Yesterday we happened upon the open house at our local volunteer fire house. It's interesting how the words "Open House" coupled with "Free Ice Cream" will just direct your car into the parking lot to a destination not on your list of things to do for the day. Not that we aren't big fans of all things related to
fires firefighting, but I was in a rush to get home to get stuff done.
This post was supposed to be about how great it is to be part of a community that is so incredibly giving and caring. The firefighters even got out the hose and let the kids hose down some bottles. I don't know how else Derek would have figured out how to get his hands on the fire hose if he didn't have The Baby as an excuse. It's not like a toddler can hold a fire hose all by himself.
No, this post is not about being a part of a community. It's now about that little girl in line in front of us for the free face painting. You know that little child. The one who is always providing the unsolicited advice. I have one of those children too, so normally it doesn't bother me. But it did this time.
Ethan was looking over all his options for face painting. This woman could paint anything. There must have been a hundred different options (to include one of my favorites--car tracks. Doesn't every kid want tread marks across his face for fun?). As he discussed his options with me, he happened up the rainbow with "Theresa" emblazoned across it.
Ethan: Mom. I think I want THIS one.
Kristen: Um, okay.
Little Girl: He can't have THAT. That's for girls.
I decided to remain aloof, non-confrontational and non-defensive. Borderline disinterested. This election season has made me a MASTER of this technique.
Kristen: You think so? (to the little girl) I don't think it's just for girls.
Little Girl's Mom: It's not just for girls. It's not like it's pink.
Hmm. It's not like it's pink. I'm guessing she is the same mom who apologizes for her daughter's choice in clothing for the morning. For all you parents out there, we KNOW when a child has dressed herself. Trust me. We don't think you picked those gingham checked pants to go with that flower top. It's okay. I think it's cool. I love me some purple patent leather pumps with a pink and yellow outfit. The kids are only young for such a short time. Kids are kids. They like what they like. It's not like I'm letting Ethan wear a tiara and leg warmers to the third grade. He's 3.
I looked down at Ethan. He was looking up at me. Expecting something. I don't know what.
Kristen: You know what, Buddy? That isn't just for girls. You can have ANYTHING you want. It's about what YOU like.
He turned to me with a smile and said, "Then I want THIS," pointing to a picture of a girl with a Goth face. Completely white. With black daggers coming out of her eyes. I took a breath and before I could stop myself, it was there.
Kristen: You can have anything you want. Except that. Mom changed her mind.
Five minutes later, I had myself the cutest little spider man you have ever seen. I could have tolerated the pink and purple unicorn. But I'll admit I'm a little glad it didn't go down that way.