Listen. I realize that I am not the neurotic parent (about most things) when at home in my cozy nest. But when in public, my mommy chip is activated and it is code red. In public, I have cat-like reflexes and eyes like an owl. I see everything (pretend I just turned my head all the way around). My eyes bore deep into your soul and I can tell whether you are friend or foe to my tiny human. I can tell if you are admiring or creepy. In short: in public, I am Jason Bourne turned Secret Service and Ava is POTUS.
I was talking to a salesperson in the paint section of Lowe's yesterday about how the paint+primer in one does not really work and she was telling me that when painting on plaster walls bla bla bla bla bla. Now, my subconscious wasn't being rude, it was just that the strange man grabbing my child's arm sounded an alarm in my head and I could hear nothing else.
Ava insisted that I pushed around one of those HUGE carts that looks like a car and has a steering wheel and whatnot so tiny humans can pretend that they are running the show (sidenote: the tiny humans TOTALLY RUN THE SHOW but we can't let them know that). Anyhoodle, as I was talking to the paint lady, Ava decided to readjust herself. I know people get really jumpy when kids pull shenanigans in shopping carts but Ava wasn't even standing up. She was just wiggling around in the cart. I was maybe 3 inches away from her and I had my hands ready to spring into action if need be.
So you can imagine my surprise when Ava started wiggling and a strange man walking by grabbed her arm and just stood there. I looked at him questioningly (let's be honest....it was more of a "why the crap are you touching my kid?" look) and he said, "I didn't want her to fall." Now, I have had people try to save Ava from the cement floor of a warehouse store before (she loves shopping cart gymnastics, always has, especially when I am trying to put something heavy into the cart). I was always very grateful for those people who could see I was overwhelmed with all the construction supplies and the wiggly 18 month old. But. Ava is 2 1/2 now, very strong, and very agile, and she wasn't even close to danger. NO ONE around us felt the need to grab her, including me, HER MOTHER, because she was still sitting in the cart on her bum. And really? The guy totally creeped me out but then he grabbed my kid for no reason and that increased his creepiness by a power of 1000.
So I just grabbed her and said, "oh" and he walked away. The most annoying part of the whole interaction though was the saleslady that just stared at me like none of it had happened. I said, "I'm sorry, can you repeat what you said? It's hard for me to listen when strange men are touching my child." She just stood there. Staring at me. Finally, after I prompted her, she finished her thought about paint rollers and plaster walls.
Lessons to be learned from all of this?
1) Never let your kid talk you into the car shopping cart. That thing has the turning radius of a limobus.
2) Mommy chips are not to be messed with and neither is my kid SO TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF HER AND BACK AWAY BEFORE I CUT YOU WITH THIS PUTTY KNIFE.
3) That paint saleslady was really a robot, incapable of appropriate social reaction and emotion. *beep beep. you will always have to do two coats of paint on plaster walls. beep beep. oil is my blood.*