Thursday, July 06, 2006

Puddin' in the Mix

A surreal moment at Borders Babies:

"Excuse me, excuse me!" trilled a voice above the toddler din. "I'd like to make a request!" I turned to locate her. She was an attractive woman dressed incongruously, for 10:30 on a Wednesday, in shimmery red paillette sequins. Because she was sitting with us amidst the strollers and sippy cups, I assumed she was one of the moms. "It's my birthday today," she announced. "And I have nothing to do all day, so I came in here to buy a book."

Huh. Apparently not one of the moms. Now that I think about it, distinctly un-momesque, with the sequins and what not. Here's where it got kooky:

"And I'd like the children to sing happy birthday to me right now. That would really feed my inner child."

I had a sudden vision of her inner child stuffing her maw with Cheerios. But the story lady had impeccable, unflappable manners. She raised her tuning fork and rallied the troops. All the moms and a few grudging children dutifully sang "Happy Birthday," at which point the Sequin Lady thanked us and vanished into the mist.

And I smiled a secret little smile to myself, having just obtained very public proof that I am not the most narcissistic birthday girl in the world. Sweet.

How Jarrah is so very, very Jarrah:

After the bubbles, the story lady announces that it is stamp time, and "I'll stamp all day, so there's no need to push." I don't know why she bothers. In seconds she is enveloped in striving limbs. Since Jarrah is one of the shorter kids in the group today, soon I can't see her. I just have to have faith that she's somewhere in that knot of flailing limbs. One by one, the children emerge, triumphantly waving a hand at their mother, now festooned with a purple cat. Jarrah, however, does not emerge. She is in there a very, very long time. After a little while, I hear an unmistakable cry: "Ma-MA! Ma-MA!" I am looking at a dozen blond children and there is no Jarrah that I can see. But I hear it again, clear and strong as the day is long: "Ma-MA! Ma-MA!" I am laughing, imagining what the story lady thinks about this tenacious little person who keeps shrieking "Ma-MA!" at her. And then, she is nigh. She stumbles to the outside of the circle, and not seeing me at first, looks anxiously around. "Jarrah!" I call to her, and she finds my voice and smiles. She trots over to me, and as she gets closer I can see that both her hands are completely covered in purple kitties.

And then she raises her shirt: there is a purple kitty stamped right above her belly button.

There you have it, folks. The girl for whom too much is never enough.


Unknown said...

She will be someone's Auntie Mame someday.

Amy said...

I wish you could have captured a picture of the purple kitty belly stamp. That would be a keeper for sure!

Type (little) a aka Michele said...

That post just fed my inner child.

Anonymous said...

Here's to Jarrah - that girl knows what she wants, AND how to get it!!

Best, Gail

suebdo said...

Wow ... that sequin lady is creepy and hilarious. How can she demand children sing to her -- You should have charged a quarter apiece and sent her on down to Bennigans!
So glad I can see your blog on Neil's computer - sounds like you are having a grand time ... except when you're vile and poisonous & that's when I like you best! My kids now see that glint in my eye and ask "Mommy - are we driving you to the bridge again?" XO SueB

Anonymous said...

Yeah, people in California need their inner children fed all the time. Mostly tofu. My daughter also likes to get stamps in weird places --her knees oddly enough.

Julia said...

Birthday song lady - way weird!

Jarrah with a purple kitty on her tummy - WAY cute!! I needed that giggle today

Anonymous said...


It has been a while since I've read up on you. I love catching up. I particularly enjoyed this entry with the story of the crazy sequined birthday lady. But my favorite was Jarrah getting herself covered in stamps! It brought tears to my eyes, what sweet, simple joys! Hope you are well.