I've already mentioned how much Girl-Child enjoys our trips to the bank. It does not rival her SKQUEEEEEE!! of the grocery store. Free cookie from the bakery aside, at the grocery store there are two cashiers; one called "Friend" and the other is "Tong". These are not their real names, however, it is how Girl-Child addresses them. Friend will spend our whole transaction conversing with Girl-Child; asking her if she'd gone to school that morning, how it was, what did they do, what did they have for snack, and ask the names of whichever doll or stuffed toy has joined us. Sometimes, if she has them, Friend will give Girl-Child a sticker. The two just click. She is not the only checker to ever speak with Girl-Child but she is the one whose line we will wait in at Girl-Child's request, no matter how long, so that she can see her Friend. That is... (dramatic pause indicated by ellipses)...
....Unless Tong is there. Tong is the love of her life. She doesn't care that he's in his twenties and that her love is forbidden. Because her kind of love is wrapped up in the funny voices he uses to speak to her, how he chases her, steals her toys and gives them voices, plays hide and seek, tickles her, and generally acts a damn fool. When she squeals from behind her hands, "Tong is SO silly!" she's basically telling him, "Look dude, you're awesome, okay? Please come over and play My Little Ponies with me. BFFs?". She recognizes his car in the parking lot and is ready for the check out lane before our shopping has even begun. "Can we go see Tong now?" "Not yet." "Done Mommy?". "Nope". And God help us if he's running the 15 items or less lane and we're there on BIG shopping day. Holy hell.
She is not the only child who feels this way about Tong. His line is full of mothers with small children. When another check stand opens to relieve the congestion, we mothers are falling all over our manners and turn into a bunch of Emily Posts with our "Oh no, after you". "No. Please, go right ahead". "You were here first, I wouldn't dream of it". Because none of us are leaving that line. And we all know it. And the person who does eventually move to the next available checker is one that is sans child. If he's relieved for his break before we've all been through the line, he will make sure to greet each child individually and knows each one by name. I'm not even kidding when I say that every day is like Christmas and he's Santa Claus. Only younger. And shorter. And looks more like Flea from Red Hot Chilli Peppers with less surf punk and more Howdy Doody. I wonder if Tong babysits?
(1) Woman in spandex bottoms and too small top with spillage in the middle. Resembles broken can of biscuits.
(4) Individual toddler meltdowns.
(1) Sale on bathing suits at Macys. And a line full of very brave women.
(3) Random acts of chivalry. Men still occasionally hold doors open for women and let them go first in line. Thanks, Gents. Your Mamma done brought you up right.
(2) Bonafide mowhawks. Not faux-hawks. I repeat: not faux-hawks.
(1) Mowhawk riding the carousel. Well done, sir.
(8) Separate sightings of small children riding on fathers' shoulders. EIGHT. Walking is for chumps.
(Infinity) Teenagers. That used to be me only with bigger hair and more eyeliner.