"What happened?" I took my son who was red-faced and sniffling through the liquid that had pooled in his eyes and little round nostrils during his latest public freak-out. Freak-outs that were becoming more frequent. And loud. And migraine-inducing.
"A guy we were talking to accidentally dropped a cd on his head. But he caught it before it really hit him. In the head. I think he needed a Momma hug."
"I'm sure he's fine," I said and walked our little cherry-cherub over to the magazines. "Here, baby. You sit and look out the window while Momma looks at all these cooking mags."
"Coooooing!" Baby Harry said to me as he patted the glass.
No, I don't know what "cooooooing" means but I'm sure it translates to, "You're a cool mom, Mom!" or "I will kill you in your sleep with my tiny oatmeal-covered hands." Whatev.
I was a third of the way through a shiny article all about cheese (CHEESE!!!) when I heard the sound of muffled laughter. I looked down and then stepped closer to my loving, well-dressed, perfect little man, son.
Who was licking the glass like a mad man.
Full throttle XXX tongue action with both hands next to his face.
"Ack! No, don't lick the glass!" I cried and wedged him away from the cesspool of germs. "Harry! Border's couldn't even afford to stay open I KNOW they haven't been able to spring for a bottle of Windex! Ew! We DON'T LICK GLASS!" I said to him in a firm, but not mean, tone.
At least I didn't think it was mean.
But his face, which had faded to a healthy hot pink, flashed devil-red again.
"wwaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!' and off he went!
Into the mall!
Into the hall!
Into the crotch of a man-who-looked-like-Daddy-but-wasn't!
Okay - I caught him in time - but didn't dare make eye contact with the dude who almost received a snotty toddler in the crotch.
I picked him up and walked him back into the bookstore where everyone in line turned to look at the woman who was surely beating the tar out of a poor child. Instead, they saw me, a fat sweaty girl in a too-low-cut shirt, trying to keep her boobs out of view and her child in a fully upright position while he wailed like a banshee in her now defunct right ear.
"Yeah, that one's mine," Big Harry said to the woman in line behind him as I dove for my purse and - the paci.
"Plug the hole!" I screamed. "PLUG. THE. HOLE!!!"
After I managed to calm the Rage of Baby Zeus, I realized something very important.
Next time I'm in a crowded store full of people trying to get 10% off a Dolly Parton cd or the latest trashy romance novel, I will be sure to be armed with a pocket full of pacis.
And hand sanitizer.
And ---- next time---- I'll let him make out with whatever piece of glass he wants.