Friday, May 25, 2007


I just had a surprising experience, one I don't have as often as I used to, and I had to write about it. Have you ever heard a song that absolutely makes your soul swoon - you are suddenly elated in a way nothing else could do? I love music for this exact reason, and sadly my chances to enjoy it have drastically diminished with the arrival of the sweeties. But this afternoon I got the chance. Hazel was napping and Ginger was hanging out in the bouncy seat. I dug out the mixes Dave made for my wedding reception, still some of my favorite compilations, and put on "Kari's Love Songs"* while I cleaned the living room. Each one gave me some nostalgic and sentimental feelings, with memories and emotions attached to each song. They also gave me lots of ideas for future Sing Alongs (Motown, duets, etc.) Then Ginger started to fuss so I wrapped her up and rocked her to sleep when "Cowboy Take Me Away" by the Dixie Chicks came on.

Most of you know I have low twang tolerance but I do have a handful of country songs and singers I like. So as I rocked my girl, staring out the window at the next apartment building 10 feet away, and listened, especially to the lines:

I wanna look at the horizon
And not see a building standing tall

I wanna be the only one
For miles and miles
Except for maybe you
And your simple smile

that's it, my soul absolutely swooned and I became overwhelmed with a longing for Colorado. At that moment I was willing to walk out, leave everything (except Ed & the girls) behind and return to the most beautiful state in the union, and the home of the happiest years of my life. I couldn't believe how much I missed it. I can't believe that music can do that! It was wonderful and painful at the same time. Now it's on to another song and I've come down a bit but I felt like I would burst, so I just wanted to write about it.

What's the last song that made you feel that way?

*Other songs on the mix are:
Leather and Lace - Stevie Nicks and Don Henley

More - Bobby Daron
Kissing a Fool - George Michael

Treat Her Like a Lady - Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose
Kiss - Prince
Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want - the Smiths
Something in the Way She Moves - James Taylor
Your Song - Elton John
Could You Lie and Say You Love Me Just a Little - Alison Krauss
I Want You Back - Jackson 5
Far and Away - Enya
(something by Elliott Smith)
In Your Wildest Dreams - Moody Blues
Forever and Ever Amen - Randy Travis (tolerable twang)
The Fourteenth of February - Billy Bragg
I Will - Alison Krauss
Angel Mine - Cowboy Junkies
It's Alright, Don't Think Twice - Joan Baez with the Indigo Girls
Could I Have This Kiss Forever - Enrique Iglesias with Whitney Houston

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sing Along with Disco Mom: Monday Greens!

Today we are correcting mondegreens. They're common enough but still good for a chuckle. I got some of these from TV shows, commercials, websites and a day calendar I saw at Barnes and Noble once. These are seriously too fun.

Your task is to:
  • Identify the incorrect lyrics
  • Provide the correct ones
  • Name the song and artist if you can
1. "'Scuse me while I kiss this guy..."
2. "Hold me closer, Tony Danza..."
3. "Rock the cat spa, rock the cat spa..."
4. "Outhouse, in the middle of the street..."
5. "The heart of rock n' roll is Topeka..."
6. "The girl with colitis goes by..."
7. "The ants are my friend, they're blowin' in the wind ..."
8. "Don't go around tonight; well, its bound to take your life; there's a bathroom on the right."
9. "I see a Renoir and I want to paint it black..."
10. "Edith was troubled by a horrible ass, yeah yeah yeah yeah..."
11. "I shop and share it (but I did not kill the deputy)..."
12. "Gloooooooooooooria, undigested bagels..."

BONUS: "She's got - thirty days to die..."

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sing Along with Disco Mom: for the Simon-istas!

Inspired by Maren's claim to know lyrics to Paul Simon songs, I pulled out Negotiations & Love Songs - aah, what a nice collection. Please, sing along, if you can!

