Every now and then I get a feeling of impending doom. I usually attribute it to a lack of caffeine and set about getting some coffee.
Ah. Better. My head begins to function better, but I still can’t shake the feeling of impending doom.
I am hunkered down in my usual spot in the back. Laptop open, sipping and tapping away.
And then it happens.
I had not been paying attention like I normally do as to who is coming in. As you may have noticed, I enjoy my fellow patrons at Starbucks.
And then the first scream came.
It was a child. As a parent, I can tell the difference between a scream in pain and noise for effect. This was noise for effect.
The guy next to me had to have been a bachelor. The scream startled him to the point that he almost tossed his coffee.
“What the hell?!?!” We were both trying to see around the product shelves that block the view of the cashier area.
Another scream. Whoever the kid was, he was going for broke. Thankfully, my kids never pulled shit like this on my ex and I.
The line moved forward and a stroller rolled into view, facing slightly away so I couldn’t see the noise maker. The stroller was rocking a bit. By my estimation, serious fit going on.
Mom came into view, talking on her cell phone. Something familiar about her, but I have been wrong about that before. Something about blonds, so sue me.
The most impressive thing about the screaming was distance more than the volume. They seemed to last forever.
Whoever he was, this kid was swinging for the fences.
The atmosphere in Starbucks began to take on an uncomfortable edge that I haven’t seen in awhile. I began to feel a pit in my stomach.
Mom paid and gave the stroller a one handed turn into the middle of the room.
I swear, the color drained from my face.
Carter, the demon child himself.
Even more horrifying is the fact that the table next to me just emptied as the single guy, my inadvertent wing man, just bailed out the front door like a man possessed.
I am alone with the beast.
I take a sip of my coffee because my mouth has gone dry suddenly.
Mom takes a seat and pulls the stroller closer, evidently she can’t hear his hysterical shrieks clearly.
Whatever I was going to write is now out the window. I can’t think and I am tense to the point that you could not get a pin up my ass with a jackhammer.
It occurs to me that I have an intense dislike for other peoples children. I love my own blood, or those I chose, but strangers children make my teeth itch. Especially really poorly behaved ones.
However, I am beginning to dislike his mother more. That is out of character. She is a pretty woman with a lovely figure. But there is an overlay of exhaustion to her that saps the hot right out of the air. Her child is eating her soul, one day at a time.
Where is the old woman when I need her?
For those that didn’t read the earlier blog, Carter and his mom and I go back. They were in before when Carter had a dirty mouth, directed at his mother. An old woman, a magnificent woman, a woman that raised fine upstanding children, a “Call your grandmother right now and tell how much you love her” type woman took control of the situation, slapped Carter, a strangers child, right on the lips, told him to watch his mouth, chewed out his mom, well, for not being a mom, and left.
She was awesome.
She was also, nowhere to be found today.
And then Fate intervened.
Actually, it was Carter that intervened, but I will take what I can get. My stomach is churning like I just ate Thai food.
Carter figured out two things. Two things that didn’t keep him from screaming, but two things.
The first was, that by throwing his body forward, the stroller would roll forward and bump the table, lightly.
The second thing was that he found was that by scrunching down, his foot could touch the single pole holding up the table.
I saw it coming.
Mom was oblivious.
Carter’s timing was flawless. He slammed himself forward, and a split second before the stroller touched the table, he slithered down as far in the stroller as he could, pudgy little leg coiled.
Her latte had a lid, however, it separated from the cup when it hit the edge of the table.
Right over her lap.
Scalding hot latte’s can ruin your morning. She shot out of her seat like her crotch was burning. I guess it was.
She dropped her phone and the battery popped out as it hit the ground.
The next few minutes were a blur. There was a flurry of activity involving Carter’s mom, and a helpful employee.
The bottom line is that, in a very short amount of time, Mom and Carter left.
I love my kids.