This past Sunday, I was cranky for no particular reason. I also was as close to brain dead as person can be without actually being brain dead. My daughter and her friend were as close to bouncing off the walls as kids can be without actually bouncing off the walls. I didn’t feel safe taking them swimming, so I did the next healthiest thing: I brought them to McDonald’s Play place for some exercise. Being zoned out and fussy isn’t a good state of mind to be in when taking little kids swimming at a crowded public pool. I figured that having my kid crawl around in e.coli and eating grease was probably a much safer Sunday afternoon activity than drowning or being kidnapped.
Judge me. Tell me about my other options. List them. Thank you, I never considered any of those things. You have changed my life forever, possibly saved a life. Moving on.
So, after Cate and her buddy shoveled their Happy Meals in their faces at 600 miles per hour, they hauled their greasy asses off to play in this monstrosity:
I whipped out my notebook to make a grocery list/meal plan. I considered framing out a blog, but I figured I was more likely to successfully shit out a baby rhino as I would be to think creatively enough for a blog post.
The loudspeaker was playing this song, LOUDLY:
I love the memories I have of watching my kids dance and sing to those entertaining Australians, but that particular song was one of my least favorite Wiggle songs. Wishing I had brought my ear buds, I started looking around. The lady at the table next to me was sitting alone too. I smiled at her.
“I was sitting here wondering if this is hell? Are we in hell? Maybe this IS hell and I just don’t know it, and everyone else does. Maybe you aren't even real.” she said giggling.
“Well, if you are thinking that way, I’d say that maybe you are either experiencing intense existential enlightenment, or a super realistic hallucination provoked by the high level of stress induced sensory overload here at McGermy Screamplace.” I answered, giggling back.
We were cracking up when the theme from “Dora the Explorer” started blasting.
“Kill me,” she deadpanned.
“No, you kill me!” I responded.
More cracking up. I noticed we were both wearing pajama pants. I wondered if she hadn't brushed her teeth either. I was falling in love with her. Not in the sexual, I want to jump her mom bones way, but in the-OH MY GOD I LOVE THE WAY THIS BITCH THINKS-way. Know what I mean?
“OK, same time. We kill each other at the same time.” She suggested.
“Do you have any night-lock?” I asked her?
“Oh MY GOD – ‘Hunger Games’ reference?” she half yelled at me,” I can’t kill you because I love you.”
“And I you. MADLY.” I responded.
Now we were choking with laughter.
The theme song from “Little Einsteins” started blaring.
“Before we starting talking, I was lamenting the fact that I didn’t bring my ear buds to drown out the music, and by lamenting, I mean considering poking out my ear drums with a fork.” I said, sighing.
“I was thinking I should have brought a flask,” she replied.
“Will you marry me?” I asked her.
Yeah, we were BFFs by this point. We just kept up the witty banter and giggles. It made me so happy. My brain was sparking, turning on again! That’s when my daughter sprinted up to the table after peeling herself up off the ground under the slide opening, in order to report a “very dangerous situation.”
“Right, dangerous, tell me what’s up sister,” I encouraged her to fill me in.
“There is a total DOUCHE BAG up there in the tunnels who keeps pushing me, hard, down the slide before I’m ready, and saying inappropriate things! I’m going to kick him in the nuts if he doesn’t stop bothering us,” she whined, loudly while dramatically flinging herself in my lap. She reached for her french fries and started shoving them in her mouth.
Oh the irony!
Is there any thing less appropriate to call the kid calling you inappropriate things, than comparing the kid to a feminine wash waste receptacle?
I wasn’t exactly embarrassed at that moment, remember, my new BFF was sitting right next to me and she had the mouth of a truck driver. However it did occur to me that she might not want to be my BFF after hearing my eight year old threaten to assault another child, AND use a particularly disgusting term to describe the child. Just because she was shooting the shit with me, dropping profanity liberally, it didn’t necessarily mean she would find any humor in a kid using bad language.
And honestly, I really DON’T approve of kids casually swearing. BOTH of my kids know this. But I have a potty mouth and douche-bag is one of my favorite words when I'm driving. I’m sure my daughter has no idea what it means. It’s also not uncommon for her to hear me threatening to kick my son and husband in the nuts on a daily basis when they leave their man crap everywhere. The thing is, she rarely repeats any of my potty mouth ranting. First of all, she knows better and second, she just knows how I am. I am a potty mouth. I’m not proud of it, but I am. I just fucking am!
Judge. Comment and make suggestions as to how I could clean up my mouth (swear jar, counseling) and educate me about the potential harm I am causing to my children. Your suggestions and advice could be just what I need to change. I know that my father’s gratuitous use of profanity traumatized me so much that I've had to go on disability and have participated in twice daily therapy since I was three years old in order to deal with it. It's fucking TRAGIC.