1. What are some of the ways to leave your lover?

2. After how long are "we" still crazy?

3. What is Rosie the Queen of? (Me and Julio...)

4. What did Paul Simon learn in high school? (Kodachrome)

5. What can I call you? (You Can Call Me Al)

6. What kind of bar was he underage in? And what did he step outside to smoke? (Late in the Evening)

7. Why should he be depressed? Where does paranoia strike? What is he blind to? (Have a Good Time)

8. "The nearer your ________, the more you're ____ _____ _____."

9. What happens when something goes wrong? When something goes right? (Something So Right)

* Of course it's cooler if you can do these out of your head, or at least from listening to the songs, but I can't stop you from looking up the lyrics on the internet. At least give it a try!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Service or Sucker?

On Saturday Ed helped a family in our ward move - a middle-aged couple moving from an apartment they'd been in for 10 years to another apartment within the ward boundaries. Our family already had plans for the day, but we made some modifications to accommodate this act of service. Yes, today we are going to discuss "The Elders Quorum Move."

The plan was:
8:00-10 am Ed would help with the move, then come home and we would go to the ward primary activity at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden as a family.
1:00-3 pm We would come home and put the girls down for naps; he would return to help the move finish (supposedly the truck had to be returned by 3.)
3:30 pm He would come home to watch the girls while I went grocery shopping and stopped by our storage unit to pick up the air conditioner and some other things. (Saturday is the only day I can do the grocery shopping without the kids, so by Friday night we were out of EVERYTHING.)
5:00ish pm We would have dinner as a family and then...
6:30ish pm Head over to the evening session of stake conference, which for the first time was offering childcare, so I was really looking forward to the meeting.

What happened was:
8:00 am Ed left to help with the move.
10:00 am He called to tell me the family had a ton of stuff, the truck would have to make two trips, some stuff still wasn't packed, and much of the work force was taking off soon. The work force consisted of the already-spread-thin few guys from the Elders' Quorum who had been nice enough to volunteer.
12:00 pm Ed called to tell me the first truckload was at the new place being unloaded; he had stayed behind with a few guys to try to help get the rest of the packing done.
3:00 pm He called to tell me he was in our car, following the second truckload over to the new place. Barely containing my frustration, I asked if he'd eaten anything and he said no (= they hadn't provided food!) He was going to swing by Wendy's on his way and buy himself lunch. Only he and two other guys were left helping.
5:00-7 pm Nearing a boiling point, I called him several times between to check on his status, but later learned he had left the phone in the car. I even tracked down the cell phone # of the woman being moved, but she didn't answer. I found out later that the man being moved had thrown out his back and/or become too tired to keep helping. He had set up the TV at the new place and was hanging out on the couch watching TV while his wife and the three volunteers kept moving his stuff up two flights of stairs so he wouldn't be charged too much in late fees for the truck.
7:00 pm I reached Ed on his cell phone. He was on the way home, after 11 hours of thankless manual labor and an entire precious Saturday missed with his family. He was going to drop off the other two guys and be home soon.
8:00 pm I called him again to find out what was taking so long and of course he had spent the last half hour looking for a parking space, as happens in the evening around our place. He finally found a spot and...
8:30 pm Came home. We had a late family dinner and he helped put Hazel to bed. Ginger was already asleep. He took a shower and crashed, tired and sore.
9:30 pm I walked to the grocery store with a backpack (no point in driving - wouldn't find parking upon return) and bought the essentials we would need for the next few days, as much as I could carry.

I started the day feeling charitable and magnanimous, compromising our family's plans in the service of others. But sometime in the afternoon that feeling started to shift towards resentment. As the day wore on, the negative feelings escalated until I was incredibly angry at all the things our family had given up that day - the outing to the gardens, the errands we only have one day to do, family time together, and stake conference. I had to call my brother twice to vent.

