Margaux and I have time to kill. It’s 7:23 am, the hubs is out of town and she and I have just dropped her brother off around the corner at his school bus stop. We’ve got one hour and 37 minutes until her pre-school drop off. I’m looking to fill that time.
We mosey up the street to Peet’s so I can get an almond milk chai. Being a non-coffee drinker (I know, GASP!) and a non-soy milk drinker (I know, isn’t that illegal in Los Angeles?), I’m specific about where I get my hot beverages since not everyone sells almond milk, my latte filler du jour.
Truth be told, I don’t understand coffee (I don’t understand cigarettes either, I know. I know.) And I’m allergic to soy so we go to Peet’s, which has my time killing Almond milk.
There’s four things you need to know about Margaux before we proceed. The first: Margaux is 2. And by 2, I mean two-years-old. She’s only been alive for 2 years. She’s lacking some nuances, shall we say, of people who are say 3-years-old. Or, in this case, older. This is important information so remember it now.
You should also know that Margaux is unbelievably sunny and delightful kid. In the parenting world, she’s what’s called a “Showstopper” (by me) which means even other parents of 2-year-old girls can’t get enough of her. She’s that cute toddler who will rock her baby doll to sleep using the Dr. Harvey Karp “Happiest Baby On The Block” method. Or, the kid who invites the school’s maintenance staff to tea. She’ll share her snack at the park or engage parents in such cute conversation (saying things like, “I miss you” and “I love you”) that they forget to pick up their own kids.
See, I told you. The kid is sunny and delightful. This is important as well, so remember it now.
Little M and I wait in line for our pre-destined almond time-killing-chai and the little lady spots the snacks for sale, which are conveniently placed just at the height where toddlers alone can reach them. Margaux reaches for a granola/bar/it’s probably just as bad for you as candy thing. The granola bar thing has a blue wrapper. Again, important information.
“Pay?” she says looking up at me while holding the blue wrapped granola bar thingy. She looks like Oliver Twist. All she needs is a British accent. I tell her she can get the blue wrapped granola bullshit. But before I can, she spots the same granola bar wrapped in pink. There may be 50 shades of grey. But to a two-year-old girl, there are endless shades of pink. She drops the blue bar, grabs the pink and hands it to me. I hand it to the cashier.
This is when Margaux begins to cry.
“Blue” she wails. “I want the blue one.” I smile at the Cashier, swap out the blue and the pink and do as I was originally instructed. I pay.
We take our winnings over to a free table and sit down. Margaux starts to cry again about the blue/pink/blue bullshit. But this time she’s not crying, she’s wailing. She’s inconsolable and nothing I can do or say seems to end the tears. Or, the tantrum. But I try my best.
There’s a 3-deep line at this particular Peet’s and one or two other grown ups sitting at tables. Full throttle Taylor Swift tunes blast the speakers. It’s a little louder in here than a Forever 21 store. I tell you this so you’ll know that my kid’s pink/blue screams blend in. We’re not in a museum nor are we at a funeral. Her screaming seems appropriate. Plus, there’s nothing I can do to get her to stop, or I would have.
To our left, sits a woman with down-to-the-butt Crystal Gale (google it) length hair that clearly hasn’t been cut since the ’70’s (1870’s.) She’s got books laid out all over her table causing me to believe she’s in a contest to become the world’s oldest student. She looks at me, then at my crying tot and screams, “Take it outside. Get that awful kid outside.”
It’s clear she’s talking to me.
She starts “psst’ing” and “Huh’ing” so loud, I can barely hear the too loud music. I consider asking her to tone it down since she’s making it hard for me to hear my kid meltdown, but she’s too busy throwing a tantrum about my 2-year-old’s tantrum.
You should know that I might be a thought-bubble-bitch, but I’m a public softie. I’m full up on pleases and thank you’s and drill manners into my kids’ heads harder than a Republican looking to ruin the California coastline. I think kids are like thunder, better not heard or seen. But remember #1, Margaux is 2. As in 2-years-old. She’s not trying to meltdown nor is she out to ruin the world’s oldest student’s life. She’s having a hard day. And for whatever reason the pink and the blue wrapper has sent her into a tailspin. And, a tantrum.
Crystal Gale yells again, “Take it outside!” At this point, I’ve had enough. My two-year-old is doing her job, she’s being a royal pain in the ass. Usually, I’d be embarrassed or try to bribe my kid into canning it. But it’s 7:26 am and somehow this woman thinks Peet’s coffee on Larchmont is her own personal office. Or library. Or museum. Which, it’s not.
So I do what any proper mother would do when her kid is getting screamed at for screaming. I stand up, speak at the the top of my lungs and say, “Margaux, you see that awful lady screaming at you? Go stand next to her and scream.”
Margaux marches her crying little self over to the lady’s table. She stands about a foot from the table, faces her and continues to scream. And scream. And scream.
I smile, sit down and go back to drinking my tea.
Not only is Margaux a sunny showstopper, she’s also incredibly good at following directions. She screamed for the next 37 minutes. One woman looked so alarmed, she assumed my child had been beaten.
You don’t want to hear a kid cry? Stay at home. I’m tired of being nice. This is important information. Remember it now.
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