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Saturday, March 17, 2007

But We're Not

I'm at Home Depot with the youngest when it happens.

He has confessed his fear of the master bathroom toilet to me. We're here looking for a new toilet seat, a youngest-approved toilet seat. Our eyes are on the display, where the toilet seat he wants, although out-of-stock, tempts him from the top row.

"I could pinch ya!"

I'm startled by the sudden voice behind me. I turn around to see a heavyset woman with frizzy hair. Her mouth is upturned in a slight smile, but her eyes are deadly serious. My face must show my confusion, because she repeats herself.

"I could pinch ya for not wearing green!"

I'm still not getting it, lost in toilet seat thought as I am.

"I'm sorry?"

"It's St. Patrick's Day. You gotta wear green! So does he!"

She's waving a finger at me, half-accusing, half-chastising.

"Actually, no. We're not Irish."

I smile slightly and begin to turn away.

"Everyone's Irish today! Hoo!"

She's not leaving. I'm getting annoyed. This time I don't bother to turn around. I'm here to look at toilet seats, not be accosted by some would-be, overgrown leprechaun.

"But we're not."

There's silence for two beats. Then she addresses the youngest, sitting placidly in the cart.

"Hmph. Your mom's a party pooper."

Maybe it's the fact that we are in the toilet seat department. Maybe it's because she used the word pooper. Or maybe it's just because he's four.

"Poopyhead. Poopyhead. POOOOOpyhead. Poopyheadpoopyheadpoopyhead."

I turn around to see her staring at him open-mouthed. Before I can say anything, he implores her.

"Knock-knock!"

"Who's there." Her mouth is grimly set. I put my hand up to my forehead, fairly certain I know where this is going.

"Poopy!" He's beaming. I was right.

She stomps off as he calls to her, "You need to ask poopy who! Poopy who!"

He looks at me. His eyes are hopeful.

"Poopy who." I wait for it.

"Poopyhead." He dissolves into giggles.
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