Wednesday, August 23, 2006

the one where I berate a small child . . . but only in my head, so I think it's OK

This afternoon I took my mom to the dentist so she could have a tooth ripped out of her head. She had told me that she could probably drive herself home after the appointment but "pshaw!" I said, "P . . . shaw." Would you want to drive somewhere after you'd gotten three shots in the mouth and then had a dentist rip a tooth out of your jaw and then drill a HOLE in the bone underneath? I didn't think so.

So I sat in the waiting room (FYI, did you know that we're supposed to call it the "reception area" at my office? But we totally never do) and read my book like a good daughter, although I found out after that I could have totally watched the procedure. And once I got over my initial disgust I realized that might have actually been kind of neat to watch and I know I'm sick and weird just shut up and also bite me.

The only other people in the waiting room (excuse me, reception area) with me were a couple and their son who were waiting for their other son to get his braces (yes, I was eavesdropping, duh). The boy waiting was about nine or ten and was engrossed in some weirdass cartoon on the television. He was also holding a dolphin stuffed animal. Ok. Sure. I'm not judging. His mother stood up and told him she was going to go to Tuesday Morning which, and don't be disappointed, is just a store. I know. I was about to ask her how she knew how to time travel, even if it was just to yesterday morning, but then I remembered that store was down the street. I was totally crushed.

Before she could leave, however, the little boy jumped up (without dropping his trusty dolphin stuffed animal) and shouted, "Mommy! I love you the most, Mommy! I'll miss you!" while his mom laughed and hugged him and tried to walk about the door, but not before being accosted with more hugs and shouts of "Mommy, I love you the most!" I tried, you guys, I really tried to think, "aww, how sweet, he misses his Mommy" without snickering but my inner cynic wouldn't shut up. That bitch just about went crazy trying to make me look down at my book and not laugh. I mean, good lord, Mommy was going to the store! Not outer space! She wasn't even time traveling! Unfortunately. She even asked the kid if he wanted to go with her but he said watching cartoons was probably more fun than going to the store. So I had to give him credit for that, until he ran out the door after his mom to give her another hug and then I started imagining what he'd look like at fifty, pushing his wheelchair-bound mother back to the condo they share in Florida after a rousing game of shuffleboard, while the stupid, stuffed dolphin rides shotgun on Mommy's lap.

My family is not very demonstrative when it comes to sharing feelings or shouting declarations of love, which is maybe why things like that seem out of place to me. Fake, almost. But when my mom walked back into the reception area with a swollen cheek and gauze in her mouth, I drove her home. And when she asked me to stop by KFC so she could get some mashed potatoes and gravy, I happily obliged. Now that is love.

So screw you, little boy. And your little dolphin, too.

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