I can count on one hand the number of times I have been in the mall this year. Yesterday was one of those times. In the few spare minutes before I had to pick Sarah and her friend up from the movies, I rushed in to visit a store that has captured Sarah’s attention. While waiting for a heavily pierced teen to ring up my purchase, I realized that I hadn’t even glanced at myself before leaving the house. I came to this awareness as I looked down my shirt at the baby snot Noah had wiped on me and then realized that Amy had cheetoed my sleeve. A grimy, middle-aged woman in a cool teen store is not a pretty sight. I stuffed the bag in my giant diaper bag/purse and went to get Sarah but managed to run into two of my parents’ friends who happen to be the some of the most manicured, genteel people in Knoxville. Not looking horrible enough, my nursing bra came unhooked as the well-groomed woman hugged me. If it was possible to melt into the floor, I would have done so at that moment. I escaped and went to wait for Sarah while unceremoniously putting my bra back together in front of the black clad teens who were draped over the chairs and walls. While waiting, I saw a woman pushing a tiny cart that looked like it belonged in a pharmacy more than a mall. The cart had the name of the store and two signs on each side. The store was a department store far from the food court where I sat. The first sign read “Do not remove from store” and the second sign read “Do not put children in this cart”. It was such a tiny cart that the little girl sitting in it who looked about Evan’s age, barely fit. The child sat, chewing on a receipt while her mother bought a coke to put in the little girl’s bottle. I was in no place to judge or feel superior. The mother and child were cleaner and better dressed than I was.