parental embarrassment whenever they're in a public place.

At least that's what I assume the mom of the little boy who peed all over the floor of the local Gymboree felt, as she rushed out of the store with her child tucked under her arm like a football.

Just marking my territory, mom.
It was sometime in 2003 and I was otherwise occupied doing what most minimum wage Gymboree retail workers do; folding tiny shirts while listening to creepy Gymbo the Clown's Mr. Knickerbocker song being pumped over the television's sound system.
Pennywise has nothing on Gymbo.
But the young mother's sudden movements jarred me back to the here and now, (Pffft... Teenagers. Completely worthless). She avoided eye contact while muttering something about "musta spilled some juice," dumped her pile of clothes on the counter, slung the kid up under her arm, and took off. Somewhere in all this she also managed to dig out her cell phone and appeared to be talking to someone on it. That or it was just a clever ruse to keep me from inquiring about her sudden departure.
All of this would have been fine, were it not for the suspicious wet spots on the boy's pants that could clearly be seen as he was carried away, legs dangling helplessly.

Gymbo the Clown continued his on-screen child serial killer antics as I made my way back to the T.V area to find on the floor...
...not apple juice.
Of course I was peeved, and not just because the kid had clearly been overindulging on mashed asparagus, but because his mom tried to play it off.
It's a kid's store, god knows this wasn't the first accident those faux wood floors have handled. Just give us a heads up so we can utilize the hazmat suits.

Store policy
But then I remembered her swift reaction and strength in hoisting her kid up and neutralizing this potential embarrassment.

I did not want her neutralizing me.

She may have been a serial mom, or a ninja.
Lesson learned: It's hard to tell the difference between embarrassment and being disturbingly deliberate.
Perspective gained: It's just kid pee.


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