Anyway. I knew better than to act all upset, asking here where she heard such an inappropriate and disgusting word, or act shocked that she would threaten another child. I knew that bullshit would just bite me in the ass. She'd say, “But Mom…….you say it.” So I simply told her to ignore the boy, that it would be wrong to hurt him, and that I realized that she wasn’t really going to kick him in the nuts, but since he didn’t know that, she ought not say it. I also asked her not to call names, using the “two wrongs don’t make a right,” analogy. I told her to apologize to the kid and try to avoid him for the duration of our visit.
She had stopped listening to me before I even finished speaking, and was climbing off my lap to return to the Play place. She knew I wasn’t going to get all worked up about the incident. Frankly, had she not ended up in a complete face plant coming off the slide, slowing her down enough to see that she still had some fries left to eat, I doubt she would have reported the "dangerous situation" in the first place. And so before going back to play, she grabbed another fistful of fries, shoved them in her mouth, and washed them down with ten HUGE, noisy gulps of her drink.
“Wait,” said my new BFF as Cate was walking back toward the Play place, “is the boy wearing an orange shirt?”
Cate turned around and nodded in the affirmative, her mouth still jam packed with french fries. "That's my kid," she said to me. And then she had another question for Cate. “Did he tell you that you smell like dog shit?”
Cate nodded furiously in the affirmative, confirming that a boy in the orange shirt told her that she smelled like dog shit and then pushed her down the slide.
“Goddammit,” she chuckled nervously. “His older sister says it to him all the time. Not that he doesn’t have the opportunity to choose from a litany of four letter words that roll our of my mouth, but I can't take credit for this one. And she's not even saying it to be mean or to tease him. It's just a fact - HE STINKS. It's a very dog shitty like scent.”
"Maybe he's constipated," Cate chimed in. My new McBFF got quiet. She seemed to be considering this constipation theory I hate awkward silences so I spoke up. "I wish I could blame Cate’s older brother for the douche bag comment and the nut kicking threat, but she heard both of those things from me.” I replied. "I think it's a genetic disorder, the swearing and aggressive shit-talking." She nodded and gave me a look of total understanding and support. Yep, I loved her. She was my soulmate. My McShit-talking friend.
“Listen up, Honey,” she said to Cate, “you tell him that if he keeps acting like a thug, he will not only be cleaning up our dog’s shit, but I’ll let the neighbors know that he is available for free dog shit pick up in their yards all week. Okay?” my BFF told Cate. “Now go on, tell that little douche bag what his momma said.”
Cate looked at me for confirmation. I shrugged and tilted my head in the direction of my new BFF and said, “You heard her. Go!” And off she went. The two of us started laughing again, just as the theme song for “The Wonder Pets” came on.
“I hate that duck on this show,” my BFF said, referring to a character from the cartoon theme song that was playing. “She’s bossy. She never listens. She never shuts up. She never learns her lesson. But she’s not as bad as Ruby, you know, from 'Max and Ruby.' I have to leave the room when this show is on, I want to strangle that bitch.”
“Girl, I feel you, but I can’t help feeling sorry for Ruby, you know? Her parents are nowhere to be found, her brother is a Goddamn mute with oppositional defiant disorder, and all Ruby has for support is Grandma Bunny and I’m pretty sure Granny is high as a damn kite 24/7. All she does is laugh and poor Ruby is like "Fuck it," and laughs along with her, but inside I am sure she's a hot mess. It's a matter of time before she kills everyone and bakes their rabbit parts in to cookies for her bunny scout troop. I agree about 'The Wonder Pets' duck though. FUCKING LING LING! She has no excuse. She's a stupid cunt. And that turtle, Tuck? He whines more than Calliou, and that little bald little bastard ever does in whine. His mom just sits there with her thumb up her ass, not doing a thing about it. I think it’s irresponsible of PBS to run that kind of dysfunctional shit.”
“Oh, don’t get me started on Calliou,” she started to say, looking up at the Play place. She WAS about to get started on Calliou, I could tell and I couldn’t wait to hear it, but instead she burst into laughter, pointing up at the yellow, horizontal tunnel with the triangle shaped windows (see photo above). “Oh yeah, look at that! LOOK! Look up!”
So I looked up, and saw both of our kid’s faces in the windows. MY kid had a shit-eating grin on her face, and was waving at me with one hand, pointing at her kid with the other. HER kid, on the other hand, looked like he just watched his dog get run over by an 18-wheeler. He was frozen stiff, his mouth hanging open, and both his hands were pressed up against the glass. I said, “I think you scared the shit out of him, he looks like he shit his pants.”
“God, I hope not,” she laughed,” I want to hang out with you and talk about Calliou. I HATE THAT MOTHERFUCKER!”
BEST DAY EVER.
Tags: Happy Meal, how do you handle kids swearing, how to meet other moms, making friends, making friends with other moms, McDonald's Playplace, Moms who drink and swear, Nicole Knepper, terrible kid's television shows, The Wiggles, what should you do if your child swears, YouTube