Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chance Encounters

Emmie turned me onto this interview with Kazuo Ishiguro yesterday, which proved to be wonderful lunch hour reading. In it, I ran across the following tidbit:
In many ways, children grow up in a bubble. We try to maintain that bubble—quite properly, I think. We shield them from unpleasant news. We do this so thoroughly that if you walk around with a small child, strangers you meet enter into the conspiracy.
... which reminded me of an exchange I had with some people at the Costo the other day, right before lunch. I was cruising down the dairy aisle, trying to find a wholesale-sized log of cream cheese (I was about to make a couple of cheesecakes for Emmie's birthday). In that same aisle was a man with two little kids in his cart, and I heard him say to them, as part of a longer narrative I did not catch, that I ("that woman over there") wanted to "eat them."

I didn't respond, but I was amused. My own kid (who, shockingly enough, no longer rides in my grocery cart), lived a rich fantasy life when she was little, and constantly demanded/provided a narrative to her days.

...but back to the present, at the Costco... the older kid, a little girl who was maybe 4-ish, was arguing with her father, not believing him. She turned and (yay for bold kids!) asked me, "do you want to eat children?" And I answered, even as her father was steering his cart away, "well, I am pretty hungry!"

I could hear that the conversation was continuing as we parted ways.

5 comments:

smokieslight said...

This story reminded me of an incident a coworker of mine had in a store one day with his young son. He had taught his son that if a strange man ever picked him up and tried to take him away, to start kicking and screaming,"This is not my daddy!".

One day he and his son were in a store and the boy wanted some toys. His dad scolded him and wouldn't buy them so the boy started crying and threw a tantrum. He picked the boy up to take him out to the car, and as they were walking out the store the boy started kicking and screaming, "This is not my daddy..this is not my daddy!!".

They learn so fast.

alice said...

Yikes! We they permitted to leave the store?

smokieslight said...

This happened many years ago. I believe he made it to his car or I'm sure he would have told me that he was detained.

Keera Ann Fox said...

See, I like to conspire with the kids, so if a 4-year-old asked me that, I'd answer, "No, I eat only grown-ups." ;-)

alice said...

Ha!!! So many possible responses... at least we all go along.