Everyone knows how The Elders Quorum Move goes. People aren't packed, aren't organized, haven't gotten a big enough truck or enough help, underestimate how long it will take, etc. I myself have been moved by a ward group more than once and I really appreciate that help (at least I fed them pizza!) Ed has moved way more people than times he will ever move, that's for sure. I don't know how or when TEQM became tradition but it seems to have evolved into something some Church members feel entitled to, like a service the Church promises to provide. In large wards with lots of manpower (including youth) and few moves it's no problem, and can even be a unifying ward effort. But our ward is small, human resources are extremely limited, there are lots of moves in, out and within, and there are a lot of people with a lot of needs. A few people end up doing a lot of work, over and over. As I was juggling two kiddos Saturday afternoon, like I do five other days of the week, with an eye single to the relief of having Ed around on the weekend, I started to consider if we can put some kind of limit on EQM's, like the ward will provide 2 hours of moving service, but then you're on your own or something like that. I told this to Ed and of course he questioned whether it still counts as Christlike service if you put stipulations like that. Dave made a good point, that people outside of the Church move all the time without free labor, even on a limited budget. If they can do it, why can't we?

I know many, many of you reading have had personal experiences with TEQM. I'd like to hear from you - what's your view on the phenomenon? Am I justified in my feelings or do I need an attitude adjustment? How can the service continue without it being taken advantage of, or can it? Since it's not an official Church program, can a ward or EQ put limitations on the service, or even at times refuse to do it? How do you deal with TEQM when you're asked to participate? I'd like Dave to tell his take, if he's willing. And the rest of you, especially those I know are reading but don't usually comment, chime in (Kristina...). TEQM affects whole families, not just Elders - does it affect you for good or bad?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Going Places: Parking Diaries II

So last weekend I got a parking ticket and sticker of shame, and this week I almost forgot to move the car to the alternate side...twice, so I figured it must be time to write some more about parking. This time we're talking about parking when we go places in New York, but let me just make one more comment about parking at home. I just got back from moving the car for sweeping tomorrow. And in doing so I left Hazel in front of Blue's Clues and Ginger in the baby swing. I walked out, locked the door, left the building, crossed the street, drove the car to a spot two blocks away, and walked home. Every single time I do something like that - leave the girls alone - either to park or switch laundry or get the mail - I feel slightly sick and envision all manner of horrible things happening, from a cut to a fire, and social services taking them away from me. Then I envision putting shoes & jackets on, taking them outside, buckling them both in car seats, driving two blocks, then walking them home (and inevitably receiving a tantrum from Hazel because she doesn't want to go back in) and I swallow hard and consider it worth the risk. It's just quicker and easier. I do try to do it when they're both sleeping, but sometimes I forget (or sometimes they don't sleep at the same time all day). Ok, enough from the guilty conscience.

I learned early on that when I'm going to drive somewhere in New York City, the biggest concern is parking (and traffic, but that's a topic for another day.) If possible, I call ahead and ask how the parking is in the area, and, if relevant, the street sweeping days & hours. Sometimes there is a parking lot or garage nearby. Sometimes there is meter parking. And sometimes there's just no parking, so I don't go. Once I called a store and they said street parking was crowded but they had an arrangement with a diner down the block that their shoppers could park there. Never would have known if I hadn't called. But for the most part parking takes time and money, and may be several blocks or more from my destination, so that also means ALWAYS take the stroller.

My ticket last week was an interesting one. I went to the grocery store at 8am on Saturday. This store has a small parking lot so I drove there, but over half of the spaces were blocked by big trucks making their deliveries in the back, and the other spots were filled. I noticed the meter spots on the street were mostly open; I attributed this to the early hour, and parked in one, sure to deposit my quarters. When I came out 45 minutes later I found a ticket on the windshield and sticker on the window. I was annoyed at getting a ticket undeservedly, and at the hassle I'd have to go through to contest it. Then I looked up at the parking signs and discovered that street sweeping on that main street is 8-8:30 every day except Sunday. After almost 2 years I should have looked at the signs - you always have to look at the signs. But I'd gotten lazy - I always park in the lot there, so I didn't know the rules on that street. And I'd never seen a daily 8-8:30 sweeping sign - they're usually once a week. There went $45 I could have used for laundry.

