Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Something about becoming a Mom makes you start thinking and acting all Mom-ish about things that are not directly in your Mom jurisdiction.

By this I mean:
1) I stress when I see other people's children not in car seats, or in the front seat.

Example: Yesterday I was parked in the lot at a service area on the NJ Turnpike, enjoying my Starbucks before getting back on the road. And this car pulls up in the spot facing me, with a boy about Sprout's age in the front seat. And then I see that there is a baby loose in the back seat - not completely loose, but in the arms of a woman who was just holding the baby - no car seat.

Now, for all I know the baby was safely strapped in her regulation car sear and started choking and the boy and the woman switched seats in some emergency maneuver to get the baby out and give her the Heimlich maneuver and these people were very heroic. And yet, I am pretty sure they were just driving down the NJ Turnpike with a loose baby and a little kid in the front seat. But I am guessing that if I rolled down my window (as I was tempted to do) and gave them a bit of motherly advice about proper car restraint use, they wouldn't have thanked me.

2) When I see a small child wandering around in a public place, I stress about "who the grown-ups are that belong to this child and why aren't they watching more closely!?"

Example: As the child that is wandering around Target with no grown-up starts heading for the doors, I start striking up a conversation to try to attract the attention of the grown-ups that might be his, but are not watching. "Your mommy probably doesn't want you to go out there!" I say in exaggerated tones. "Do you know where your mommy is?"

Of course, the mommy comes whipping past and either looks hugely annoyed that there was some implication that she wasn't watching the child (she WASN'T!) or looks like I must be some crazed child-approaching stalker (I'm NOT - but they are around, so for goodness sake, stay with your kid!!)

3) When I see a kid with horrifically chapped lips or flaky dry skin, I just want to walk up and put some lip stuff and lotion on them. Yes, I know it would be wrong. I don't do it. Ever. But the point is, I WANT to.

Now, this is certainly specific to me (although who knows, maybe other Mom's want to moisturize other people's children!) But since I have created this great skin care for kids, it pains me a little to see kids who could use it not using it.

Example: Last year I used to go in to read with the kids in Sprout's class every week or so. And there was this little girl, cute as can be, who would come and read with me. And I couldn't even focus on what she was saying because the skin on her arms and face was so dry it literally had little cracks on the surface. And all I could think was a) that has to be uncomfortable and b) have her parents never heard of lotion?

And I just KNEW if I could slap a little bit of Cream for Extra Crunchy Kids on her (which I happened to have right there in my bag...inches away...) she would feel so much better. And then I could focus on listening to her (excellent) reading.

But I didn't, couldn't, knew it was wrong. But I really REALLY wanted to.

Does anyone else get this?? Just me?

I mean, surely there is plenty of mothering to be done to my own children. But it is hard to stop there...and you end up telling other people's kids to stop walking on the sofa, please be gentle with the dog, please don't throw that at the house, watch out for the cars, can you turn that off if you are done playing with it, please don't take out any more toys, can you find a nicer way to say that, sharing makes everything more fun, and you probably shouldn't eat too many of those and then go on the swings.

So, there you have it, I want to protect and moisturize all of the children in the world. Is that so bad? Even if it is outside of my immediate sphere of responsibility.

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