playground ethics

“Big kids should help us, not non-help us!”

-The Kidling
October 8, 2013

commentary on the food The Kidling wishes she was eating

“Recent Peanut Butter Cups are really good!”

-The Kidling
October 5, 2013

sentences guaranteed to get you slugged on the playground

“I like these because they are fried and they have truffle oil!”

-The Kidling
October 1, 2013

the magical mr. j

We had a phenomenal weekend. A whole lot of nothing happened, but in the middle of nothing, there was magic. It all started in my dear friend’s clothing store, where The Kidling had a melt-down of epic proportions.

Stay with me here. No one said magic was easy.

You see, The Mama and Sigrid decided to go shopping at our mutual friend’s high-end boutique. I love this, because I justify each and every purchase with the fact that I am contributing to her children’s college funds. Sigrid and I were accompanied on this trip by her 2.5 year-old daughter Aya and The Kidling.

Bad move. The Kidling–being an only–and Aya–being, well, two–have a tendency to bicker. They adore one another, but actually being together can be a bit much.

We’ve all had those relationships.

The girls got along famously for entire minutes before things got dicey. Thankfully Sigrid and I have different shopping styles, so we alternated in and out of dressing rooms while Aya and The Kidling played with pretend pearls and other delightful kid-friendly treasures on the carpet by the dressing room doors. We were able to maintain something that resembled peace for quite some time before someone lost it. Nope, not the two year-old.

The Kidling.

To be fair, Aya crossed the line: she touched a toy that the girls only had eight of. How dare she?! Surely she understood that The Kidling needed every single one in order to complete her project (yes, a sushi restaurant. Say it with me now: y-u-p-p-i-e-s)! The audacity of a two year-old child! Don’t her parents teach her about manners?! Can’t she wait her turn?! Why doesn’t she understand–

Ahem. Sorry. I need to reclaim the keyboard from The Kidling, who apparently learned to read and write multi-syllabic words at some point in the last paragraph.

As I was saying, Aya touched a toy and The Kidling let out a blood-curdling whine. We hightailed it out to the entry and had a serious talk. She’s little, blah blah… You have to share, blah blah… What would have been a better choice, blah blah… After listening to me blather on about her choices, The Kidling was distracted by something shiny.

It happens to the best of us.

When she walked over to the glimmer and discovered it was a penny, she snatched it up with delight. All money is the same to The Kidling, and all money is saved for the express purpose of a trip to a distant continent.

Money is travel → travel is adventure → adventure is exciting → money is exciting.

We made our way back into the store, finished our shopping (after apologizing to the patient shopgirls), and headed around the corner for lunch at her favorite restaurant. It was late–nearly 3:00 pm–and we were surprised to find my sister-in-law, Mama³, with her business partner and assorted family. It was a delightful surprise. We chatted for a bit before excusing ourselves to sit down and order lunch.

Because The Kidling had been playing on the floor with community toys for over an hour, we decided to make a trip to the restroom for a quick scrub. When we returned to the table, The Kidling must have had déjà vu, because she spotted a penny on our table.

A second penny.

The Kidling was speechless. I told her I had no idea where it had come from, because, well… I had no idea where it had come from. I had my suspicions, and Mama³ was at the top of my list. We talked about the options: the server, magic, the hostess, Mama³… but our discussions were inconclusive. She could hardly believe her luck, telling me, “I just didn’t know this could happen in my life!” 

As we talked, Mama³ and her entourage left. Shortly thereafter, our food arrived. I moved her plate out of arm’s reach so I could dish some steaming mac & cheese onto a second plate when we discovered a third penny beneath the plate’s rim.

“It couldn’t have been the girls! They couldn’t have given me the three-ith one.”

We discussed the remaining options. It wasn’t Mama³. The Kidling assured me that magic was out of the running, as her friend told her it isn’t real. She decided it had to be our server, informing me that “that’s the one my hypothesis is on now.”

As we walked through the details, The Kidling insisted her conclusion must be accurate: “I don’t know how it could happen, UNLESS my hypothesis is right.”

We talked, we ate, we talked, we ate, we talked… Finally, lunch was over. It was late and The Kidling was starving, so we ordered dessert. When the mango sorbet arrived at the table, The Kidling searched everywhere for another penny.


“He forgot again!” she exclaimed.

“What makes you think it was him?” I asked.

“Maybe it was the other gentleman,” she conceded.

The Kidling consumed the vast majority of her dessert before I put the brakes on further sugar consumption and sent her away to wash her hands. While she was away our server, Mr. J, walked by. I thanked him for making lunch so much fun for a tired, shopped-out kidling. Mr. J asked if it would be too obvious if he hid another coin beneath her water glass. At that point, we couldn’t have made it any more obvious, so he went for it.

The Kidling returned, and I suggested she take one last drink of her water before we left. She picked up her glass, took a drink, and gasped when she spotted the final prize, a quarter, on the table.

Now she knew.

We packed up our things, grabbed her booty, and headed for the door. As The Kidling walked by Mr. J, she gave a huge smile and told him goodbye.

While The Kidling might have been convinced by her friend’s insistence that magic isn’t real, I am not so easily persuaded. What I saw during lunch was real. And it was magic.