In my early days here, I had several experiences of driving to a place, circling for parking, becoming overwhelmed at the one-way streets, parking signs, and traffic, and just turning around to come back home. But I've gotten smarter as I've learned the patterns. For the most part, I know the alternate side parking for the streets around the pediatrician office, dentist, library and most of the parks we like that are too far to walk, and make my appointments and plans accordingly. Meter spots are always best because they're usually closer to where you're going, but always in demand. But I also learned the hard way that some meters are 2 hours, and some are only 1. Garages are always very convenient, too, but quite pricey. The few times I've driven into Manhattan, I've always parked in a lot or garage. Street parking is not worth the enormous investment of time spent looking for a spot you'll probably never find. For a couple of hours we've spent anywhere from $12-35, depending on the area, day and time of day. I think the most was $40 for a few hours in the theater district at night. Two hours on a Saturday near the temple was about $25. Plus tolls of course...

I could go on but I want to mention Dr. Donald Shoup - UCLA Urban Planning professor and author of The High Cost of Free Parking (call out to D-Pulse!). This guy has made urban parking his academic and professional focus, and in my opinion that's good. Parking could use him. I haven't read his book, but I have read a few articles and watched this film (which I highly recommend), so I have the gist of his ideas, which I'll lay out here:

Street parking either costs too much, or in more cases, too little, especially if it's free. A solution to many urban problems, including air pollution, traffic, pedestrian safety, cleanliness, and of course parking, is to find the "right" cost of curb parking. The right cost would be the lowest price that leaves 15% of spaces vacant at any given time. I assume in NYC this price would be more than 25 cents per half hour (what meters cost in many areas) and less than $10 per half hour (what some garages charge.) Revenue from this parking policy should go straight back into improving the specific locality - fixing up the pedestrian realm so it's a place more people want to be.

Anyone involved in the parking world seems to either be a Shoupista or Anit-Shoupista. I'm not so polarized, but since I already pay out my rear end to park in Manhattan, I'd be happy to pay whatever it takes if it means there are readily available spots. It's hard to imagine 15% of curb parking open in NYC, but I'm all for it, especially if the revenue goes to improving pedestrian conditions (or, say, um, putting elevators in more subway stations so I could actually take a stroller...)

Anyway, the point is that parking is a mess. What it means for me is that I go out less, buy less gas (usually one tank per month), walk more and shop online more. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but has taken serious getting used to for a suburban girl like me. Of course having two kids further complicates driving outings, whether parking is an issue or not. That's why all the saved gas money went into a v.e.r.y. s.e.r.i.o.u.s. d.o.u.b.l.e. s.t.r.o.l.l.e.r. Now what I need is a new pair of walking shoes!

Question: Watch the 6-minute film interview with Dr. Shoup and tell me - how do you think this would work in your town or city (or place you've been that has a parking problem...)?

Motherhood is not for Sissies

My mom gave me this book for Mother's Day. It's simple but entertaining and has one quote and black&white photo per page, which is appropriately paced for the windows of free time I get throughout the day. So once in awhile we'll have a motherhood quote instead of a chocolate one on the right here. After all, those are the two most important things in my life...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sing Along with Disco Mom: Fun with Colors

So how about if I make Sing Along a little more fun for everyone this time? I guess I'm still on an 80's kick because we're doing Pretty in Pink. Love the movie, love the song - the Psychedelic Furs got the whole tone of the movie and the era just right with their title tune. But when I think of the song, I can kind of get the melody going but for the life of me, the only actual words I can conjure up are:

"Isn't she...pretty in pink?"

Don't know what comes before, after, beginning, end. All I can do is la-la-la the rest of it.

1) So, without looking it up anywhere even if it's killing you, can anyone come up with some other real lines from the song? Can anyone actually put several lines in order? Your reward is a virtual Hershey's kiss tossed to you and my deepest respect.

2) Also without cheating (by looking them up), what other color song titles can we come up with? I'll get us started with:
Purple Rain by Prince
Black Balloon by Goo-goo Dolls

(Extra points if you can get titles with colors beyond the 8 fushia or cerulean.)

Difficulty level: Easy-ish


Obviously no one knows the lyrics to "Pretty in Pink" so I looked them up and here they are. They make no sense and don't really go with the movie, either, so it's no wonder no one knows them.

