Friday, July 31, 2009

Lies, Ineptitude and Frugality

Berit being with her Mimi and Grandpa today and tomorrow, AND MOSEY, TOO, Marta and I set off for a morning of rambling downtown from The Grain Train, where we needed various things, to the farmer's market, where we had to pick up our CSA share. As we pulled up to the first downtown crosswalk I noticed that the streets were blocked for sidewalk sales. Um... yay!

Except that Trevor and I have recently decided to forego any extra purchases -- even McDonald's and gum -- while we save for our next house and try not to get too kicked in the butt with the sale of our current house. So, being the good steward of family finances that I am, I did my very best to walk through the sidewalk sales to the farmer's market on the other side without looking at a single thing. But the books! The clothes! And the FURNITURE! Two chairs in particular were calling to me, in the most soft and comfortable and elegant voices. Being not a fan of our current living room seating because it's a) leather/skin of animals killed for my furniture and b) not elegant, I was very nearly pulling out my credit card. However, since we continue to tolerate our furniture because it's a) very cleanable, non-stainable leather and b) kid-friendly, I bit my lip and walked away, visions of very neat children sitting on their hands in our next house in my mind.

I then ignored the jars and jars of pickles, jams and sauces where I was standing at the farm booth, but did they ever look delicious and Marta noticed because she began begging to eat them. I told her we needed to get some money, then we'd get some lunch. (My new trick is to pay for everything in cash, so I can see it and not pretend God in heaven pays when I swipe my bank card.) I don't remember how it happened but sometime in the past Marta decided that we eat money (not knowing what money is, just connecting it with food), and she started begging me to eat my money. Passersby grinned, but oh, Marta.

This child, who needs constant reassurance that I'm nearby while brushing my teeth in the bathroom, who seems to only want to be with me at all times when others are at our house, refuses to have anything to do with me while there is the possibility for activity outside. She passes on the stroller, shuns being carried. Wants to walk like a "bikgirl," jumping on all the shapes in the sidewalk and running away yelling when we approach a crossing and I reach for her.

As we walked through the sales en route to the farmer's market, a woman was sitting at a table with sidewalk chalk. Marta ran up and yelled, "CHALK!" and the kind woman gave her the bucket and told her she could color on the (closed) street. As Marta colored, the woman told me about the play she was selling tickets for (Footloose). Marta then began dumping the chalk on the street, breaking it into pieces. I bent to tell her to pick it up and she yelled and ran away from me, down the street. I kept half an eye on her and picked the chalk up, promising the lady I'd buy tickets at the door (lie), and ran to scoop up my flailing, obviously miscreant toddler, who was screaming "DOGGY!" and trying to run after a man who was running his bloodhound on the sidewalk.

We finally made it to The Grain Train when Marta again spotted a dog, this time loose in the parking lot with no owner in sight. She was a big black spaniel type of dog, with a collar and possibly blind-ish eyes. I went over to her to see if she was OK, to see if there was an owner nearby, and she smelled me but was too enthralled with her freedom to require a stranger's assistance. I meant to check her tag but Marta, trying to fling herself onto the dog ("PET HER! PET HER!"), made me pause and rethink the whole strange-dog-in-toddler's-face-while-I-check-the-tag situation, so I ran inside the store to tell a clerk. Who then announced in a feeble voice over the intercom, "There's a dog in the parking lot. If it's yours, go get it." She then told me flippantly, "Hah, I didn't know what to say, like, hey, go get your dog." Pushing aside a comment on hippies at the co-op that I could hear Trevor saying in my head, I said, "It might not be from someone in the store. Did you happen to call the police?" And she laughed and said no, it was probably already gone. Blah. It was.

We finally pulled ourselves away from downtown and ignored the signs for the HUGE YARD SALES (also ignoring my desire to frugally purchase the girls' fall and winter clothes at garage sales) all the way home, and I put Marta to bed. This is the time of the day when I told Trevor I'd vacuum and fold the literal mountain of clothes on our bed, except upon a basic inspection I realized that they had been shoved in laundry baskets so long that most of them are wrinkled and either need ironing or another spin in the dryer.

And somehow, it's only 11:20.

1 comment:

Candace said...

good for you for trying to find the dog's owner. He needs his home.