“Hey, how are you today?” I sweetly sing. I make an attempt at opening my sleep deprived eyes as wide as my smile. “Good,” he smiles back amicably, but I can see that my fairly clean teeth do not over shadow my sweat matted hair. I press on, undaunted, and shamelessly flirt with this man more than half my age because I need to get my son on his truck.
A mother will do anything for her child. I am just beginning to grasp the full scope of this statement, as I brazenly bargain with every civil servant and construction worker in town in order to procure a moment of attention for my son. Today’s mark is the owner and operator of The Cinnamon Snail, an organic food truck at our local farmer’s market. Certainly this young entrepreneur gets approached by kale and legume fed young girls all day long, so I know that as an almost 40-year old mother of twins I am going to have to step up my game in order to get my son a glance behind the scone making scene.
I switch to the COP plan: Child as Prop.
“Look sweetie, you can see in right through this window.” I purposely teeter with my son lifted by his armpits up over my head to meet the face of the young organic chef, as if I have never lifted the boy before. I can sense Mr. Snail beginning to soften. “Hey buddy, what can I get for you today?” “Donut,” is my boy’s reply, unable to stoke up the cute because he is straining so hard to see into the truck. Still, no invite in from the proprietor.
I know I am not the first mother to pathetically procure a position for her boy on a big rig. I have a friend who hung around fire houses so much that she was on a first name basis with most of the firefighters in town. I have found myself in line at the Dunkin Donuts behind many a mother and son chatting up the police officer waiting for his medium light and sweet.
Most of the time, mom does most of the talking, since her son has been star struck by this person who gets to operate an often large noisy vehicle. Mom knows all about the trucks: Mail trucks, front loaders, back hoes, cherry pickers, and how much her son knows and loves about each one of them. Our masters degrees have been replaced by the memorization of manly earth movers. Last fall we went to a Touch a Truck Fundraiser at our local middle school. The children were encouraged and allowed to explore all kinds of vehicles. It was quite possibly the happiest day of my young son’s life and maybe mine.
In my quest for invites on to trucks of all kinds I have found that the firefighters are the friendliest. It is as if the open garage door is an invite to all to come on in and check it out. At the age of three, my son has been behind the wheel of a pumper at least half a dozen times and not once did I have to ask. The Cinnamon Snail, it seemed, was going to take a little more than the glaze in my son’s eyes and on the donut I just bought for $2 in order to get invited on board.
So, I drop my cloying cover-up and just come right out with it. “Um, he really would like to come on to your truck.” Genuinely surprised by my statement, the young man invited us back next week, as long we got there before the market rush. Mission accomplished and we trucked on.
This is an original post for Jersey Moms Blog by Amy Griffiths, a New Jersey mom.
Photo credit given to Genterra.