Have you ever had this happen? You hear about something or somebody for the first time, and then you see that thing or that person everywhere? Or you write about something, and that thing catches your attention with astonishing frequency?
Yeah, that happened to me. With poop. Since I wrote about Gracie's rolling turd, I've noticed poop everywhere. People are writing poop on their Facebooks. People are saying it on TV. I had to change a poopy diaper. And then I had this conversation with my daughter, Elvira.
Elvira: Coraline's little friend Carly is here today. They've been playing with each other and totally ignoring me. I picked up the bedroom and cleaned the bathroom. I don't know what to do next.
Me: Who knows what you might do now with all your free time. You could write your first novel. Or paint a gallery full of paintings.
Elvira: Or I could poop alone. That would be an achievement.
As I promised Tuesday, I have just one more poop story, and this one is also about Elvira .... and poop.
When Elvira was 3, we were at the library one day checking out our books. Another mom and her daughter of a similar age were checking out next to us on the left.
Elvira turned and said to the girl, "How old are you? I'm 3." And she held 3 fingers up in front of herself about a foot from the other little girl's face. It was adorable. I smiled, for about one second.
The other mom, hereby known as Snooty Bitch, drew her breath in sharply and stuck her hand down between the two girls, closer to Elvira than to her own daughter. In fact, very close to Elvira's face.
"Don't let her touch her!" she said in a loud, shrill voice that indicated she thought Elvira might have leprosy. "Don't let her touch her!" Double leprosy.
I stared her down for a few seconds. One of those stop-motion periods of time with her hand in front of my adorable dark-haired daughter and my eyes telling her, "Snooty Bitch, I would be taking you outside and kicking your skinny suburban ass around the parking lot, but I don't want my daughter to know you think your snooty little princess is too good for her. However, next time I might not play nice with you. And you don't want to see me when I'm not nice. I will shank a bitch who hurts my daughter."
Elvira says even now that she's an adult with a child of her own that look makes her want to hand me her cell phone and go to her room for a week. And that's when I'm giving it to someone else.
I took Elvira gently by the shoulders and moved her to my right side.
"What are you doing?" she asked. "I want to play with that other little girl."
"Her mommy won't let her play right now," I said. "Just wait over here while I check out, please."
Snooty Bitch pulled her daughter up against her. We both went back to checking out, Elvira peering around my legs trying to catch the attention of the other little girl.
We both finished checking out at the same time. Snooty Bitch took her daughter's hand and headed toward the door. I also took Elvira's hand so she wouldn't attack the other little girl with kindness. I could tell she still wanted to make friends.
Suddenly she thought of the perfect ice breaker. She shouted, "My favorite color is purple. What's your favorite color?"
Before Snooty Bitch could stop her, the other little girl turned around and said, "Brown. My favorite color is brown."
Elvira stopped came to a dead stop. "Brown? Brown? Why is your favorite color the color of poop?"
I grabbed Elvira by her jacket, dragged her behind a bookcase and ducked down beside her. She was so confused she couldn't think of anything to say. But we heard the other little girl say loudly and clearly, "Mommy, why is that little girl so naughty?"
I didn't hear what Snooty Bitch said. I was trying too hard not to laugh hysterically back behind the bookcase where we were hidden. And I was failing. I was, in fact, almost peeing my pants I was laughing so hard.
Elvira said, "Mommy, I'm not really naughty am I?"
"No, baby girl, you are not naughty," I said. "And thank god your favorite color isn't the color of poop. Let's get out of here."
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