On beyond zebra!
Saturday May 15th 2010, 11:42 pm
Filed under: Life

A familiar scene: Costco, late Saturday afternoon.  In the fruit aisle. A dad trying not to buy the wrong box among the too-picked-over whatevers.  Distracted by two adorable little girls sitting seatbelted in his cart, ages about 2 1/2 and 4.

The girls were wearing identical dresses, their blonde curls brushed and carefully done up, cute as all get-out, and they were on the edge of being bored.  They were clearly well-loved kids.  They were being rambunctiously cheerful, in that way that experienced parents know will turn into tears instead in an instant on the part of the littler child fairly soon now if they kept that up at that rate.

The dad could see it coming, too.  He looked tired.  He tried to get them to calm down and hold a little more still, clearly wishing this shopping trip were over.  What they wanted, of course, was for him to stop and pay attention to them for a moment–many moments, hey, kids are kids–but his face was pleading that he had to buy these groceries and the store was closing in 15 and he just wanted to check out the apricots and actually look at them a moment first.  Okay?

Out came the handknitted fingerpuppets.  I apologized for butting into his space, basically, telling him I’d had four kids in six years; would they like these to play with?

His whole face changed in that instant.  He was thrilled.  I told him they were from a Peruvian women’s co-op.  He exclaimed, “That’s so cool!” turning them over and over in his hands, marveling at the details. Fingerpuppets!

I smiled and quickly got out of their way–last I saw, he was the one still playing with them in great delight, holding them out for his daughters to see.  But I came away thinking, that guy doesn’t know it, but his reaction just made it so I won’t forget to do that the next time.

Speaking of which, I need to go re-stock my purse.

11 Comments so far
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Fingerpuppets to the rescue again!

Comment by LynnM 05.16.10 @ 1:12 am

Appreciation is the best reward, isn’t it?

Comment by Channon 05.16.10 @ 6:07 am

You are so awesome! He will remember that for a long time to come and I bet those fingerpuppets will be a treasured part of their family.

Comment by Janet Kelley 05.16.10 @ 7:23 am

i think i love you!

Comment by Tola 05.16.10 @ 8:10 am

adults need toys too yanno! adorable

Comment by Carol 05.16.10 @ 8:20 am

It strikes me that one of your tricks is talking to the parent, not getting in the face of the kids. It probably makes both accept the offer more readily. Am I right?

Comment by twinsetellen 05.16.10 @ 9:40 am

Twinsetellen: yes. Absolutely. The parent is the one in charge of their child’s world and the one with the right to wave me away or welcome me in in my intrusion.

Comment by AlisonH 05.16.10 @ 10:41 am

Don’t know what I could say that hasn’t already been said — you really have a knack!

So how about a line of humor —

A mother was helping her five-year-old son review his math while her teenage daughter was in the kitchen fixing a snack. “You have seven dollars, and seven friends,” said the mother. “You give a dollar each to two of them but none to the others. What do you have left?” From the kitchen, the daughter called out, “Two friends.”

Comment by Don Meyer 05.16.10 @ 4:59 pm

As soon as I read Costco, I knew what was coming! I love your fingerpuppet stories.

Comment by karin maag-tanchak 05.16.10 @ 5:41 pm

What a great story – I’m smiling…how neat the dad was so delighted and still playing with them – enjoying them himself but, sharing a fun moment with his daughters – who, I’m sure, were just as or, even more, delighted…what a neat story! Thank you for sharing – with them – and with us – it made my day too. 🙂

Comment by Abby Baker 05.16.10 @ 8:50 pm


He’s going to be telling that story for the rest of his life, how he was rescued by an angel with finger-puppets in her purse.

Comment by GeekKnitter 05.17.10 @ 12:02 pm

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