Caroline laughs and
It's raining all day
She loves to be one of the girls
She lives in the place
In the side of our lives
Where nothing is
Ever put straight
She turns herself round
And she smiles and she says
'This is it'

'That's the end of the joke'
And loses herself
In her dreaming and sleep
And her lovers walk
Through in their coats

Pretty in pink
Isn't she?
Pretty in pink
Isn't she?

All of her lovers
All talk of her notes
And the flowers
That they never sent
And wasn't she easy
And isn't she
Pretty in pink
The one who insists
He was first in the line
Is the last to
Remember her name
He's walking around
In this dress
That she wore
She is gone
But the joke's the same

Pretty in pink
Isn't she?
Pretty in pink
Isn't she?

Caroline talks to you
Softly sometimes
She says
'I love you' and
'Too much'
She doesn't have anything
You want to steal
Nothing you can touch
She waves
She buttons your shirt
The traffic
Is waiting outside
She hands you this coat
She gives you her clothes
These cars collide

Pretty in pink
Isn't she?
Pretty in pink
Isn't she?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Thumbs Up: Bebe Au Lait

In case anyone is interested, sometimes I like to review products - home, hobby, baby, etc. Ok, mostly baby products because let's be honest about the total imbalance of my life. If I ever get that darn rice cooker that's been on my Amazon wish list for 2 years I promise to review it. But in the meantime I got something last week that gets the thumbs up!

Nursing your baby is part of motherhood, and if you want to nurse and ever leave your house sometimes you are faced with the dilemma of public nursing. I was surprised to find that most moms I know here in NYC don't have a problem doing this - just flip a blanket over the shoulder and voila! Somehow I missed the boat on this technique because neither I nor my babies have ever been able to do this gracefully. Most attempts have ended up with an angry, hot (and usually hungry) child and some level of compromised modesty on my part. What fun. I bought two different nursing covers/aprons when I had Hazel but neither one worked out because they either didn't provide the needed coverage, or didn't allow us to look at each other, which are the same problems a blanket has.

When Ginger was born, I resigned myself to planning outings to begin and end between feedings unless I knew there was going to be a place I could nurse in private (like at church.) So trips to the park or other public places with both kiddos have had the added stress of extremely sensitive timing.

I was complaining about this to my friend Kristin and she asked if I'd ever heard of a Hooter Hider. Have to admit, the name made me smile because it so perfectly described what I needed. She said someone gave her one for a shower gift and it works pretty well. So I looked it up and sure enough it thoughtfully addressed the problems I'd had with other covers. Products invented by moms instead of companies tend to do that. I also appreciated that they offer an alternative product name - Bebe Au Lait - for those of us just too prude to wear something labeled "Hooter Hider."

Anyway, so I found a website that sells them with free shipping and ordered immediately. It came in a few days and I used it at home for practice, then at the park for real - twice. I even used it in the back row of church during sacrament meeting, just to see if I could. It actually worked, for the most awkward public nurser there is.

In particular I like:
  • There's an adjustable apron-style loop that goes around the neck, to keep it from falling out of place.
  • It's super lightweight, so neither of us get too hot.
  • It folds up very small so it doesn't take up any more precious diaper bag space than a burp cloth.
  • It's wide enough to cover me all around.
  • The best part is the rigid collar - I think it's corset boning or something they slip in there. Anyway, it stands out away from my neck so I can look down and see what we're doing. And Ginger can watch me, too, which helps her nurse better.
It's so simple but it's really improved my quality of life by removing a major stress, so thumbs up!

Sing Along with Disco Mom: Lullaby of Death

Hope the drama of the title drew you in...

It sounds like a lullaby, and I have been caught using it as one, but it's really about death, which I didn't realize for years. Kind of in a sweet way, though.
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Name the song title, band & album

Sing to me sweetly as I turn (1)____
(2)__ (3)__ (4)__, remembering
That the (5)____ and the rain
Played a part in that (6)_____ hour

And so as I (7)____ I too feel the power
Laying here under the (8)_____
Where (9)____ days before
I (10)____ in a summer shower

Diffulty level: Medium Hard

Saturday, May 12, 2007

New Feature: Singalong with Disco Mom

New feature here - I'm hoping it will be kind of fun and possibly draw some comments from less-frequent commentators as well as the treasured regulars.

