There are clothes everywhere I turn. They’re cute, well-made and reasonably inexpensive for something so seasonally dispensable. I don’t even need to look at the labels because I already know the designers: Dora, Winnie, and Mickey, are some of the names I recognize. Children weren’t as well dressed when I was a kid, that’s for sure.
My mother and I are perusing the aisles of the children’s section - looking for something for my new niece who’s only a few weeks old - because we didn’t have anything to do after I treated her to a birthday lunch.
After she picks out a couple of outfits, she starts up a conversation that I am not expecting.
“It seems I’m only going to buy clothes for little girls,” she begins with a sigh.
“That’s not bad.” In fact, I think little girls are easier to dress and they’re prettier, too.
“I guess I’m never going to have a grandson to get things for.”
“Why not?” I look at her with a quizzical expression. Just where is she going with this?
“Well your sister already has
two, and I don’t think she’s going to have any more.”
“She can have
“I guess I have to find someone who can get me a grandson.”
“Well, for the right amount of money…” I lay out my hand, and rub my fingers together, as if they have bills between them.
“It’s up to you, then. Can you
get me a grandson?”
For some reason, I don’t think she’s talking about adoption. But, since it’s her birthday, I go along with the conversation and play dumb, convincingly.
“I can get you one, but it won’t come cheap.”
“You can make
Great. She already knows my thoughts on marriage, and the reasons why I won’t take part in something that has a failure rate greater than 50 per cent, so she’s bypassing that and moving straight to grandchildren.
“I don’t know if you forgot, but you need two
people to make a baby.” I don’t mention the fact that I don’t have a uterus because my mother hates words for reproductive parts of the anatomy.
“Go find someone.” She stretches out her arm, as if to say they’re everywhere
“It’s not that
easy, you know. You can’t just find
someone to make a baby.” That’s a lie, of course. Babies can be made in several ways, but I don’t mention that, fearing she’ll start to plan the christening and its early childhood up until it’s a teenager (which then she’ll pass the surly kid off to me).
“Well, you better find
someone because I want
“A can have another one,” I say, hoping she’ll forget about my reproductive prowess. “She’s still young.” Since when does being in your 30s constitute old age?
“No she’s not. Do you know that she’ll be almost 40
by the time this one
,” she holds up a tiny, pink outfit, “turns three
?” An interesting ageist comment from someone who claims to be 49 for almost 15 years.
“That’s still young.” I try to defer the conversation, not to mention conception, away from me.
“Well, she’s not getting any younger…” Her voice drifts off as she turns the corner.
It seems like my mother is going to will out a grandson out of one of her children. How that will happen, I don’t know. What I do know is that I already paid for lunch, so that’s her present. If she wants a grandson, she’s going to have to wait until her next birthday.Note: Happy birthday to SB and E!