My “lady parts” doctor’s office is located in an outdoor mall. That sounds wrong, doesn’t it? It sounds like I’m getting my pap smears done at a kiosk. But no – fortunately for all the shoppers, the office is actually in a building, neatly and discreetly tucked away in the corner of the third floor. But I digress. The cool thing about having an appointment is I get to hit the Starbucks right across the way, or go to TCBY and eat a $9 yogurt, or window shop at Macy’s. Look – when you’ve had a stranger’s hand up your hoo-ha, a little retail therapy is in order, don’t you think? Yes, I think.
The other day, I had a little extra time before a scheduled appointment, and decided to stroll around the breezeways a bit. There was Table de la Sur, with its Martha Stewart-esque kitchen gadgets to make one feel like a complete domestic failure; there was Forever 21, teeming with middle-aged mothers and their gum-smacking, eye-rolling teen-aged daughters, both feeling horrified for entirely separate reasons; there was Vera Bradley, with its North Shore paisley prints splashed on Every! Single! Item! Even! Their! $20! Pens!
I realized the time, and decided to start heading to the
office for my appointment. As I walked, I noticed a man walking with his little
boy. The boy was around two years old, and he did his best to keep up with this
rushed dad. As the boy hurried to catch
up, he started to hobble. And that’s when I realized that the kid’s pants were
sliding right off of him. Down over his diapered butt they went until they were
circling his ankles and catching his every step. But the little dude muscled up
and still tried to keep up. The dad?
Totally oblivious. At that very moment, another lady who had been walking near
me and I both piped up at the same time, pointing to the boy. “Uh, sir? His pants fell down.”
After the man hurried away with his now clothed son, the other lady and I looked at one another and burst out laughing. We both knew that had the boy been with his mother, her motherly spidey-senses would have sensed the pants’ plan to fall long before they even fell, and the kid would have been spared diaper-flashing the shoppers.
This reminded me of when my friend, mother to three young girls at the time, left for her first vacation ever sans her children and husband. She reported to me that when she got back, her husband lovingly shared with her photos of some of the things he had done with the girls in her absence. My friend nearly fainted when she realized that most of the pictures included an outing to the top of a mountain, where he posed the girls by themselves in front of THE EDGE OF A CLIFF so he could snap a souvenir photo. Later, her older daughter told my friend that “Daddy dressed Rachel in shorts and Rachel couldn’t walk!” When my friend questioned her husband, he had no choice but to admit that he had dressed their youngest daughter for the day in shorts, and noticed throughout the day that she was walking “funny”. It wasn’t until the end of the day that he realized he had forced both of her legs into ONE opening. Of course, once the horror of thinking her children could have fallen to their deaths had passed, we both laughed and laughed and laughed, because, really?
Let’s face it: Fathers love their children just as much as mothers do. They love them fiercely, wholly, protectively. They love them to the moon and back and around the world three times. But that doesn’t mean they won’t shove two legs into one pant leg and not notice, or allow a child to streak naked through a mall, or forget to feed them breakfast because what’s wrong with marshmallows? Why? Because they’re not mothers. It’s as simple as that.