For this week's installment of Wordless Wednesday, I so wanted to get a picture of Mateo running around with a cap on his head; a cap we put on him during the past winter to keep him warm (the cap was always off his head by the time we got to daycare due to his octopus hands), but my camera batteries were dead and I had to recharge them and I never got a chance to snap the picture as he ran around putting the cap on and taking it off while screaming at Zoe (a cat).
Instead I'll write about an incident that happened on Monday when I got home from picking up Mateo at daycare.
There is this lady who lives in our building who thinks she is the Queen of all things and everything and then some. Generally she is a nice person, but she's one of those types who know everything, even when she doesn't. And she seeks out those who don't know much or just too darn nice to tell her directly she's acting the fool and please, just PLEASE, let me leave and stop talking to me.
The first time I came across her was not at our condo complex, as you might suspect, but at Sears. I was very pregnant at the time. My husband and I had a gift card from some rebate thing, so we decided to be smart and buy Mateo's crib mattress there instead of spending "real" money at Baby's R Us or online.
When we walked towards the cashier area, a lady, whom I've never seen before in my life, was talking on her cell phone. She interrupted her conversation to scream across the 10 feet between us and herself, "HI!!!! HOW ARE YOU????"
Since I had never seen her before, I looked around as if to say, "Who? Me?"
I looked at my husband, who said hello to her.
Then I heard her say to the person on the phone (who, I later found out, was a customer service rep for Sears), "Oh, I just saw my neighbors!"
"Who is she?" I asked my husband in disbelief. For some reason she was really freaking me out. I don't really like people acting like they know me when I don't know who the heck they are. It's like they have one up on me or something. I want to secretly know you before you secretly know me.
"She lives in our building," he told me.
"She does?" I said. "I've never seen her before in my life!"
"I have," he said. He went outside way more than I did at this point in our lives. Now I know too many people because I'm outside a lot with Mateo.
"Remember when I told you about that annoying older lady who was talking about travelling - that time I was at the condo gym?"
"That's her?" I said.
Apparently this time at the gym she was talking her worldly talk to some younger lady, who was in awe of her, while working out on the weight lifting machine. She thinks every time you release the weights, you should scream really loudly. Really loudly. I mean, LOUD. Everyone needs to know you're working out, you see? No? Well, just keep reading then.
I kept pretending like the whole incident never happened because to me, that was really the case, especially since I had never seen her before.
Fast forward a couple of months, and Mateo has arrived, and I finally did start seeing her a whole heck of a lot because she works at home and her car happens to be almost directly across from ours in the parking lot. I have been told all kinds of wonderful things by the Queen of all things and everything and then some, including information about abused dogs (she has one), how I could use her service to have things to deliver to my house instead of me going shopping (that's okay, what little freedom I have, I'd like to continue it), and various other things that for some reason are alluding me now.
Now we arrive to Monday. Since Mateo is half white, he tends to get bright red cheeks on hot days, just like his momma. Monday was a hot day. Therefore, he had bright red cheeks. He was also slightly grumpasaurus from being in daycare all day, tired, hungry, thirsty, all that good stuff. Mondays are never an easy day for us.
I got to the door leading to our building hallway when the Queen walked down the stairs from the 2nd floor.
She said her niceties, and I said mine, hoping she'd leave me alone so I could get into the building and get my kid into our condo and turn on the AC.
Then she noticed his red cheeks.
"He's got some red cheeks today!" she said.
This is where I went wrong because all I said was, "Yeah, his cheeks are red."
My heart sank. I was right at the door. I had my keys at the ready. My child was obviously hot. It was obvious I was getting home from work. It was obvious I wanted to go inside.
Well, to me it was obvious.
"I learned, when I was a make-up artist...," she started.
Oh jeez. Now she's a make-up expert? I always felt she wore way too much make-up, but then, I've seen her in the mornings with no make-up, and she's doing herself more of a favor caking the make-up on than going au naturelle.
She continued, "....that damage from sun exposure starts the first time someone goes outside, like a baby...."
I quickly said, "Weputsunblockonhimeveryday," hoping she'd shut up and let me leave.
"....and you'd think that your skin would regenerate after sun exposure, but what I learned, as a MAKE-UP ARTIST..."
I said again, "Weputsunblockonhimeveryday."
"...and so you need to make sure his skin is protected...."
"I know. WEPUTSUNBLOCKONHIMEVERYDAY!!!!!"
"....oh," she said. She looked at me. I looked at her. I think she saw the death rays (finally).
"That's cool," she said.
I took this as my means of escaping and got my baby into the hallway licketysplit-like.
Where I went wrong: She assumed his red cheeks were from a sun burn. I didn't get that until I was walking away, grumbling to myself how she annoyed me so. There is no way in heck that I would allow my child to get that sunburned. Absolutely no way.
Even though she wasn't listening to me, maybe if I had clarified that the half whiteness of him allows for red cheeks during heat waves, she would have shut up and not given me her Queen of all things and everything and then some spiel.
And never once, as per the norm with her, did she indicate she'd like to provide any physical help, oh, such as opening the really heavy glass fire door for me so I could wheel my stroller-bound red cheeked boy into the hallway. Or just give some indication that I probably wanted to get inside because it was so hot out. No. That would actually be helpful, but she doesn't provide that kind of help.
Nope. She, being the Queen, means she only thinks about herself and her Queenie ways. And I, I am a peon. And a child abuser who allows her child to become totally sun burnt on a hot, hot day.