it appears i have finally become that woman.

last night i took bitsy shopping. i have been deluding myself into believing that if i had only the right tote bag to take to the hospital, only the right nursing pjs to wear while i’m there instead of the hideous gowns that make me wish i looked good enough to be described as schlumpfy, only the right adorable post-partum clothes, i would be able to feel so much better about myself. and since i am so hopeful that boo will arrive any moment now, i thought, last night, that i should locate and purchase all these new material goods while i still have the chance to transform myself.

and bitsy is a champion shopper. “buy shoes, buy shoes,” is her standard rallying cry, and buy shoes we do. and purses. and the occasional dress. i figured she’d have a great time looking for purses and jammies and bras (another of her favorite clothing items), and then lugging everything through the aisles to the cashiers where she prefers to sign my name in the window of the electronic card-slider.

oh, what a thing it is to misjudge a two-year-old.

in the first store she discovered that tearing back and forth across the threshold would make the store’s bell go ding-a-dong, that opening the curtains onto other women’s dressing rooms would make them squeal, and that looking at bras in only white and black and the ill-named “nude” is dull, dull, dull.

in the second store, instead of carrying one purse at a time and carefully putting it back before choosing a second one (her usual modus operandi), she picked up bag after bag after bag, grabbing as many as she could while simultaneously running far, far away from me. the more i called after her the faster she ran.  the more i ignored her the further she ran. the more i tried to keep an eye on her without actually following her the more i envisioned some cruel stranger snatching her and making off with her before i could gather myself and chase him down. luckily she came back of her own accord once she realized that all her running had messed with the hemline on her pants and that one leg was uncomfortably pulled up to her knee. when she whined “ti, mommee, ti” i told her just to pull the leg down and it wouldn’t feel tight anymore. she took this as permission to take off her pants entirely; thus sartorially freed she pranced around in her “panties” (a diaper cover she insisted on wearing yesterday over her diaper but underneath her pants), waltzing herself to the sale-shoe rack, where she promptly threw off her own sandals and dashed madly for the adult size 6s (not my size! not my size! grab a good-looking shoe in my size, why don’t you?), grabbing instead a cork-heeled pink wedge sandal in one hand and a hot pink c-f-m stiletto in the other.

i tried to be patient. to reason, to cajole, to bribe. i was that horrible mother who says ridiculous things to her child, in public, all in a pathetic attempt to look like anything but the failure she so obviously is.  finally i was reduced to the person i swore i would never be: the mother who throws her screaming, kicking toddler over her shoulder and marches out the door with her, shrieks echoing down the aisles behind her, disgusted and smug cashiers in her wake.

she didn’t even buy anything, i swear i could hear them snickering.