I love books. There’s something utterly relaxing about curling up with your favorite and a cup of tea. An excellent afternoon is spending a few hours browsing the local bookstore, usually with a hot chocolate, letting the titles grab me and draw me into another world.
Since I became a mother, those afternoons are now few and far between. The closest I come now is lounging on my couch, downloading free samples on my kindle, hoping my son stays asleep long enough for me to find something I like.
Last night, I had that bookstore itch. I had to go. I decided that as soon as my husband got home from work, I was going to escape for the evening.
So, naturally, my husband called me in the middle of the afternoon and told me he would be working late into the evening. Despondently, I picked up my kindle.
My son, who had been engrossed in a toy, made a beeline for me. He pulled himself up to the couch, shuffled crab-like over to me, and stared me down.
I patted him on the head, made googly eyes at him, then went back to my kindle. This was clearly not enough involvement for him. Children seem to have an uncanny ability to grab for things you couldn’t possibly think they could reach. Boom! Smack went the hand, and off went my kindle, somersaulting in the air and onto the floor. Olympic judges would have given it a 5.6. Then my sweet little angel gave me the most devilish grin.
It was clear to me that I wasn’t going to read anything. But I’m stubborn. I refused to be defeated. I was going to the bookstore. It was getting on for my son’s bedtime, so I figured if I carried him in a baby carrier, there was a chance he’d doze while I enjoyed the bookstore. He was going to be restrained, how hard could it be?
At Barnes & Noble, I found the section of books I was looking for and started thumbing through them, with my son comfortably snuggled in his Ergo carrier. But, as demonstrated earlier, my son has go-go-gadget arms. And he likes to eat paper.
He squeezed his arms out of the confines of the Ergo and started batting them around maniacally. Since he was strapped to me, my only course of action was to hold the book high above his head. And above my head.
His arms flailed. His lips smacked. His head and body contorted trying to grab the book. As determined as he was to get the book, I was just as determined to read it. I’m not really sure why, at this point, I was just getting snippets of sentences.
I started swaying back and forth, hoping the gentle rocking would make him sleepy. When that didn’t work, I started bouncing around a little bit. Then I started whipping myself about, forward and backward, all the while bouncing. And, then I started humming.
People started to stare. Nobody dared walk down my aisle. I must have been a sight; a book held high above my head, my eyes locked fast on it, all the while doing some kind of crazy, have-to-pee dance.
Realizing how strange I looked, I quickly put the book back on the shelf. I kept my head low, eyes locked to the ground, and hurried out of the store before someone sent security for the possessed lady lurking in the horror section.
Clearly, things are no longer the same as they used to be.
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