There were two mondo-cool push-cars at the playground today. I won’t rehash why I think that mondo-cool stuff doesn’t belong at the playground because I want to brag about my daughter’s almost mondo-cool way of handling it.
Boobaby really wanted a turn on a push-car. Even two months ago that would have meant she’d have simply snatched the thing, shoving aside any tiny four-year olds that got in her way. (Boo is big.)
Today, though, she tried a new strategy. She squatted got down to the other kid’s level (Boo is tall, too), gently laid her hand on the driver’s shoulder, and said in a high voice, barely above a whisper, “Can I share a turn now? OK. OK.”
Obviously, the answer was no way, thank you, you can’t “share a turn,” and the driver quickly scooted off. Boo chased her down and stated her case a little more clearly. This time, Boo put one hand on the back of the girl’s neck, the other on her shoulder, their noses about an inch away. This time the plea was even quieter, a murmured sweet nothing: “Can I share a turn? Share a turn now?”
At first I thought, “Oh, how cute! She’s being really gentle asking for a turn!”
Then I remembered that scene from The Godfather where some don gives some capo the “kiss of death”:
I had been trying to let the tribe sort out their own affairs, but suddenly I panicked. A hug can quickly turn into something horrible. So, finally, I stepped in and negotiated a settlement by which Boo got to ride on the back of the seat while the driver scooted off.
You’ll say I should have let the kids work it out on their own. And Boobaby probably would have continued her adorably plaintive begging. I really can’t excuse my intervention except to say this: the image of a horse’s head under a Dora the Explorer comforter scared me to death.