Yesterday the Pie and I enjoyed another local farmer’s market. We visited the vendors, talked with the local farmers and bought some goodies. We filled our basket with a bunch of carrots, fresh Rainier cherries, handmade fig pies, fresh asparagus pancetta raviolis, cabbage and new potatoes. Then as we always do, we sat in the grass and relaxed.
A cellist set up camp right behind our little spot, and the Pie enjoyed watching him pull out his cello, set up his music stand, put his case out on the ground… and then was a little surprised when he began playing – she was watching something interesting, and then suddenly music came out of nowhere! How funny to not yet have that expectation. And how strange would it be for the adults if the performance was the setting up, and the musician never played?
While listening to the music and watching the people shop at the market, the Pie sampled a cherry. I think the tart-sweetness is a bit complex for her. Her palate is not yet very sophisticated.
After eating the cherry, she noticed a boy drumming a ways away from mama. She took off to visit him, never looking back. My babe is brave. And that makes me scared.
While the Pie was off wandering, a family with a baby just younger than her showed up and sat next to me. All seemed well enough, another family enjoying the sunshine and the locally-grown food. We chatted a bit, and I tried to force my tired, sludgy brain to keep up with the mom, who seemed cheerful, alert, not… sludgy. I wondered how she was so perky with a nearly 10-month old baby. I don’t remember being that awake once in the past year!
And then, after a few minutes of chatting and playing peel-a-boo with each others’ babies, she asked if I had been here long.
Seems like a simple enough question, requiring very little in the way of an answer. Ultimately I did pull “about an hour” out of my brain, but before I could appropriately answer the question she asked, I had to go through a few phases of mom-brain question processing and answer articulation.
The story that is about to be retold is not pretty.
After she asked if I had been here long, I looked at her for a moment, confused. My brain couldn’t adequately process that question. We had been talking about teething and drool, and this question made no sense in that context. I was not following her line of questioning. What on earth is she talking about?
Then, the sludge parted and I realized she was done talking about teething and was trying to change the subject.
Aha! said my brain. I know the answer to this one!
So I began telling her the story. Well, we just moved in a couple weeks ago, but we’re not new to the area. In fact we lived just down the street for a few years and…
As I my mouth continued spewing nonsense, my brain recognized the mix of confusion and pity on her face as she let me answer a question she hadn’t asked. Oh shit I thought… she meant how long have I been here… like at the park. At the farmer’s market. HERE. Right here.
My brain made quick calculations of social norms. (ok, it probably took a couple minutes) Should I continue on the answer I was currently giving, and ask her how long she’s lived here, leading her to believe I thought she asked how long I’ve lived here? Or should I admit insanity, stop mid-thought and return to the question at hand? Or the tried-and-true alternative, should I get up and run? But now that I have a baby and a stroller, getting up to run away would require a lot more time than it used to.
Finally I deftly said “oh, you mean here… like right here? Yeah, about an hour. Well we haven’t been RIGHT HERE for an hour, you know we walked around first.”
She smiled, and said “ok, buh-bye!” and went back to her little spot, 2 feet away from me, and pretended I wasn’t there.
I think sleep-deprived sludge-for-brains mamas should be required to wear t-shirts reading:
WARNING: SLEEP-DEPRIVED. DO NOT ENGAGE IN SOCIALIZATION. DO NOT FEED. DO NOT PUT HANDS THROUGH FENCE.