Here's how it works:
I will provide a line or stanza from a song. Your mission, since I've chosen you to accept it, is to guess the artist, song title, missing word(s), next line, movie it comes from, or whatever else I may ask of you. I will do my best to draw from all decades and genres. My music knowledge may not be the most eclectic, but it's not bad.

We'll start with a possibly unexpected one:

I wake up in the morning
And I raise my weary head

I've got an old coat for a pillow

And the earth was last night's bed

I don't know where I'm going

Only God knows where I've been

I'm a devil on the run

A six gun lover

A candle in the wind

Name the artist or group, the song title, and if you can the album and year.

Difficulty level: medium.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Quick Mother's Day Project

I teach the 8-11 year olds at church and you better believe we're making Mother's Day cards this week in class. I got this idea off the internet somewhere a long time ago and finally get to use it! You just take a pipe cleaner, hole punch, and fun size M&M's bag and it can be a bow in her hair, on a dress, or whatever you want to draw. I guess it could also be a butterfly. I know this is a little late in coming, plus many of you reading this ARE mothers and shouldn't have to make your own gifts (like stockings and Easter baskets...) but you're in luck! You can do the same thing for Father's Day and make it a bow tie. Some of the kids in my class don't have good father situations, so we're going to make cards like this for the Bishop (Father of the Ward) when that comes around. I bet many of you crafters are rolling your eyes - "This is so basic, Kari!" - but hey, we all have to start somewhere.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I Really Am Disco Mom

DISCO. Many images does this word evoke. There's the music. Dig it. There are the clothes. Polyester. Love it. There's the lifestyle. Sex, drugs, mirror balls, girly hair. And there's the dancing. Work it. Disco was peaking about the time I was born, so it was just passe enough to be a little funny and alternative when I hit the teenage years, and I formed a fondness for it. I even middle-named my daughter Xanadu (before seeing the film, which is TERRIBLE. Luckily that's not the origin of the name so there is some redemption in Samuel Coleridge's poem. But back to disco.)

And of course what one single movie comes to mind when you hear DISCO? What cult classic gives perfect homage to all things DISCO?

A few weeks ago AMC was showing Saturday Night Fever. I'd owned the soundtrack on vinyl years ago, and now own it on cd, but I'd never seen the whole film all the way through. So I sat down to at least watch the beginning. I knew it was about a Brooklynite, and I'd heard the first scene, where Tony is walking down the street with a can of paint, was filmed on 86th Street in Bensonhurst, which is where our church is. So I thought it would be fun to see that part, and sure enough it was Bensonhurst and not much has changed in 30 years. He stops to buy a double decker slice of pizza and I said to Ed, "That pizza place could be in our neighborhood. There's a million like that around here." We watched on, to the part where Tony goes home after work. He's shown walking down the sidewalk to his family's house, and again, I said to Ed, "That house could be in Bay Ridge (our neighborhood.) That looks just like the houses in Bay Ridge." We watched about the first half hour and decided to stop wasting our time when things got pretty raunchy that first night at the dance club. But the Italian family dinner scene was a real treat, a perfect example of how people, as well as places, don't change much around here. I kept it to myself that time, but I could have told Ed that family could be in our neighborhood.

A few days later the girls decided to desynchronize their naps, so I was entertaining Ginger while Hazel napped in the afternoon, and I flipped on the TV. AMC was showing it again, and as luck would have it there was about 25 minutes left, including the big dance competition. So I missed the middle, but caught the end, and it surprised me. Tony & partner of course won the dance competition but he became disgusted with the results and gave the prize to the couple he thought was better. Then he and his friends who were all doped up went and played on the Verrazano Bridge, which is mere blocks from my house and featured in our 2006 Christmas card pictures. That really caught my attention. One of his friends falls off and dies - unexpected dramatic turn - and they are shown with police on a path under the bridge that we go walking on some Sunday afternoons. Tony spends a soul-searching night riding the subway and determines to get out of the vicious cycle his life has become.

