Kids often put us in tight spots. Asking questions at full volume we’d prefer to address in the car, or at home. Or maybe never.
The closest branch of my bank sits inside the nearest Wal-Mart, and last week we’d waited in line for 10 minutes, Quinn growing frustrated and bored, began a commentary on the Wal-Mart shoppers exiting the store.
“Look Mama, she has a baby.”
“That man is really tall.”
And of course, there were lots of questions, too.
“Her belly is big. Does she have a baby in there?” *wince* No.
“Why doesn’t that man wear a coat?”
Given that there is an entire website devoted to the stray creatures that can be found in Wal-Mart, it was only a matter of time before he hit me with one that I didn’t have an appropriate response for.
“Look, Mama. There’s a baby in that cart.”
“Wait, Mama, that’s not a baby. Look, Mama. Look.”
I glanced up from signing the little signature pad to see an older lady with what indeed looked like a baby propped carefully into the seat at the front of the cart. Only it wasn’t. It was a doll.
Yet as I watched, the woman extracted a wipe from the diaper bag next to the doll to wipe away an imaginary crumb from the side of the doll’s mouth.
“Mama, Look! What is she doing? Why does she have a doll? Won’t they think she stole it? Why is she washing its face?”
The questions flew out of his mouth like machine gun fire, he didn’t even pause for breath.
Finally, I uttered the safest thing I could think of. “Well, buddy, I guess she really loves that doll.”
He looked at me, then back at the woman, while I wished the teller would please hurry up so I could tow him out of earshot.
“No, Mama. That’s not right. I love Humpty a lot. But I know he’s just pretend. How come she doesn’t know that a doll’s just pretend? Dolls are only just pretend, right?”
The woman looked over at us while the teller chiseled my receipt onto a stone tablet.
Ohno! Quinn, shutupshutupshutupshutup!
Receipt finally in hand, I spied the Dunkin Donuts logo shining in the distance like a beacon, and said the most intelligent thing that I could have.
“Donuts! Let’s get donuts, buddy! Let’s race!”
Because really, what was I supposed to say about that?
- 10 Things Those Parenting Books Don’t Tell You (rantravewrite.com)