Lame Adventure 308: Little People Power

I have never been compelled to spawn.  The second Someone I’m Dating declares:

Someone I’m Dating:  I want to have children!

I declare back:

Me:  See ya!

I know that I’m about as maternal as an oil slick, but I instinctively allow children and their parents/nannies/caretakers priority.  Translation: I get the hell out of their way.  It recently occurred to me that I’m not the only one following this unwritten rule.  As I was recently walking down Hudson Street in Tribeca to buy a few bananas at a grocer’s near my place of employ, I noticed a footloose toddler who had just been released from the confines of his stroller take off as if he was running the fifty-yard dash.  His mother, who had been pushing the stroller, watched helplessly as her companion hightailed after the wild hombre.

I had been walking at a healthy clip but the second I caught sight of this potential crisis, I downshifted my pace to tai chi speed.  The other pedestrians around me — a businessman and a chap in his twenties — both did the same.  I crossed the street to lengthen my distance from the sidewalk blockade.  Picking up my pace again I pondered:

Me: Wow, you stand 2 ½ feet tall, you weigh 32 pounds, you have an eight word vocabulary, but your presence practically stops traffic.  That’s power!

A short while later, when I approached the checkout lane at the grocer’s with my two bananas I observed that a mile long line of at least eight shoppers waiting at one register, but no one was standing behind the two nannies with four tots in double-wide strollers filling the aisle at the only other open register.  I assessed the situation and ascertained that between the six of them, all they were purchasing was a single bottle of water.  Again, what power!

The chosen few.

On my way back to the office with my bag of two bananas, I saw a girl about five-years-old speed demoning up the street on a toe scooter.   This child was the second coming of Evel Knievel.  Her mother shouted out at her that the chinstrap on her oversized helmet was loose.  Little Evel Knievel-ette obediantly toe scooted back to her mother who presumably tightened the chinstrap.  This did not impair the flow of my thoughts as I was making a mental note to remember to bring home my eight packages of woven tooth twine that night; something I had failed to do the day before.

Haul of floss.

Suddenly my concentration was shattered when I heard the sound of a fast moving toe scooter that seemed to be heading straight for  my back.  The  little daredevil must have been making up for lost time or she was preparing to practice jumping over me before taking on the Grand Canyon a few years hence.  Immediately  I switched gears and did a steady jog when two words from all the French I failed to learn in the five years of pointless study in my youth came to mind:

Me: Zut alors!

As I hot-footed my pace to a fierce trot, my thoughts reverted to English:

Me:  No way am I going to subject myself to the humiliation of being reduced to road kill by a five-year-old burning plastic at supersonic speed!

I returned to my office winded but alive.  I was also impressed with the wee one’s power.

I’m perfectly fine sitting right here.

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26 responses to “Lame Adventure 308: Little People Power

  1. This is so funny! I love the way you write. I think you hit on the positive aspects of children and the power they wield! They can also clear a room with their diaper stench or blood-curdling screams. I know. I had two of them!

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    • Hey, thanks for the compliment about how I scribble Susie. There used to be a children’s store near where I live called Kids Are Magic. I always thought there should have been a sub-title underneath saying, “Depending on the Hour of the Day”.

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  2. I can empathize with your decision not to be part of the immediate-care-giver universe. As a long time ago parent of 3 toddlers (now 16, 17 and 20) I am quite happy to have that time in my life be far off in the rearview mirror. I marvel at the folks who are willing/able to rear little ones in the big bad city. Then again, it’s no picnic in the bucolic hinterlands of Essex County, New Jersey. Thanks for putting a smile on my face this morning.

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    • You’re welcome Mike! When babies and tots are behaving, I am thoroughly charmed, but when they run wild, pitch a fit or worse, I look at the immediate care-giver and think, “So glad that’s your problem and not mine.” Only once was I ever in that situation personally. It was many years ago with my niece, Sweet Pea, when she was not quite 3 and the poster-child for adorable. We were on vacation, my sister got ill and had to evacuate her person so she left Sweet Pea in my care who screamed bloody murder. I was certain that my sister could hear her spawn’s cries and I was certain this only made my sister more ill. I tried in vain to get Sweet Pea to calm down, but she refused to do so. Meanwhile, some people (obviously parents) looked at me in silent shared sympathy while others looked at me with sheer contempt as if I was torturing this poor, sweet child. Did I need a stiff drink after that debacle!

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  3. Speed demoning up the street. Great phrase. I’m going to look for a chance to use that in some conversation this very day. Hope that’s ok?

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  4. “As maternal as an oil slick” — that’s my new favorite line. Amen, sister. My biological clock never got wound and am happily child-free. But it’s fascinating/scary to see how kids affect things and people. Sometimes they’re like little category 5 hurricanes!

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    • Glad you enjoyed the read Madame W! You’re not kidding about kids being like “little category 5 hurricanes”. I think I was likely born without a biological clock, but I do like kids. It’s just making that commitment for a lifetime, a commitment with little margin for error if you want to avoid raising a future serial killer or world-class slut, that’s just not for me. Yet, I’m very content with being an aunt. Aunt-hood’s the way to go! It’s a pleasant source of kid-fix while someone else does all the heavy lifting in the raising them right department.

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  5. God, you always make me laugh! Now if only you could shrink and get yourself a toe scooter, you too could stop traffic. Or maybe not.

    Glad to see you got your floss. That’s one thing I can’t stand to be without–though I don’t require the woven variety. For me, any old tooth twine will do. Well, almost.

    Hugs,
    Kathy

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    • Or, I could be one of those bonafide fools that tools around town on a Razor scooter. Why anyone over the age of ten needs to ride one of those contraptions is beyond me. I bellow, “Get on a bus or ride the subway you lump of idiocy!”

      My eight packs of tooth twine made me want to kiss the sky when it arrived! Then, I blanked on taking the package home. That made me want to kick myself in the ass.

      Glad you enjoyed the post K!

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  6. All I can think of is….

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  7. You could make little booby traps with all that floss to trip unsuspecting tots. (I’m very maternal, too.)

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  8. Stick to buying the bananas -.49 lb here.-u don’t need floss with them!

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  9. Still can’t get grapefruits for less than a dollar-pisses me off!

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  10. I saddens me when people put bananas in a bag. What a waste. Bananas come in their own smooth, yellow bag.

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