Not Proud of It Moment


There was this one instance in my life when I accidentally ‘forgot’ Ryan. At the vegetable section of the supermarket. Amidst a lively display of butterhead and romaine lettuce.

I am not proud of the moment. I think I may have mentally face-palmed myself a zillion times for it. I break out into a cold sweat even now when I think about it.

He was one at the time, having his afternoon nap in his stroller. I was window-shopping at the organic produce section of the supermarket. Baking imaginary casseroles in my mind and feeling giddy from the self-inflicted domestic goddess-ness I was feeling.

‘A’ had gone to withdraw some cash from the ATM, and I pushed the stroller along the aisles idly, smiling to myself, nodding at rows of colourful vegetables. Food does wonderful things to our mood, doesn’t it?

At some horrific moment during the walk, my hands slipped off the stroller handle. I must have been distracted by a rather appealing display of strawberries …I don’t remember. But I left the stroller parked beside the lettuce and moved on to the bread aisle.

I spent a good ten minutes there, feeling all baker-ly, touching the rye breads and the pumpkin seed breads. Finally I chose a loaf of white bread. Yes, let’s not judge folks.

I was already paying for the bread when ‘A’ came back. Something in his face set off an alarm in my head. I was missing something, I knew. Something crucial, but I couldn’t get it. He looked around, and then walked fast towards me.

“Where’s Ryan?”

You know the feeling when you could have all the oxygen in the world, but your lungs forget to breathe? Well I did then. We ran past shoppers, me stuttering an apology. To ‘A’. To Ryan. Horrible, horrible mother!

And we found him. The stroller still parked at the same spot. Ryan still asleep inside. Not aware that his parent’s hearts had stopped for an instant.

And sounds and sights returned to me in a single whoosh. Ears buzzing with static of people around me, eyes tearing up with relief, the world came back to me.

‘A’ looked at me. He licked his lips. They had gone very dry. There was a brief moment where we just looked at each other. This could go two ways. He could bite my head off then and there. Or he could give me the silent treatment and let me stew in my own guilt. Which would it be?

But I never found out. Because there was a stir in the stroller and Ryan was waking up. Small hands and legs stretching. Small mouth yawning. His face crumpled into a ‘I am going to cry, can someone pick me up?’ expression. Post-nap crankiness. ‘A’ bent over and picked him up. Before I could. Ryan slumped on his shoulder. Safe. And loved. Loved so very much.

‘A’ rubbed his back trying to soothe him.

“It’s ok”, he murmured kissing his crankiness away. He bent his head and nuzzled his nose against Ryan’s ear.

“It’s ok” he said again. This time he raised his head and looked at me. And this time, I knew the message was for both of us.

“What’s your Not Proud of It moment?”

This post is featured on BlogHer too!

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12 thoughts on “Not Proud of It Moment

  1. “Wrong turns are as important as right turns. More important, sometimes.”

    You are not a horrible mother, no mother can ever be horrible towards her child.

    Thanks for the post!

  2. oh lord that must be some ordeal for you…whew all was well in the end. For me, I bunked a class and asked someone else to sign on my behalf in the attendance register. I got caught and got such a tongue lashing…

    • Hahaha..I was visioning you feeling all smug about the bunk and then getting that dose from the teacher. yeah, been there, done that and barely missed being caught! 😀

  3. Well. No surprises really! We know what food can do to the author, although you continue to surprise your readers with every new post by revealing just HOW much. :))
    And you are no HORRIBLE mother lady. Remember when Ryan fell sick one night and we all took him to the hospital. I had come up with some senseless “don’t worry, he’ll be alright” comment and I remember you biting my head off. 😉
    Well written…you at the bakery could very well have been enacted right before my eyes. Such great detailing 🙂

    • Thank you Anoop. And NO thank you for the foodie comments…hmmmppphh. I don’t even remember that time I blew your head off..LOL..I did eh? Hahaha….good old times 🙂

  4. I was unpacking my grocery cart into the car once, and when i turned around I saw the cart rolling away from me down the slope, with my 3-yr-old still sitting in it! I had to sprint to catch it before it rolled into the street. Not at all embarrassing (not), but at least he thought it was fun. Then there was the time that my 3 yr old daughter went with us on the smallish rollercoaster even though I wasn’t sure she was old enough. I was sitting with her and trying to talk to my friend’s daughter in front of us since she was nervous, and I had my arm around my daughter. Uneventful ride, or so I thought until I saw the photo at the end. There was me and my daughter with her little hands clutching my shirt in a death grip and a look of sheer terror on her face. I was horrified that that was her reaction, until she asked if we could go again! I told her that after I saw that picture she was ever going on another rollercoaster as lons as she lived! My friend laughed so hard at the picture she bought a copy, so I have the moment memorialized in photographic evidence of my mother-of-the-year moment.

    • Right…looks like 3 years is a crucial milestone for such moments..Thanks for the heads up. Ryan will be 3 in another 5 mnths!

      I keep thinking about the picture with you and your daughter..hahha..that is something to laugh about in the years to come! 🙂

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