At the bus stop, I give Charlie a stern talking to, you know the kind that is almost as much for the benefit of the other parents who are eavesdropping as it is for your child? Have you ever had one of those moments where you're scolding your kid in front of other parents and you can hear yourself sounding all weird and phony, like you're playing the part of a parent scolding a kid in a high school play? I actually asked Charlie to call me ma'am at some point during this little harangue at the bus stop, like we were filming an episode of the Andy Griffith Show all of the sudden.
So, Emma gets on the bus and we wave goodbye to her as though her battalion is shipping out for war. Do battalions ship out? Hmmm...will probably have to rethink that simile at some point. Anyway, we wave goodbye to Emma and then Teddy, Charlie and I turn around to scooter and stroller back home.
I'm talking to one of my neighbors while Charlie scooters a few yards ahead of me. "How was your trip to Illinois?" I ask. "Was it colder there than it is here?"
"Oh, Illinois is always about ten degrees colder than it is here," she says.
"I went to graduate school in Chicago," I say. "But I can't really remember how cold it was in relation to here."
"Oh, well, if you lived in Chicago, then you know how cold it is," she says. "You know, because of the--"
I look up and Charlie has just body-slammed a parked BMW. I was too deep into my is-Illinois-colder-than-here discussion and missed the fact that Charlie was scootering and looking at the ground instead of ahead of him (as he is wont to do) and smacked right into a parked car. And the most ridiculous part is that he was going UPHILL.
Is it bad that my first reaction was to laugh? Then my second reaction was to inspect the BMW. Then I asked Charlie "Are you kidding me?"
You'll be glad to know that Charlie emerged from the incident unscathed and is happily punching holes in paper next to me as I write this (don't ask me why he's doing this). However, Charlie will not be riding a scooter or anything else to the bus stop for a long time. And he will never be allowed to drive a car. Ever.