Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bringing Up Baby

She lagged behind them, caught between the rack of long-sleeve cable knits and the rack of short-sleeve cable knits.  She tugged nervously on her dino cap, trapped in the racks and wishing her parents would turn around and help her -but they were in deep discussion over a bin of triple-cotton, sailor-print shorts, available in both blue and green.

“...but blue is more slimming,” mummy was saying as she pawed through the bin, “She has such a big bum...”

...the big bum that was currently trapped between the racks of variegated knits.  She wiggled her tail, but to no avail.  Rather than freeing herself, all she managed to do was knock over the rack of long-sleeves with a crash.  With an almost equal thud, she suddenly fell over too, and then there she was -belly up on the floor; blinking up at the fluorescent-lit ceiling; helplessly flapping her hands and feet in the air.  Without looking, she could feel people stopping to point and stare.

“  Stop saying our little girl has a big bum, sweetums,” pop-pop responded to mummy, oblivious to the fact that his daughter was flailing about on the floor behind him.  “You know, you have a big bum too.”

Mummy paused in her pawing and narrowed her eyes up at him, “Did you just call me ‘sweetums’, honey?”

Pop-pop blinked at her from behind his sunglasses.  He held up a green pair of shorts.  “These are nice -I like green for her.”

“...ugh,” mummy groaned, rolling her eyes at him, oblivious to the small crowd of people behind her trying to help her daughter up off the retail floor, “Green is just so... cliché.  Really, let’s do try to be a little more original... snookums.”

“Okay.  Blue it is,” pop-pop conceded, dropping the shorts from his black-mittened hooves without further resistance.  He was not overly invested in the green and so not too terribly concerned about the blue.  He just wanted mummy to be happy.  

Sometimes, not being like everyone else was rather difficult for them.  Very briefly that morning, while chewing on his morning bowl of rice, (a habit that drove mummy veritably nuts), he had pondered the wisdom of bringing her home -but whenever he looked at her, or heard her laugh, or read one of her ridiculous txt messages, (she did have such a terrible time with the tiny touch-pad), he knew he’d made the right decision.

“Mummy...” she called from the floor as she struggled to stand upright, her little T-Rex feet slipping on the tile floor as several pairs of tentative-but-curious-enough-to help human hands tried to help her up.

“Blue it is,” mummy declared, tossing a pair of the sailor-print shorts into the basket hanging off of her tiny arm.  Without turning around, she called to her daughter, “Do hurry along, dearie.  I don’t want to be at this godforsaken store all day.”

“Yes, mummy...” she called, caught up in a tangled rainbow of long- and short-sleeve cable knits and trying to peel them off of her one by one.

Mummy paused in her forward progress to rifle through the bag that also dangled from her arm.  From behind his sunglasses, pop-pop wondered how mummy managed to carry around so much on just one tiny little arm -with her other arm always free and at the ready for trying to send txt messages from her tiny little phone.  The slippery thing was forever sliding out of her hand, much to his silent amusement.

“Here I am, mummy!” she called, finally free of the cable knits and bounding up to her parents.

Mummy looked up, peering over her glasses down upon her darling daughter.  “Darling...” she asked, “Where is your little dino cap?”

She gasped, patting the top of her bare head.  “Ooh... no............!”  She turned around, staring with dismay at the rainbow mess of cable knits she’d just escaped from.  Her lower jaw jutted out in a pout, but she scampered back anyway.  She wanted her little dino cap back.

One of the human store clerks had a huge clump of the rainbow knit mess in his arms.  He was dutifully trying to clean the mess of clothes up, but he dropped everything as soon as he saw the little T-Rex baby barreling down upon him -there was nothing “little” about her.  He ran off down one of the far aisles, the sleeve of a cable knit trailing along behind him.

“Diapers...” mummy sighed, as she watched her little zebra-print girl scamper away, “I do wish they made them in her size.”

“She is beautiful just the way she is...” pop-pop shushed her through his sunglasses, “...perfect -just like you.”

“...ooh ...are so...”  Mummy melted,  “...ooh... stop it.”  She was smiling as she vanished down the kitchen appliances aisle, her tail thumping in that tell-tale way he knew she was happy.

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