I’ve said it before, but it is worth mentioning again: hauling your three-year-old out of the mall over your shoulder as she kicks, cries and refuses to walk, is the moment you know you’ve made it as a mum.
It’s been a long while since I’ve had a child go rogue. I kind of enjoyed it.
As Miss C grows deeper into a three-year-old she is both hilarious and determined. Determined to get her own box of Smarties, and not share the one I bought with her sisters, for sure, and hilarious in what she retains in that memory box of hers.
Last month, while shopping at Michaels, she pointed to the packages of flashy cardboard straws hanging on a hook and told her Grandma, “Those are what collect the blood when a woman has her period.”
Score one for not holding anything back when discussing body science. “Well they kind of look like cardboard applicators,” I told my mother-in-law as we shared a giggle.
Miss C’s loud observations of the world have only been truly awkward once, so far, this year. We were watching planes land through the window of the airport lounge when a heavily tattooed man came to a stop beside us. “I wonder which plane Granny and Gramps are on,” I asked her.
“That man has ugly earrings,” Miss C replied, her voice filled the silent room.
Cue my invisibility cloak.
The man had stretched out his earlobes – quite impressively. Wooden discs, greater in circumference than a plum, filled the space he’d created. The bottom of his ears dusted his shoulders.
I froze. I couldn’t think up a single reply as Miss C began pushing my hair off my ears to get a better look. “You have pretty earrings. He has ugly ones.”
Oh. My. Word. Say something, my brain screamed.
Digging deep, I told her it wasn’t nice to say things were ugly and that the best thing about this world was people got to choose how they looked. I hoped it was enough. I wanted to apologize to the man, but he was staring intently at the tarmac.
Polite of him really, but maybe he knew my punishment was the adults behind us, silently judging my parenting skills as they sipped their coffees.
Miss C seemed satisfied with my answer, but I still wished I had something to keep her mouth occupied.
The man stood beside us a while longer, presumably listening to my heart thump out of my ribcage, then left. As he walked away I noted that his black leather jacket had a giant white, circular patch that read ‘Kill Kill Kill.’ Boy, Miss C knows how to pick her audience.
It’s a good thing she’s cute.
By contrast, on Saturday she was downright adorable. As we sipped our hot chocolate (her) and cappuccino (me) at a table decorated by a vase of carnations, Miss C fell deep in thought.
“What are you thinking about?” I asked.
“You made a good choice,” she replied.
“Picking this place for a snack.”
“That’s nice to hear, thank you.”
Clearly, you never know what you’re going to get when you hit the town with a three-year old. But one thing’s certain: I would not change a single moment. After all, as Miss C unabashedly announces the king has no clothes, my brain cells stay fresh trying to keep pace with a life that is never boring.