Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Irresponsible People

Yesterday, I had to go to the bank. The reason why is not important. I ended up taking Firefly (2). As I took him out of his car seat, he said, "pee, pee!" and wet himself. He's honest if nothing else.

I'm not about to carry around a stinking toddler, and I didn't have a spare pair of pants. I hauled out my umbrella stroller. You need to visualise this stroller. Do you remember those really cheap fold-down ones we had in the eighties, the kind that, folded up, would make a medium-weight weapon with which to beat an intruder? They are hard to find now, owing to almost certainly being a death trap. I got this particular umbrella stroller for $9, in the Rite Aid, in the United States, six years ago. I'm not sure what its market value now would be. Negative, probably. It is so Un-Parents-Magazine-approved that I'm pretty sure it's made entirely of asbestos held together with arsenic assembled by Chinese slave-babies. It lives in my car, takes up almost no space, and enables me to transport a two-year-old without touching him.

He also didn't have shoes. Also, we don't cut our boys' hair before their third birthday. Because Firefly's hair is very curly and a bit orange, it's at a length that says less "I have long hair" and more "I desperately need a haircut but I smoked a joint instead." Also, he insists on wearing his brother's old clothing. His clothes look like the stuff that the Salvation Army turns down. And he had no shoes on. And his feet were really dirty.

As I pushed him along, he was in fine spirits. It was a hot day, and our movement created a breeze. The wet shorts were pleasantly cooled. He waved jauntily to the passersby, the well-kept babies in their safety-rated strollers, coordinated outfits, and accessories. Hello! How are you! The babies stared.

The mothers stared too, but they looked mostly at me. I have just become Visibly Pregnant. I look young, even when I'm not pushing along a filthy toddler in death-stroller. I knew what they were thinking.

"It's always the irresponsible people who have a pile of kids."


  1. "Well, at least she only has two. Hope they'll tie her tubes after that."

  2. When my littlest was about 3.5 we were out in the yard playing ball and someone who was working on our apartment came outside to wave to my son. I guess he liked kids. Or taking long breaks when he's supposed to be working.
    Then he turns to me and says, "so you're babysitting?"
    "Um no, this is my son."
    "Well, where is his daddy?"
    "At work. It's the middle of the day."

    He pauses for a moment and says,

    "wow! it's really awesome that your baby's daddy stayed with you after you got pregnant. Most guys wouldn't do that."

    Awkward silence.

    1. Riiiight.

      Where's his dad?
      What dad? Johnny here was created by parthenogenesis.