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They’re Definitely Foreigners

One evening earlier this week, Chris took Mac to the little playground at the school across the street while I rested.

We like this little playground since it’s so close to the house, has smaller scale equipment that Mac can maneuver mostly independently, and isn’t as crowded as the huge playgrounds in the park.  Adjacent to the playground is a small garden and Mac enjoys exploring it too (Now that Mac knows pigeon, we’re working on learning to identify Mourning Doves and they like to hang out there).

At dinner that evening Chris said he ran into a guy and his daughter.  “The guy might be Norwegian?” Chris said.

“Oh hey!  I KNOW them!” I said.  “But I thought they were French.”  (I grew up in a completely non-diverse community – so I’m terrible with accents and well, geography in general.)

“They have an adorable little girl about Mac’s age.  She has the prettiest blonde hair.  Does the guy have salt and pepper hair, kinda’ tall, well dressed?”

“Yes!” Chris exclaimed.  “I felt kinda’ bad.  Here I am in these shorts and sweaty T-shirt after running and that guy was wearing nice pants and shoes.”

“Mmmmm hmmm.  Was the little girl like all sweet and quiet and playing nicely?”

“Yes”  Chris agreed again.  “While Mac bounced around chucking wood chips everywhere, screaming like a banshee!”

“Was the little girl wearing a really pretty scarf?”

“Yes!”  Chris responded.  “And there was Mac in the T-shirt covered in milk and crumbs from his afternoon snack.”

“They are really nice.  Aren’t they?  I saw them walking the other day and the Mom looked pregnant.  They must live close to us.  It’s kinda’ embarrassing we’re such a damned mess all the time.”

“We’re not that bad,” Chris said, turning his eye to Mac, who was rubbing refried beans all over the table and through his hair.

“Really?” I queried, eyebrows raised.

I could tell Chris was silently evaluating the situation.

Chris chuckled, “I’ll bet that little girl is at home in her Eames-inspired booster seat, sitting up straight, napkin in lap saying, ‘Please Papa, might I have some more spinach?’ right now!”

I look at our little animal who had just deposited a large chunk of half-chewed melon unceremoniously onto the table.

“How do you think they get that little girl to be so calm and neat?” I asked.  “And why do they always look so put together and stylish?  I’ve seen them 4 or 5 times now and they always look so put together.”

“Do you think it’s because they are from another country?  Are most Americans kinda’ white trash or something compared to Europeans?  Or is it just US?” I wondered out loud. . .

“The first time I met them, I was in a cat-hair covered fleece and black sweat pants.  I had wood chips stuck all over my ass from taking Mac down the slide.  All three of them were sitting quietly on the little benches in the school garden.  They looked like they were waiting to have their portraits taken.  I felt horrible about they way I looked. . .”

“And they spoke to me.  And asked me about Mac – even though he wouldn’t stop trying to go after that disgusting rat trap at the back of the garden.  I can assure you if our roles were reversed,  I probably would have wondered what the hell was wrong with us!”

Chris shrugged.  “They’re foreigners.”

Oh they’re foreign all right!  

The fact that they can somehow get out the door – all looking perfectly presentable on a consistent basis is COMPLETELY foreign to me.

Getting a two-year old to be perfectly behaved and calm is also a completely foreign concept to me.

The kid has an innate ability to find mud ANY WHERE!  He could find mud in a damned desert.

The kid has an innate ability to find mud ANY WHERE! He could find mud in a damned desert.

I want to be more like them!

I want to go to the playground in cute scarves and flattering maxi dresses and pretty sandals.  I want a child who doesn’t insist on stomping in mud, picking up trash, or licking the sliding board. I’m tired of apologizing because ONCE AGAIN there are wood chips all over my ass and my kid has chocolate smeared all over his cheeks.

I want to be the kind of woman who walks with her son to the market to get fresh ingredients for meals every day.  I want to dance barefoot in our living room, son on my hip, smile on my face and NOT step in a pile of cat vomit.  I want to stop spending so much gawdamned money on Magic Erasers and stain sticks.  I want more balloons and kites and cupcakes!



It’s just I don’t know where to start. . .

All of it is so foreign to me.








6 Responses to “They’re Definitely Foreigners”

  1. hahahahaha, it’s foreign to me too. I don’t get how people can do that with a kid, but chances are it’s just how they were raised and it’s a matter of habit. I’m sure if I took care with my appearance that my kids would want to wear their clothes right side out.
    The Next Step recently posted…P is for Presidential QuestionsMy Profile

    • admin says:

      Maybe. . .My Mother always looks put together. I THOUGHT I was raised to make myself presentable. Lately, I just don’t see the point most days. When I start thinking about how I’m going to be a damn mess after breakfast, a walk, the playground (or whatever else we do in the morning), it just seems pointless. Why should I ruin perfectly “good” clothes? How do these women NOT ruin clothes? I am forever slopping around food and paint and household cleaners. . .My clothes don’t have a fighting chance. Maybe I should ask my Mom how she did it – 3 kids, practically a single parent. Surely I should be able to get my crap together with one kid and a hands-on husband! Ha!

  2. Dani Ryan says:

    Are they British? My parents are. My father once said to me, “he didn’t even bother to shave today!!!!” about an ex-boyfriend of mine. 🙂 HA!!!!

    Actually, my Mum isn’t so bad. She’s gotten pretty chill over the years, even though she still irons tea towels, sheets, and PJs. But she’s not ironing bath towels and socks anymore, so we’ve made progress!!!!

    Funny enough, my sister is a complete slob. 🙂
    Dani Ryan recently posted…I cracked. And holy hell did it ever feel good!My Profile

    • admin says:

      I don’t think they are British. Did she really iron socks?! I must confess I used to iron sheets and other linens (not bath towels). Fortunately, I got over that foolishness really fast after the kid arrived! 🙂

  3. Jennifer says:

    Boys otherwise known as noise with dirt on, right?
    Jennifer recently posted…Getting My Groove BackMy Profile