Friday, August 01, 2008

I baptize with water.

Looking back on yesterday, I guess I can see how it may have been the perfect day for a baptism. The weather outside was angelic, short of the heavenly cherub choir afloat on puffy clouds breaking out into old negro spirituals.

I suppose you could say that I had the trinity of pack and go chemistry: T-minus 40 minutes both Sadia and Simone were dressed, their faces immaculate, and their crops had been dusted (crop dusted origin: typically used in my parents generation; African American slang; a phrase that narrowly means to braid one's hair and more loosely can mean simply combing one's hair); T-minus 20 minutes the diaper bag was filled and fully loaded; T-minus 15 minutes and the buzzer on my stackable energy efficient dryer sounded. I quickly swung the dryer door open, drug out my shorts which had been dried to perfection, jumped into the bermudas, swooped up the girls, hauled them into the car and set off with 5 minutes to spare.

An 11:00 am read aloud at the public library (library name has been omitted to protect the innocent) was on our agenda. My friend Crystal and her two girls Logan and Avery were even going to meet us there. After arriving 10 minutes early, I caved into Sadia's request to sign-up for some kind of summer reading program. With my 10 month old, Simone (dubbed the "Michelin Baby"), glued to my hip and diaper bag in tote, I stood by to oversee the whole operation.

"Ah, there's Crystal now," I thought. We made small talk and then headed over to the multi purpose room a bit early, so that our girls could pull up some prime real estate in the front row with their carpet squares. "How could this day be more perfect?" I quipped prematurely to myself.

Beaming with delight I watched Sadia as she sat quietly on her own carpet square. She wasn't doing her usual steam roller impression all over the auditorium floor. She refrained from jumping up and down while shouting out random facts not even remotely related to the story topics. She was an angel. I think that maybe all of the stars were aligned in the cosmos, because precious days like this one came along once in a blue moon (Moms, just nod your head right were you are if you can feel me).

At the close of the session, Sadia and Logan ran up to the front for their hand stamps. All of the adults and children were leaving the room, when Logan and Sadia started a game of tag. In true mommy fashion, Crystal and I struck up a conversation about--what else?-- our children. Crystal, while bouncing 4 month old Avery in her lap, dove into the conversation with a comment about her current daycare provider.

"I want to put Logan (now 3 years old) into preschool, except they won't take her until she's potty trained," she commiserated.

Just then I glanced over at Logan and noticed that she had been wearing a pull-up, while Sadia (now 3 approaching 4 in 2 and a half months) had been wearing her "big girl panties".

"She just refuses to pee in the potty and I refuse to buy new carpet," she confessed quite matter-of-factly.

No sooner than she could finish her statement, Sadia--my big girl wearing "big girl panties"-- stopped at the center of the theater carpet mid-tag, commenced to spread her legs just shoulder length apart, and peed on herself.

If I didn't know any better, I'd swear the whole scene played out in slow motion something like this: Fade in to Sadia; cut to Sadia from head-to-toe as her legs spread; pan left to a close-up shot of Crystals face as she notices my anguished look; Crystal turns her glance abruptly in Sadia's direction; cut to a close-up of the look on Sadia's face painted with sweet relief; pan out to a head-to-toe shot of Sadia, as her pants gradually sprout little pee pee trails meandering length ways down her pants legs; close-up of Sadia's feet now consecrated with her holy water resulting as her bladder runneth over; cut to an extreme close-up of the subsequent pool of anointing baptizing the library's carpet.

You laugh, but the experience was so religious that it brought me to my knees. Fighting back tears, I completed a contrite prayer of repentance for future sins of commission, grabbed little John the Baptist by the hand, and crusaded my band of holy rollers right out of the front door of the library.

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