Scene from the motor vehicle tag agency where I just spent an hour of life I'll never get back:
I must look like a "nice lady." This kind of thing happens so often, I feel like there is a sign on my face saying "Park your child here and I'll watch it while you take a bathroom break."
"Would you keep an eye on my kid? I gotta take a pee."
"Ok" I say reluctantly because I know what's going to go down.
She, the mom, took a leisurely 20 minute "constitutional" in the women's restroom and emerged fresh with a new application of makeup and hairdo. She was arguing loudly speaking machine-gun rapid-fire Spanish into a bedazzled pink cell phone. Not even looking my way, she mooched a cigarette from a tattooed, branded man-boy wearing gang colors and walked out the door to smoke it. Meanwhile I have endured the olfactory and aural privilege of looking after her small squealing completely soiled piglet. The smell emanating from the stroller was really strong..Noisome and fetid. I poked an exploratory finger in to see what was what. This baby's nappy had not been changed for hours and he/she smelled of old ammonia, baby formula that had gone sour and adult human being sweat.
To solidify this experience into something even more unforgettable, the baby suddenly went silent, affixed me with a malevolent demonic stare, hiccuped, hooted and shot an audible rush of doody into his/her dangerously saggy ballooning diaper. The incident caused no less than 6 people to flee their seats to get away from me and the screaming baby dump buggy. I swear that child levitated from the powerful geysering explosion issuing from his/her nethers. Any chance of me picking the baby up to comfort him/her was eclipsed right then and there.
But I wanted to.
I was starting to feel very sorry for the little squidgy faced hobbit. I took his/her little bare feet in my hands and rubbed them gently and took some of the blanketing off so the sweaty grimy baby could get some air and slowly his/her sad little wails diminished.
Finally the mom flicked her cig butt into the bushes outside, said goodbye to the group of men with whom she was flirting, and came over to fetch her giant land yacht of a stroller from me containing that small red-faced baby who was by now crying so hard his/her forehead looked like it would pop. She made no eye contact with me, no expression of thanks, and she never made a move to clean that poor baby up. She just banged out the front door by using the stroller as a battering ram.
"Now serving 855" That was my number. So I renewed my tag.