After seeing the bridge at the end of the movie, I thought, wow, I'm really living where it happened. (I say "happened" as if it's real, you know what I mean.) And guess what - I really am. Movie-locations indicates that most of the movie was filmed right here in Bay Ridge, including Tony's house, about 15 blocks from where I live. I had no idea I was right in the middle of it, albeit 30 years later. "Disco Mom" was a fun super-hero kind of title I chose for myself, but now I feel like I can really claim it, and I do.

I am Disco Mom.

(And speaking of Brooklyn movies, see my very favorite.)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Confessions of an Accidental Shoplifter

I shop with my stroller. We go out walking in the neighborhood and stop into shops for our errands. That means I use the stroller basket and sometimes Hazel's lap to hold our things, rather than a cart or hand basket. And that means we've developed a history of accidental shoplifting.

The first time was in November of 2005. I remember because my friend Kat was visiting from Colorado and it was a rare occasion that we had gone into Manhattan. We spent a fun day at Chelsea Market and were wandering back to Union Square to catch the subway home. (See picture with sunglasses - same outing.) On the way we stopped into a children's store, and while we were looking at different toys I handed Hazel a cute rattle to keep her occupied; she was on my hip in a sling at the time. Later, on the subway back to Brooklyn, I loosened the sling to hold her on my lap and CLUNK, the rattle that we had not bought clattered onto the seat. I guess she'd dropped it into the sling and I had forgotten I'd even handed it to her. Tally mark #1. In cases like this many people are honest in the extreme and I admire them for it. Such people would return to the store with the rattle. Since moving to New York, or becoming a mother, or both since they were nearly simultaneous, I have adopted a new morality, complete with all shades of gray and the mantra "Do what you gotta do." In this particular case, halfway home with a very cranky baby and not even remembering where the store was, we kept the rattle and have quite enjoyed it actually. Guilt lasted about a day and then I got over it. It was accidental, after all.

There have been a handful of similar cases since then - a bag of peaches tucked into the stroller canopy while grocery shopping, an avocado the same dark color as the stroller basket, a toothbrush handed to Hazel in the stroller to entertain, and then tucked behind her back, all forgotten or not seen until it was too late. My life here relies on inertia, and once we're moving in one direction, like HOME, it's not an option to change that direction and return. Let me be more honest - it is an option of course. If I left my wallet at the store you bet I'd return. Rather, it's a gray area in which I weigh the cost-benefit of returning and "doing the right thing", and somehow what I "gotta do" always wins out.

The reason I write about it now is that it happened again last week. We were shopping at our local Rite Aid and I had the stroller pulled up next to the deodorants while I looked at toothpaste. It's a tough call at Rite Aid - I can either park the stroller in the middle of the aisle so Hazel can't reach anything, but also no one can pass; or, I can pull it up to one side so people can pass but Hazel can mess with stuff on the shelf. Rite Aid's a busy place around here so it's always the latter. While I was lost in the jungle of choosing a toothpaste there was a loud bang & clatter - Hazel had kicked about a dozen deodorants off the shelf. I grabbed the closest toothpaste, moved the stroller, put the deodorants back, and headed to check-out. Of course when we got home and I took Hazel out of the stroller I saw on the footrest a Brut deodorant. It barely even phased me. I had to get lunch for Hazel, change two diapers, and feed Ginger STAT.

I don't condone real shoplifting. And I don't feel bad about these things we've obtained without paying. I guess I find it interesting, noteworthy, almost in an objective way, that I've come to accept this, like so many other things, as part of life now. If something like this happens when the kids are old enough to understand, we'll certainly have to make a production about returning any little stick of gum taken without paying, and tack on a couple FHE lessons on honesty. But for now I'm just doing what I gotta do to survive. Too bad Brut's not our brand.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...