Words cannot even begin to describe just how amazing Saturday's March for Babies really was. I was near tears just about the entire time, in great part because my team was comprised of some of the most amazing, caring, compassionate people Pittsburgh has to offer. It also didn't help that for as far as the eye could see, there were people who were walking to honor a NICU survivor, or who were walking to remember a baby who didn't make it. Team t-shirts often listed the names of those who were the inspiration for the walker, and each time I read a name and vital stats of a baby who had not made it, I was reminded that the effort our team had put into raising a little bit of money was more than worth it, if only it can help to prevent the same thing from happening to another innocent child.
Fortunately, amongst the members of Team Maddie, we had several very healthy kids. Walking with me was a absolutely healthy Miss Alexis, who was demonstrating her good health the only way that seemed fit to her early on a Saturday morning--she was in a fantastically bad mood. The very second a crowd started to gather at our team meet-up location, she buried her face in my leg and did. not. come. out. When I turned mobile and she ran out of places to hide, she switched to slapping a very lovely shade of cranky all over her face. She kept it there for two solid miles of the walk.
Then, suddenly, she decided it was OK to have fun. And she did. She completely flipped her bad mood upside-down and started having a blast with The Girl, just as she has the other times they have hung out. She had so much fun with The Girl, in fact, that by the time we sat down for lunch, Alexis had completely forgotten that I existed. For the first time in her short life, she actually sat at a different table than me, and didn't care one bit.
Until I stole the best-looking member of the Sportsocracy family, that is. Oh yes, the minute I snagged the uber-cute little man, suddenly I was the center of the universe. Both Alexis and The Girl gathered round to play with he-who-still-smells-like-baby, and the jealousy dripping from Alexis was visible to everyone in the restaurant. She carried it well, though, and mostly just played it off as, "I want a baby brother."
Of course, she's been very dedicated to wanting a baby sister, so I had to drill her about it. She continued to insist that a brother would be OK, and then I asked it. The question. I asked, "How about if we just take this baby home?"
She looked at me, her head tilted sideways, and she thought long and hard about it before finally saying, "OK!" Her eyes betrayed her mouth though. She really didn't like the idea of sharing me for another minute.
Fortunately for Miss Alexis, a certain WAY too cute for words little man started fussing. I LOVE being able to give kids back when they are unhappy, so I handed him right over and Alexis crawled up into my lap to reclaim her territory.
Ever since then, I have continuously messed with Alexis' head and asked her things like, "Should we go pick up that baby brother today?" Each time, the answer has been a very resounding, "NOOOOOO!"
Who knew baby sister fever could easy be cured by a few minutes with this guy?
Friday marked the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year. Around 5:30pm, the clouds parted, the sun shone brightly, and angels began singing the Hallelujah Chorus because WOOOOOOHOOOOOOO the Farmer's Market opened for the year!
It's been six months since the greatest place within five miles of our house was open for business, and yet Alexis had not forgotten about the magical, mystical Betchtubles. The very second she saw that sign (for the first time since last Fall, I might add--I'm constantly amazed at how good her memory can be), she was a very happy camper. I warned her that there wasn't going to be much there to buy, but she didn't care.
We strolled through the five or so vendors (there will be 30 or more once things really get going), perusing various plants, munching on some baked goods, and finally settling on a little bunch of asparagus to take home. I figured I would be kind to the carnivore in the house and check out the freshly murdered cow that was for sale out of the back of a refrigerated truck. As Alexis and I neared, the lady working the truck looked at Alexis and said, "Honey, you should buy your mommy filet mignon for Mothers Day!"
Fortunately my kid doesn't talk or listen to strangers or I might have had to inform Short Stuff that Mommy most certainly does not want a hunk of dead bovine for Mothers Day. In fact, I'm pretty sure that there are maybe five women in the whole world who think of a hunk of beef when working on their Mothers Day wish list. OK, four women in the world. And they are all on the Beef Council. Anyway, I smiled at the woman and tried to end the madness by saying,"That's OK. I'm a vegetarian."
It turns out that telling a person who makes a living murdering cows that you are a vegetarian is a little bit of an invitation for them to lecture you on the merits of tasty murder. (BTW, you meat eaters can chill out. That there is a wee bit of sarcasm. I really don't care what creatures you put in your mouth. Just don't eat people. Or kittens. KTHXBAI.) The woman started out by asking how I manage to get enough iron in my diet. I figured it wasn't worth my time to really lecture her on the merits of a balanced diet, so I just said, "I'm not real worried about it."
She considered that an invitation to go hard core on my veggie booty. She went on some sort of long dissertation. I missed a great deal of it because my brain exploded all over the place and I was too busy trying to find it to listen, but somewhere in there were the words, "You could die from not eating meat."
Peeps, I haven't eaten a dead critter in 19 years. NINE-TEEN YEARS. I could very well fall over dead tomorrow, but I very seriously doubt it'll be because I don't eat things that used to have eyeballs. I was so flabbergasted that at first I couldn't respond.
Cow Lady mistook my shocked silence as something TOTALLY different than it was. She apparently thought I was learning some sort of valuable lesson that would save my life, so she kept on going. Finally, I managed to collect enough brain matter to come up with a response.
Of course I played along with it.
For ten minutes she had the joy of schooling me on the error of my ways, and for ten minutes I yanked her chain all up and down that Farmer's Market. I'm pretty sure she went to bed that night absolutely convinced she had saved a life, but only after I bought a package of hamburgers from her.
I'm pretty sure I heard them moo when Mr. Husband ate them.