It started out as a great day. Seriously. I made homemade GF biscuits, which rocked. (side note: do not forget the salt, like I did on the first batch. Though it only called for 3/4 tsp- those 3.69696112 milliliters make a significant difference in the taste.
Husband dropped off Wife and LMC at St. Pete's for flower arranging and church cleaning. After wiping down the altar, polishing the candelabras, spritzing the windows, and replacing the Holy Water-- all with the help of two very busy feet-- the two Cagle girls headed down to the mall.
Much like New Orleans and how a parade can just pop up anywhere; a protest, a concert, an organized event of any type can be discovered on the mall at any given moment. This morning was no exception. With everyone donning purple, the band on the stage played SHOUT! and all the MoTown favorites. LMC hopped out of her stroller and spent a few minutes dancing before being replaced and heading to the art museum.
(LMC, would you like to see still figures [Art Gallery], diamonds [Natural History museum], or Abe [American History]? Ummmmmmm, Steel please)
Thirty seconds in the art museum where the heat was definitely on- we wind through six galleries to see the only DiVnci on display in the Western Hemisphere. Aborting the plan of weaving through the priceless art, we drop the stroller down 87 stairs with LMC snacking on the contraband of potato chips. Further down the mall, we head into the American History Museum.
After seeing Jefferson's Bible (The Morals of Jesus of Nazareth) and the display of slavery at Monticello (pronounced Mont-ah- CH- ello for you Georgians who are familiar with the small town known as Monta-Sell-O), we watched a depiction set in 1960's Greensboro, NC-- the Woolworth's sit-in protest.
These prissy little things were sitting next to us, donning wayfarers and Washington DC tie-dyed sweatshirts. The leader of the group leaned over before it started and asked me what we were watching. I, in my 31 years of wisdom, replied, "This is going to be some sort of rendition of the Woolworth's sit-in..." ... ... ... ... "Do you know what that is?"
... ... ... a very long pause... ... ... "Uh, yea-ah. It says so right there." I nod. She turns to her friends, "And why are we sitting here to see this?" I internally cringe.
LMC asks why we are there as they leave, with a sincere question mark on her face- to learn, I answer.
After petting the bison, acknowledging the Jewish Peddlers of the 1800s that helped make this country great, and checking out a reproduction of the "Charleston Market" (not the slave market as it is known in the low country)... the wheels started to come off.
Now, I have spoken of her FOAFs before. A lot. But.... this one... oh, this one. This one was extra special.
The bow on her dress got her attention. And she pulled. And she wanted it off. And she started to scream. Loud. I told her she could not take her dress off. She screamed. Louder.
I put her in a corner. She laid out.
I let her scream. People stared. Her face turned red.
This ain't a display. Move on.
I moved her to a different area, hoping that either the change of scenery would calm her down or the enlarged space and multiplication of people would drown her screams. The enlarged area only drew more attention to her.
Old biddies stopped and tsk-tsked this mother. Young girls laughed at pointed at the three year old who could not get it together.
Move along. Nothing to see here.
The security guard showed up.
LMC screamed. Purple faced, hair in the air, dress behind her ears, kicking her legs, flailing her arms, screaming.
I was unsure if he would ask me if:
(a) I was kidnapping her (if that was the case, here. Take her. I see the errors in my ways. Forgive me.)
(b) to calm her down
(c) that we needed to move as we're scaring the tourists. And tourists mean money.
He asked her name.
"LMC" as an old man walks by and says, "Glad that's not me."
I'm sitting on the floor. On the cold, black, granite floor, with a sweating baby screaming in my lap, writhing to get away. A gaggle of Girl Scouts look on.
Lucky for me, I'm in my Sunday best-- yoga pants, t-shirt, and certainly no shower had been procured this morning-- I made two batches of biscuits, remember?
"LMC, why are you crying?" he asks (as if she can hear him)...
"I promise that as soon as I can move her, we are outta here."
"Okay" and he moseys off, his mission accomplished.
Two Japanese tourists stop and take pictures. Seriously, guys?
I give up and scoop up the sack of screaming taters on my hip. Her feet are kicking the back of my arm and her arms are pulling her dress over her head as we enter the ladies room. I splash cold water on her face.
That might not have been the best plan. If she had not lost it before-- she was toast now.
Just to be sure, I splashed her again. Yep, bad idea.
We get on the crowded elevator. Two old lady tourists look at me with sympathy.
We get off the crowded elevator and to the locker room for our goods. She screams as she tries to climb in a locker. I don't stop her. After getting everything back into the stroller, I pull the writhing child out of her locker and finally get outside.
She is, literally, lying in the middle of the circular driveway with me standing over her. (don't worry-- it's an unused circular driveway, thankyouverymuch 9/11) After two minutes, she stands up and says, "Chocolate milk, please?"
Seriously? No. You have not earned chocolate milk. You might get some when we get home. After a mandatory nap... which is where we are right now.
I love independence.