Even though he lives only about 20 minutes away, I almost never get to see my brother. He runs his own business, participates in three bands, and has a much busier social life than me. So when he called to tell me that he would be spinning music at a local mid-level fashion retail store near my house I quickly loaded Søren into the car and drove to the neighboring city, which will remain unnamed, but Western-Washington residents may recognize it as the shallow, materialistic, overpriced city that stares at Seattle from across Lake Washington.
I parked, strapped the baby into his stroller and rode the elevator up into a new and glittering shopping mall. It took a few minutes for me to remember that this evening was “Fashion’s Night Out”, and it took even less time for me to notice the women wiggling around in neon-colored bandage dresses and 6 inch heels. Champagne glasses were clinking, big sunglasses were being worn indoors; everyone was taking themselves very seriously. I tossed my head, strode forth in my $10.99 jeans from Forever 21, and zipped between the people with my stroller. I’m not here to be seen, I’m here to see my brother, I thought. Søren put his toes in his mouth and squirmed.
Since my brother was still nowhere to be found, I took Søren from his stroller and held him in front of the brightly decorated Louis Vuitton store window. He was wearing his nicest little pale blue singlet that his great grandfather had given him. I was wearing a white shirt. You can see where this is going, right?
It dawned on me as I held him that my hand felt wet. I looked down at my palm. Poop! Greenish-brown and slimy, and more of it was coming fast. Quickly I put him back in his stroller but the stain had spread from his back to his front. Then I noticed my shirt in the reflection of the store window – there was a large, poopy-brown stain on my belly. No panic, just stand very close to the stroller and walk back through these crowds of overdressed people and get to the car as quickly as you can. I put my head down and made my way to the elevator door. People turned to look. What are they staring at? Is it that obvious? Then I looked at Søren. In addition to spraying poo everywhere, he was now spitting up yellow goo all over himself in a projectile manner, and then smiling beguilingly as we passed people. Walk faster, walk faster! I zipped around photographers and blond trophy wives, businessmen and overdressed people with shopping bags, eventually diving into the elevator and mashing the “door close” button with my fist.
On the stinky drive home Søren blew raspberries, kicked his fat little legs, and cooed from the back seat of my car. I looked at him in my rearview mirror. Even covered in all of those bodily fluids he was still totally cute. My, how life has changed.