It was July 3rd, an almost National Holiday, and my job that afternoon was to watch, hang out, and play with the six, seven, and eight year old girls before taking them on a boat ride that evening. They arrived at my building at precisely 1PM, and the entertainment began. After greeting Ron, the doorman, the two youngest cousins had a passionate discussion over who would get to push which buttons on the elevator to get to my condo.
Once the button pushing pecking order had been established, the chaos began in earnest. There was, of course, the struggle over who would insert the door key, then over who would get to ring the doorbell at least six times, and finally, who would turn and twist that key and turn the doorknob.
Once inside the condo, there was additional chaos as they discussed (for three seconds) who would get to explore the powder room and the bathroom first. They did their thing, grabbed a handful of dark chocolate, Hershey Kisses from my candy jar, and we returned to the elevator for our journey to lunch.
As we walked up the street, I thought it might be fun for them to visit the University bookstore which was only a block away. Unfortunately, I think they were a few years too early to completely appreciate this grown-up experience. The seven -year-old ran immediately to a clothing rack, and she picked out a cute, pink T-shirt with the school logo on it. Then she asked me how to pronounce what it said. When I told her that it said Duquesne. In a very loud and bellicose voice she declared, “I don’t want to wear anything with that word on cause I don’t know what it means!”
After looking at every single kid book in the store and examining every $44 Vera Bradley IPhone case, we decided that their purchase would be journals. Each girl would get a fancy notebook. We went to the fancy notebook section of the store where the two oldest cousins selected exactly the same book. That particular selection was made because these books had secret compartments in the back. The youngest one selected hers because she liked the colors on the cover.
We then decided they should go downstairs to the office supply section and each get a pen. This time all selections were made based on color, after which we proceeded to checkout. As we left the bookstore, they ran to a table outside, opened their journals and begin writing. That’s when the youngest one realized that she had purchased, not a journal, but a calendar. She sure as heck didn’t want a calendar. So we went inside and exchanged it for a notebook. Then she noticed that she had purchased a highlighter, but since she doesn’t write very much, it really didn’t seem to matter.
We walked another block down the street to a TGI Friday’s. The youngest girl made a bathroom stop, then another bathroom stop, and after that, another one. This time, though, she lingered for a long time, and we all began to worry a little, but neither of the other two girls were interested in checking on her because she had previously announced what her bathroom intentions were. This caused her cousin and sister to be fearful that they would be exposed to a potentially hazardous assault on their olfactory senses.
It was at that point that I went to the ladies room door and yelled for her to come out. She exited with a big smile on her face. I asked her two questions, “Did you do what you said? And did you wash your hands?” She laughed and replied, “Yes, Poppa, yes, I did both, but do you know why I was in there for so long?
I was in there because I was dancin!”
Ah, the simple pleasures of youth.