We were sitting in our favorite sidewalk coffee house behind one double espresso (me) and one piece of pumpkin bread (Boobaby) when a woman got out of her car nearby. She was wearing an embroidered top of midnight blue, sparkly and with stringy beaded things dangling to midthigh. It was half-sari, half hippie, and so San Francisco that it was almost Taos.
Boo took one look and shouted, “Play dress up!”
Now, I thought that was pretty cute, but the sour look on the bespangled woman’s face clearly conveyed that she’d taken offense. And even though I don’t see how a grownup could feel insulted by a two-year old girl, I was embarrassed all the same, almost as if I’d said it myself, rather than just thinking it (as, to be honest, I was).
Walking around a few days later, we passed a man who looked pretty normal except for an enormous amount of hair sticking more or less straight up. He had that look of the frequent user of hair product who’d run out of his stash.
Boobaby’s loud reaction: “Funny man!”
Again, the adult’s reaction was stony, but this time instead of tucking my tail between my legs, I said, “Yeah? You think he likes to tell jokes?” The guy laughed and we went on our merry way.
So the easy problem is solved: when Boo makes her normal observations of others, I’ll just laugh good-naturedly. The hard part will come when Boo starts noticing traits that really oughtn’t be shouted out loud, like “Old lady!” or “Horrible 80s perm!” or “Man dressed like Elizabeth Taylor!” Then I’m really going to need to do some explaining…