Before I had kids I thought I was prepared for the unexpected. I had been a full time nanny, my career was in childcare, I looked after numerous babies, my friends had kids, I read the equivalent of a small library when it came to parenting books, I had a beautiful nursery and I figured it was no news to me that kids say the darndest thing. I thought I was prepared for motherhood when I left my house a pregnant mess of contractions.
Fast forward through the sleepless nights, teething, nursing issues, growth spurts, sleep regressions and first year milestones of a baby. Gone are the rock eating, drooling, clumbsy, gibberish speaking stages of toddlers. Enter the crazy stages of a preschooler. I was not prepared nor did I anticipate the awkward scenarios in which my son would place me in, all because of his budding sense of curiosity in the world around him. I myself love his inquisitive mind but others may not see it that way when put in these situations. So here is my open apology to those who have witnessed these moments….
To the elderly lady in the wheelchair:
I apologize for the quiet afternoon when you were leisurely strolling through Costco minding your own business. You were browsing through the bread selection when my son decided to yell across the warehouse “Why are you riding on a lawnmower?!”
To the beautifully dressed business woman:
I apologize for the early morning in the bank line up when you were most likely on your way to an important meeting when my son decided he needed to feel your white sparkly skirt with his peanut butter laden hands before I had a chance to pull him away.
To the impassive looking lady in line:
I apologize for the rude interruption when you were searching the shelves in the candle store. My newest lessons to my son about reading people’s facial expressions backfired when he asked you oh-so-matter-of-factly “Hello lady. Why does your face look so grumpy?”
To the young woman in the wine store:
I apologize when shortly following your conversation with your friend you let out a high pitch laugh. This giggle was met by a curious response from my son of “That was a funny noise lady. Why does your laugh sound like that?”
To the female police officer outside the coffee shop:
I apologize for my toddler’s book collection and it’s lack of gender diverse authority figures. It was apparent he was confused by a female officer when he looked you in the eye and announced throughout the store “That man looks a lot like a funny lady”
To the larger gentleman walking out of the restroom:
I apologize for the recent discussions during potty training with my son. Upon receiving his tiny potty we went on to explain that he gets a little potty and mommies and daddies use a bigger potty. He may have taken this size dialogue too literal when he asked “Do they have really big toilets for you in there?”
To the elderly man basking in the sun:
I apologize for my sons unanticipated question. He has grasped the concept that little girls and boys can take off their shirts but is rather confused by grown up men and women having different rules. His startling accusation “Why don’t you have to put your nipples away too?” left both you and I somewhat paralyzed for answers.
To my close girlfriends trying to maintain a phone conversation
I apologize for the countless times I tried to convince myself I was able to multi task a busy toddler and still hold a rational conversation with you. I really do hear what your saying although it may be misunderstood when my response is “I completely understand how…..you will not put that dog poop in your mouth”
I apologize for not really being sorry for my son’s growing interest in the world around him.
I will never be the one to suppress his curiosity simply for the sake of my comfort. I love that he constantly reminds me how interesting, controversial, strange and funny the world we live in is. And besides, being able to laugh everyday is worth the rosy cheeks of embarrassment.
The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.” ~ Jack Handy