A trip to the mall (also known as the West Edmonton Mall) brings many learnings. Some are related to being a dad. Some reflect humanity. Some embody the pros and cons of having offspring in this transcendently confusing day and age.
Learning #1: Mall barbers like poutine and will openly mock you if you don’t eat it with your hands. Also: Best and most sweariest 30$ cut I ever had.1
Learning #2: Santa thinks I have money.
After the poopchamp and Santa had their moment together (The West Edmonton Mall Santa is the obvious real Santa because he is as boss as fuck), Santa turned to me and said I’ll be spending all my money on the little hoser in the near future. Now, I almost started the “Well Santa, my lovely wife is the breadwinner in this family and I’m staying at home to raise our little critter because my journalist’s wage just isn’t going to cut it and our quality of life would take a massive nose dive if we tried” conversation, but I didn’t. I don’t need to add to Santa’s already overwrought mind. Also, there were a couple of farty screamers behind us and the WEM didn’t need a ‘Santa murder rampage’ headline.2
Learning #3: People can be very expository.
Elizabeth likes to wear one of those schmantsy baby wrap thingies to carry the fartcat, and it sometimes surprises people as we walk around. I’m not sure why. I guess people are just used to the humvee stollers and the ram prams or whatever. Anyhoo, a young chap who was totally wired in (ear buds, iPad, smartphone) exclaimed “Oh my god a baby!” as he walked past Elizabeth. He actually jumped a bit as well. Now, I’m not trying to sound all ‘cool beans’ but I’ve seen what drugs do to people and the affects on their person, and this cat was legitimately squirrelled out in a non pharmaceutically enhanced fashion. We had a good laugh for about five minutes but them immediately stopped because that is as long as a human couple can legally sustain a laugh in Alberta because of the new provincial happiness bill instilled by Premiere Jim Prentice. 3
Learning #4: Waitstaff who mime wringing beer from an old shirt into their mouthes get a 20% tip.4
Learning #5: My wife does not find my comparing the ‘Kiss From A Rose’ Seal to the actual seals at the WEM funny. At all. In any way. Forever.
Learning #6: It is tough to find the sword store. Am I right?5
Learning #7: The Scottish Import store employees love when babies make sounds like starting cars, but, they don’t get ombudsman jokes.
Learning #8: You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it say Namaste.
Learning # 9: Support comes from all angles.
Whilst purchasing some wares from the Hudson’s Bay Company located within the WEM, we somehow got on the topic of my staying at home with the baby. The woman who was running the register at the time was a bit surprised but then said to Elizabeth and I that I am a good partner for doing so. This was very refreshing as the women didn’t miss a step and supported the fact that is it what is best for the baby, not necessarily each other, that has decided the roles in our family make-up.
Lesson #10: Girls pee on the toilet seat too.6
1 Wives will openly mock husbands that end up getting $30 haircuts at a barber with Black Friday signs that say $15 pucks of hair styling cream, because they stopped reading at $15.
2 I think Santa could handle the financial realities of a modern family. I hope it isn’t THAT uncommon for a female to be the primary income winner in a family. I don’t think a continued conversation would have ended in a murderous rampage; I suspect tears would have been shed, however, and at least one additional diaper would have needed changing by at least one of the excessively overwhelmed and exhausted parents in the line up.
3 I like to think he was checking me out from the rear, decided I was all that and a bag of chips and then realized there was a mini Trent strapped to my chest. Surprise.
4 They get 15%, but if they throw in a joke about beer, babies and legal serving limits they get 20%.
5 I did look for it while you were busy getting your “$15” haircut. In fact you can say I looked as hard for the sword store, as my husband searches for details in sale signs at the mall.
6 It is very challenging to check a toilet seat for bad squatting technique from a previous potty purveyor when you have a mini Trent strapped to your chest. Very very challenging. Ladies, wipe the seat or risk making a tired mom’s evening shower an absolute necessity rather than the relaxing luxury it has become.