I grew up on public assistance, and when I became an adult I swore up and down I'd never be dependent on the government again. But I'll do a lot of crazy things to make my baby's life better.
The most recent of those crazy things was standing in line for three hours yesterday at the Department of Health and Human Services to sign the Mimi up for the state-run health insurance program for children. (Because at least one member of our family should be able to get medical care without having to invoke EMTALA.)
Like an idiot, I had brought Shirley along with me in her stroller (and forgot to stuff knitting in my purse!) She fussed a bit, but otherwise was a trooper throughout the ordeal. So I told her that since she'd been a good girl, we' d go to the dollar store and she could pick out a new toy.
And she picked a 15" plastic Halloween cleaver! Not only does it probably glow in the dark and have a skull-shaped hilt, but it also is filled with fake blood that splashes around inside the blade. I tried repeatedly to turn Shirley's attention to other toys, but she would have none of it. I thought for a brief moment that I'd reached success with the pink furry cowboy hat that was just her size, but when I told her she could have it OR the knife, she tossed the hat on the floor and clutched the knife closer.
Next time, I think I'm going to be a lot more specific about what kind of toy she can have.