Yesterday, I took young Finn to school with me to pick up Reese, my newly minted pre-Kindergartner.
If there's one thing you should know about Finn, it's that there's nothing he likes more than to run fast and loose among bunches of kids bigger and brawnier than him. What can I say? That kid thrives on challenge.
Anyway, Reese, Finn and I were hanging out in the sandbox, just sweating away the eighty million degree heat with a bunch of plastic toys and dirt, when a few of the little girls in the sandbox started getting into it.
LAYLA(whiny, urgent): "Delaney, move away from me!"
NO RESPONSE FROM DELANEY.
LAYLA(more whiny, more urgent): "Delaney, I need some space!"
No space occurs.
Wonderful teachers intervene in kind, yet firm words outlining Layla's options, one of which apparently includes screaming her head off on a bench about five feet from us. Where, at least she's having some space.
Subsequently, another small girl child leans in to tell me a very secret secret. I listen attentively, preparing for a cute childish anecdote.
GIRL (pointing to Finn): He looks weird.
ME (trying to be nice): Maybe it's because he's still a baby.
GIRL: No, I think it's his face.
This is the part where I lift up the little girl by her toenails and toss her across the sandbox, a la the Incredible Hulk. Or Hulkess, I suppose.
Okay. Not really.
This is where I say:
"OK, time to go, Reese and Weird Face. Time to get home."
Okay. Not really. Actually, this is where I say:
We three make our way to our getaway car, our Volvo station wagon. We disappear into the sunlight, Reese, Weird Face and the Hulkess, ready for whatever the day brings, having dodged childhood's most treacherous landscape - and in high style.