Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Laughter is the Best Medicine

We were out and about over the weekend and ran into several people who were... interesting... to say the least.

While at Menard's, my children were happily entertaining themselves on the demo playground they have set up, when a young fella named Jesse walked up and introduced himself to me. He looked like he was almost three and asked me, "What is your girl's name?"

I smiled and answered patiently, "Violet."

"Chloe? Cool."

Now, as far as I know, I have never in my life called Violet "Chloe", but as I didn't think I was likely to see this charmer with the thick eyelashes, I just smiled and nodded. Besides, my attention was occupied by the ten year old swinging so fast and high that I was afraid that any kid who stumbled into the path of the swing would be launched airborne for fifteen feet and likely knocked nearly unconscious. I actually called out to the little Jesse kid, "Watch out for the swing!!" as he backed up nearly into the path of the bigger child's screaming flight. Although the swinging menace continued to swing for another few minutes, he did jump off the swing eventually, much to my relief.

Up to this point, Milo had been climbing a climbing wall and sliding down the "tornado" slide. Each time, as he ducked inside the slide he called down to me, "Mom! Are there any kids at the bottom of the slide?" He refuses to slide if he thinks he's going to bump into someone. I'm OK with that.

And then Violet decided that she, too wanted to climb up and slide down the twisty slide after her brother. Scott had returned from shopping and monitored her carefully as she climbed a curved climbing wall with a hole large enough for her to drop through, like a coin falling into a piggy bank. She expertly scaled this bridge, reaching the top just as my little friend Jesse approached the platform from the other direction.

Jesse must have seen a movie with a traffic cop in it, because suddenly he was directing the traffic at the top of the slide. Milo went down, carefully stepping around Jesse. Violet approached the slide and he stopped her in her tracks. Confused, Violet looked up at him and said, "My slide down!" He then grabbed her by the waist and tried to help her into the slide's chute, something that she'd done five or six times by this point. Understandably, she was confused and didn't really want him touching her, so she wriggled free from his grasp. I wasn't overly concerned, more annoyed at this child's lack of adult supervision -- he clearly wasn't trying to hurt her, but he was trying to control the situation. She broke free and slid down the slide, shooting out of the bottom with a delighted sqeal.

By now, Milo was climbing back up to the slide's platform, when our favorite Barney Fife appeared at the top of the ladder, blocking Milo's way. That's when a new voice entered the situation -- Jesse's adult companion (mother? aunt? nanny? not sure...). "Jesse! Don't stand at the top of the ladder!"

"I'm just waiting for this chubby kid to climb up!"

Chubby kid? I look around expecting to see an actual chubby kid, but I don't. OH! He must mean my Milo...

I couldn't help it. I started giggling. "Yeah, chubby kid -- climb that ladder!"

Milo glances over my shoulder, not sure how to respond.

I nod at him and urge him, "Yeah! You -- chubby kid! Go down the slide!"

I can barely stifle my laughter. Jesse's adult looks at me like I'm a little touched.

Milo states, indignantly, "I'm not chubby!"

I assure him, "You're not chubby, love." Snort... giggle... giggle...

Milo goes down the slide. I can't stop laughing. Scott sighs and suggests that we get moving when we notice that Violet has gone down the slide again and has paused for just a moment at the bottom -- long enough for Jesse the KidKop to slide into her. To be fair, he couldn't see the bottom of the slide, but he did jump the gun and didn't allow her enough time to pick herself up from the mulch. She's not bothered in the least by this mini-mall cop kid bouncing into her, but HE looks up and shouts, "Chloe scratched me!"

And I'm a goner... Now I'm guffawing and simply can't control myself. Scott senses that I'm not going to behave appropriately and he ushers the kids to the checkout, but not before we notice Jesse, the pint-sized TJ Hooker, approaching the big swing kid. Apparently, they were brothers. D'oh!

I laughed all the way to our next stop, Best Buy. Until we pull into a parking space where I notice a couple taking out an infant travel system. The man is buried to the waist in their SUV. I expected to see him pull out a mewling and adorable baby with thick, black, wavy hair (his parents looked to be Indian). Instead, he huffs, puffs, and lugs out an infant carrier with a kid as big as Violet inside.

If you've ever seen a cartoon character's eyes fall out, that's pretty much what I looked like. Now, I'll admit that there are many people who have questioned why Scott and I are still rear-facing Violet in the car. 1) It's safer 2)She doesn't know any differently. But I will only do that for as long as it is safe to do so in the seat we have. I know of NO infant carrier that is rated to hold a child as big (ha!) as Chloe... uh, Violet. And, on top of that, the straps were so loose that he could have shrugged them off and run free if he'd tried. His poor father looked like he was trying to move a piano as he hoisted the seat onto the stroller. Crazy... I did not laugh about this.

In other news, I'm feeling much better these days -- I even exercised for the first time since the pneumonia last night. And ONE WEEK UNTIL CALIFORNIA!!! Yippee!!!

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