Posted by GIRL'S GONE CHILD | Sunday, October 09, 2005
I used to spend every weekend at the record store browsing the used section for one-of-a-kind vinyl and new indie-rock CD’s. Even when pregnant I killed anticipated time digging through the rock section, clad appropriately in a maternity shirt with the graphic of headphones carefully placed over my bump so my fetus could look like he was listening.
Archer kicked when he heard Mozart. He also kicked when he heard The Rolling Stones and The Trashcan Sinatras. He was a man of fine taste. My husband and I were proud.
As Archer approaches his four-month birthday I finally feel the time right to introduce him to the pleasures of record store perusing and purchasing. Excitedly I explain that we will be going on a field trip this afternoon. Archer smiles and pounds his fists in his papasan. That’s my boy.
I dress Archer in his finest record-browsing clothing: plaid shirt, jeans, guitar graphic onesie, pirate booties and golf-hat. I squeeze into my favorite jeans, throw on my newsboy cap and we’re out the door. When Archer and I arrive at our destination, I untangle him from his seatbelts and teddy bears and burp cloths and strap him to my body in the Baby Bjorn, face out. I adjust his little hat and slip through the strap of my oh-so-cute and one-of-a-kind carpet diaper bag. We look good. We look ready. We look rock-and-roll.
We begin in the new section of A’s. I introduce Archer to my favorite records in alphabetical order. Archer burps and kicks his little legs. “I agree. Appetite for Destruction is one of the greatest albums of all time.” It is obvious that we are the only mother, baby duo in the entire store but we don’t mind. Archer burps again.
The college boys look up from their limited edition Radiohead box sets and smile in our direction as we walk by. A spiky-haired local DJ nudges his local DJ buddy with armfuls of Japanese imports as we wade through Bjork EP’s. The DJ’s are talking about us but I can’t make out what they are saying.
“Excuse me?” I ask an employee busily organizing S’s. “Do you have any Baby Bach CD’s??”
“There’s classical music in the back next to New Age,” the man snickers.
I don’t understand what is particularly funny about Baby Einstein records but I thank him and walk on.
Archer has a thing for Yanni. Don’t ask me how Reflections of Passion ended up in our apartment but anything that helps Archer (and me) sleep through the night is a best friend. We decide on Yanni’s vintage classic, Optimystique and a Bach record for adults.
The more ground we cover the more people stare. It takes a minute to realize that it isn’t because we are insatiably cool with eclectic taste. It is something else.
An employee suddenly pokes me on the back.
“Your baby puked all over the Moby CD’s.”
“What? Who? How do you know?”
The employee looks me over. I contort myself to get a good view of Archer and the front of the Baby Bjorn. Sure enough, spit-up is caked in long strands down the Baby Bjorn onto my legs. On my shoes. On my Bag. Even in my hair.
“Oh, that,” I say. “That’s nothing.”
I follow the employee to the spit-up coated Moby section. Teenage girls snicker. The DJ’s roll their eyes.
“He must have projectile vomited because I was not browsing Moby.”
“Well, congratulations. That’s quite a feat,” He spats.
“Are you asking me to clean it up?”
My embarrassment is quickly replaced with anger. The fact that the employees can’t find it in their hearts to be more accommodating to young, fashionable mothers with great taste in music and diaper bags, is beside the point. I look at “Hello, my name is Billy,” the poseur with his Mohawk and tattooed neck and I think to myself, what does he know? So I ask him.
“What do you know?”
“Huh?” he answers.
“Look at you, with your safety pins and Sid Viscous t-shirt. You think you’re dirty and reckless? Archer spit-ups because he feels like it. He doesn’t care. What do you call that?”
“Well, I call that punk rock!”
And right on cue, Archer roars. A little roar mind you, an infant’s roar, throaty and less than intimidating but powerful; the voice of a boy who will not be made a fool.
The teenage girls start laughing and Billy shrugs.
“It’s no big deal,” he says. “We’ll take care of it.”
I thank him for forgiving my reckless, puking child and we part ways. The people are still staring but this time they support our cause.
“Right on, Archer.”
“I’ve never liked Moby either,” they say.
‘You rock, little man.”
Archer and I march through the crowded isles of the record store, shaking hands with the fans, drenched in curdled breast milk, proud. We make our purchases and say goodbye. I kiss Archer on the forehead and promise to stand behind him always, no matter who or what he throws-up on.
Archer and I head home, drenched in vomit, blasting Yanni with the windows down for all to hear. Partners in crime. Rock-and-roll.