Memories from a Bookstore

11 11 2008

the thermometer said 40 degrees…it lies of course, because i remember last march when 40 degrees felt soooo much warmer!

the sky foretold my mood…coarse splotches of sloe (it’s a word…look it up!) clouds…drs. appts and paying bills…i dislike tuesdays (dislike even more the fact that i am reduced to paying bills the day before their stated due date instead of immediately after they arrive in the mail!)

but i also had a meeting with Mike to talk surf and turf ideas for next season to look forward to (Mike makes seafood seem not quite so evil!)

…so with an hour to waste before heading into Pittsford Wegmans, Lilly and i tucked ourselves into Barnes and Noble and headed immediately back to the children’s section where i peeled her out of her excess (coat, hat and mittens…yes, mittens that she chewed to a damp rag!)…man was the children’s section crowded today…so much so that i hesitated placing her on the Doggies (Boynton Board Books (Simon & Schuster))stage beneath the illustrated Winnie the Pooh cut-outs… but Lilly would hear nothing of breaking with that bookstore tradition! grabbing her a blue Sandra Boyton book (they’re cardboard and thus drool-proof) i sat Lilly on the left edge of the stage. idk…it’s her and i alone so much that i didnt think she would know what to do with the herd of other children (was today a holiday?).

but not Lilly…a turn and flop to her belly and then she and her book were up and crawling with purpose to the back section. she bypassed two lil girls (maybe age 6 or 7) and one blonde hair boy sitting forelornly and picking his nose (yes! well done, Lilly!)…and she trekked directly to the lil boy with the short dark brown hair and olive eyes (maybe 4 or 5 at most). once there, she sat to his left and held up her book to him nodding with the most earnest look. the young boy must have siblings, or a wonderful set of parents, because rather than instantly rebuking her, he turned and talked to her, pointing at her book (and eventually turning it upside-right) YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN HER HUGE SMILE!!!

and i breathed again

ok…maybe it’s just me…but these lil excursions sometimes feel like the ultimate test of my parenting. i remember when my sister Alyssa was lil and placed in a similar scene… she’d always be the child who would tear the toy, book, food, whatever from the other child’s hand or pull hair causing an avalanche of tears and mayhem. yes, she was lil…yes, babies are unpredictable (yes, there were times when Alex would make matters worse by chanting, “you can take her!” when he, himself was only 3) and mortified i’d always be the one to have to apologize and attempt to correct the behavior with the softest most embarrassed “no, no” scoop her up and duck away.

Lilly, i will be writing you a thank you note for this one…

Lilly sat with the dark haired boy for eleven minutes…but then i heard a mother’s voice callout, “Rory” and saw the lil boy stand, pat Lilly on the head and leave…and the smile turned instantly into a big-bottom-lipped pout…her eyes followed first…tearing and then she flopped to her belly once again and i think she was actually attempting to follow him. i searched the store quickly hoping to find the source of the mother’s voice (maybe a name? address? playdate? idk…what would you do??? this is Lilly’s heart!) but then the first of Lilly’s pitiful cries began and i had to wade my way through children to retrieve her. once scooped she curled her head against my chest and popped her thumb in her mouth…coat, hat, mittens and book all dropped.

face it…neither of us understand goodbyes.

i debated whether to leave the store instantly to preserve what was left of her dignity, but as we were walking past the back wall, Lilly spied a picture book with a pug on it entitled “I Once Ate A Pie.”  i carried her over to the other side of the children’s section and we sat down and began reading the book…each page containing a different doggie on it (and yes, she can point to the doggies when asked)

not more than five pages into the book Lilly spotted the stuffed animal…first she pulled down Curious George in pjs and loved him to death…and then she did something i have never seen her do before… with strong lil arms, Lilly pulled herself up and stood next to the stuffed animal rack…wobbley at first, but held tight…reaching for the golden retriever stuffed animals above.

well, yeah, naturally, a cascade of golden retrievers, Curious Georges and a few other assorted stuffed animals came tumbling down on Lilly when she too fell to her butt. undaunted, Lilly turned and headed directly for the Thomas the Tank Engine table and stood again… this time she held fast to the table with one hand and pivoted around its perimeter. she watched and watched as this other lil girl moved the trains about the track and squealed and giggled. (while i picked up the pile of stuffed animals.)

after paying our bills this morning we had only $26.77 left for the week. i bought Lilly the Boyton book, and a cardboard “Curious George and the Bunny”…i think i can survive without the Benadryl and lotion for a while longer (with my discount, i should be able to afford 2% and juice). the book with the pug and the stuffed puppy were too dear in cost…

maybe i will be able to work the whole time next weekend and bring in extra tips. Aslan always says he spoils Zach, unapologetically…i do know what he means…some people save the presents for special holidays…but for some people the chance to spend time with their child IS a holiday.

smiles and kisses

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