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Dragon Tales is completely undermining all the good Sid the Science Kid is trying to accomplish. And this is the kind of thing I am thinking about this early morning. I am up at 6 a.m. and I have no desire for imaginative tales today. This one episode was about how the kids could not get it to snow because ice had covered the holes in the giant salt (or snow in this case) shaker in the clouds. Great. Now Sid is going to have to explain the concept of a Nor’easter all because of these stupid dragons.
Today, these are the things that are popping into my head as I prepare for “What are we going to do today?” It has not been asked yet by my kids and I am glad because other than chores I have no idea. I was stunned awake by a 3 year old with a nightmare screaming at the top of his lungs about “daddy and the rocket ship”, who know what that’s about, and my mind is still trying to wake. It is taking on deep important arguments like the detriment of Dragon Tales on my child’s IQ. Mine too. I am slightly more stupid for having watched this.
Yesterday I was different. I had complete thoughts. It was a work day, which for me means the one day a week that my toddlers are in preschool and I get to work my freelance writing and PR job uninterrupted. I accomplished all sorts of adult things that sparked my imagination. I got blood work done early for my impatient doctor. I mean really, if I have to wait in the lobby for forty-five minutes to see her than she can certainly wait three weeks for my blood work.
Afterward, I finally checked that off my to-do list and I was hungry and in need of caffeine. I chose to get that much needed cup of coffee in downtown Portsmouth. I had some notes to go over for my PR work and for once I wanted to be sitting outside “Popovers” like an adult sipping my brew and working in the pleasant bustle of Market Square. No Curious George or Sid the Science Kid would be playing in the background. I would be allowed to hear the thoughts in my head.
This was a treat for me. Working and taking in the sights and sounds while being impervious to any real distraction. It does not happen the rest of the week. Here nobody was calling, “Mommy” or arguing over a toy. My phone did not ring with one of my older children asking for money or telling me they have a stomach ache. I was surrounded by…people I was not responsible for, and it was good.
Cell phones rang and ladies strolled in and out of the café’ sipping iced concoctions and chatting about business, emails or recent vacations. An old man waddled behind a group of ladies, hunched over by time and bone loss, with his shirt unbuttoned at the bottom so his protruding belly popped out a bit. This was very much how my 2 year old would dress himself, but the cute factor was severely missing on this old man. A group of ladies speaking French stopped to peek in Popover’s window and saw the old man right behind them and they looked completely startled by his proximity as well as his appearance.
I worked. People walked dogs and traffic hummed by me. It was…strange yet familiar. It was the old me.
I find I have forgotten what it is like to hear my own thoughts and just take in the world happening around me. I like to people watch, but when you are watching your children it drowns out the others around you. I apparently had forgotten what I sound like in my head, whether thinking about work or making mental comments about the people I am seeing around me. This was a nice break. Hello me.
I finished up and decided to walk and browse a bit before heading out. I entered a clothing shop with tie-dyed dresses and jewelry that screamed “hippy” yet looked strangely compelling to me. As a mom of two toddlers, I have become a creature of comfort and these sundresses appeared to be offering the freedom of looking dressed up while still allowing the warm summer breeze to billow through you like freshly laundered sheets hung out on the line. They cost $49. Nice price, but not in the budget today…or next week or next month for that matter. Many people complain that they have no money and it is because they spend it. We complain we have no money because we have no money.
The clerk can only be described as a die-hard hippy. Tattoos on both arms, a giant peace symbol on her tank top that hangs loosely over her large crinkled floor length skirt. Her long brown tussled hair is pulled into a long ponytail that sways as she moves around the store straightening racks. The AC is blasting to ward off the heat wave outside, but she opens the door of the store and props it open with a rock.
“Taking the edge off the AC?” I ask.
“She likes us to open the door so it is more welcoming to customers,” the clerk says.
“It is the best of both worlds that way,” I say. “Fresh air and no sweating.”
She smiles a warm smile and nods. Just then a man and a girl enter the store. He is either her father or there is a big age difference in their relationship.
“Anything you want beautiful. Pick out whatever and it’s yours,” he tells her. “Doesn’t matter what it costs.”
The girl-woman giggles and begins flipping through the racks. The large balding man comes over and tells her to try some dresses on to show him. Then he pulls her in for a wet deep kiss. A long deep wet kiss.
I have not seen anything like this since Richard Gere was buying dresses for Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman”. I continue to look at pretty things and block out the ugly.
While she is browsing the man wanders over to me.
“That would look beautiful on you if it were shorter.”
“Mmmm. Yes,” I say. Then I leave. I miss my kids.