Motherhood is chalk-full of embarrassing moments. Some you get over quickly; others will haunt you for the rest of your life. Being as unlucky as I am, my run-ins with humiliation are far more frequent than I’d have ever imagined possible. By now, I’m pretty used to making an ass of myself, but yesterday’s excursion to the mall proved that even seasoned jackasses, such as myself, can fall prey to life’s douchebaggery.
All I wanted was a new pair of pants. It’s been awhile since I’ve added to my meager wardrobe, and I felt it was time to treat my rear end to a fabulous pair of jeans. Being a mother and having to cart a toddler along on a shopping mission can lead to many face-reddening scenarios on a normal day. Yesterday, as it happens, was not a regular day.
I have to give credit where it is due. Piggle was an angel the entire time we were there, which, with my indecisive nature, was well over two hours. He was well-behaved, polite, and only tore down one display. Aside from ogling a half-naked mannequin for longer than could be deemed appropriate, he really didn’t cause much of a stir. In fact, his guilt in the events that followed is only coincidental. Had he not been hungry, it never would have happened at all, but he’s human, and hunger is beyond his control.
After about an hour of pant-searching and several stores left empty-handed, the boy was bored and famished. As we were planning to head out for dinner shortly after our shopping trip, I held off buying him a snack, and we just parked ourselves on a bench to nurse. I pulled my scarf aside, popped the boob in his mouth, and he went to town. Piggle drank his fill, hopped down, and we were off once again. We rushed through a few more stores, still not finding anything that caught my eye, and he remained as angelic as before.
As I began to lose hope of ever finding something I liked, Piggle took off into a store a few feet ahead of me. I chased him in, and caught up to him just as he was contemplating the best way to destroy the nicely folded jeans display. And there they were: the ones I’d been hunting for. I grabbed a few sizes, stood back up, looking for a salesperson to open a change room, and that’s when it happened. All eyes were on me.
At first, I thought Piggle had escaped from me again. I’m used to the stares that clearly say “control your wild animal”. Usually, I ignore them because finding Piggle before he can wreak havoc (which, to a toddler, is a very quick undertaking) is my top priority. This time, however, the glares were different. They didn’t give me the same vibe as Piggle-related ones normally do. These leers held more accusation and disgust.
It didn’t take me long to locate the boy, who might as well have been donning a halo for all the chaos he was causing. I then realized that these strangers were not judging my child or my parenting. In that moment, I froze. I’m usually very quick on my feet, but I was really at a loss as to why I was being stared at (It’s not like I farted or anything), and it was creeping me out.
Then my amazing boy with his vast vocabulary glances up at me, cracks a smile, and starts yelling “milk”. It hit me like a ton of bricks. One look down told me all I needed to know. These strangers were not staring at me, but rather my left boob, which was hanging, very blatantly, out of my shirt.
In my rush to find pants before Piggle lost interest in the whole excursion, I had forgotten to put it away after nursing him. I hadn’t realized that it was out because my scarf had been covering it—that is, until I stood up with my arms full of jeans.
All I wanted was a new pair of pants, and instead, I have decided to become a hermit.