Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Today when I drove to pick Miss C up from preschool, it was raining, the winds were blowing about 40 miles per hour, and anything not nailed down was whipping through the air.  There was a backup of cars, and while some people proudly claim to be first to pick-up, I am in the mediocre middle.
Today I was at the end.

I waited a quarter block away for my turn to pull up, and sitting there I saw this little pipsqueak sprint down the sidewalk and stop short right at the corner.  She looked about 3, a just-turned 3, and was clearly loving the wind.  Her massive backpack nearly touched her heels and when she spun around it showed a quintet of Disney Princesses.  She spun around one more time, looked right at me, then held up her fist and stuck up her middle finger.
It was unfortunate that I'd just taken a sip of coffee because I sprayed my steering wheel, Did she just flip me off?  As if to confirm, she pulled her other hand and gave me the double bird.

The mother, who was jogging behind her, was wearing Betty Boop pajamma pants.  And looked like, well, have you ever had family pop-in on a Saturday morning and you're not quite dressed and then half an hour later you find that you've been nominated to go get some bagels, and then you're standing in a bakery wearing that old nursing shirt that and your husband's long-johns and every one else has clearly bathed?


That's never happened to you?

Your family doesn't do pop-ins?

Well, anyway, the mother looked like she had been thrust into the day before she'd fully pulled off the jammies, and it happens to the best of us.

Then, she sees her daughter standing there with the double-bird doing a sort of victory dance, and all I could think of was that time last summer while at the playground with C, I'd been having a lovely conversation with a mother I'd just met.  And her son and C were playing together, then sharing a snack, then C dropped her snack in the wood chips next to a puddle, and as the mother next to me called out, "No-o-o-o-o," in slow motion, C held up the goods, blew on it, and then popped it in her mouth.
Then, to soothe the distraught mother, said, "It's okay.  It hasn't been 5 seconds yet."  
Those moments where your kid does something that undeniably comes from Your Adult Modeling, and it's not the best modeling, but there it is on display for the world to see.

The mother, still jogging, raised her hand in an attempted spank of her daughter, but the beautiful thing was that the massive backpack provided a full body shield, and no matter what angle she tried, there was no getting to that bottom.  Giving up, she took her daughter's hand, they crossed the street, and made their way down the next block, the daughter nearly blowing away in the wind, the mom pulling at her Betty Boop pants, looking the other way as her Princess flicked off another vehicle driving by in the rain.


  1. thank you mary. i needed this today.

  2. So this post made me laugh more than it should have, considering that the whole scene was actually pretty sad. But maybe Betty Boop mom will be sufficiently mortified that she'll clean up her act. Hope, right?

    (And no, our families don't do pop-ins. We've trained them well.)

  3. Oh so funny. I am fortunate that my oldest (or my younger two, for that matter) do not repeat the things that come out of my mouth. I don't think I'll be lucky forever, though.

  4. I laughed out loud for the first time in a long while! You have a gift for storytelling! I think it was the "Betty Boop" pants that really did it. I love your blog!