The Time I Went Maternity Dress Shopping with My Kidsclairegoss
Have I mentioned to you all that we have a big family wedding coming up? My husband’s brother is getting married next month and we’re all in the wedding—I’m a bridesmaid, my husband is best man, my daughter is the flower girl and my son is the ring bearer. Yes, a full family wedding event!
The festivities kicked off last weekend when my husband took his brother and a few friends skiing in New Hampshire as a bachelor party/guys getaway. My husband works his tail off and totally deserved a weekend of fun. But, as you can piece together, this meant I was on my own with my two kids all weekend.
I actually had a good time with them and I tried to make it a fun weekend, even though we were all missing Dad. We had a play date, watched a movie, played in the snow, ate pancakes for dinner. All fun! But then at some point, I looked at my calendar and noticed that the next wedding festivity is the fancy bridal shower for my soon-to-be sister-in-law and it’s next weekend. I sprinted to my closet and sadly noted that I only own one maternity dress—a gorgeous black number that I’m saving for their rehearsal dinner. So, it was with a heavy heart and a premature headache that I realized I have to go shopping. This weekend. With my two kids in tow.
And thus I found myself at the closest maternity store in my area, crammed into a dressing room with a snotty four-year-old and a loud two-year-old. The two-year-old amused himself by opening the curtain at inopportune moments—like whenever I was in only my underwear and bra. Awesome. And my daughter sat on the floor staring up at my bulbous midsection and exclaimed at each garment, “Wow! That dress makes your belly look HUGE!”
Eventually I found an adorable dress that actually looks really good on me! (Picture above!) But then something happened while I was waiting in line to check-out. My children were acting like children. They were playing “train” by holding each other’s shoulders and chuffing around the checkout area. They got down on their hands and knees and pretended to be dogs. Then cats. Then pigs. They were laughing their butts off and I relaxed a bit, seeing that they weren’t fighting and not being TOO loud.
And then I noticed the pregnant woman in line next to me. She had that look on her face. You know what I’m talking about—the one women give each other when they disapprove of something. I glanced at her midsection and recognized that we’re both about halfway through our pregnancies. I smiled at her, trying to be friendly, and she just glanced at me, glanced at my kids, gave me a righteous sniff, and moved her stare to the checkout counter.
Of course, my mama bear hormones kicked in. I had a vision of leaning over and saying, “Hey! Let me guess—this is your first pregnancy, right? And you’re standing there thinking you’ll never, ever let your kids behave this way in public. Let me tell you what, honey…there are a LOT of things you think you’ll never do…like sing/scream Wheels on the Bus at a party to get your child to stop crying, or sleep with a kid in your bed who is actively puking, or, hey, go dress shopping on a Saturday with two small kids.”
But then I realized, I didn’t have to say anything to this woman because soon enough she’d know. I didn’t feel like being a live-action Public Service announcement for all pregnant women in that store. I decided to let her have her last remaining weeks and months of naive smugness. After all, it won’t be long before she’ll find herself in line at the supermarket or Target or somewhere, relieved that her child is happily, boisterously playing while she swipes her credit card in peace.