Thursday is $0.99 bread day at our local used bread store. I have dreams of baking a fresh loaf of sourdough lovingly on a regular basis but reality and I can't find the time. So, Thursday is convenient. Lily also loves to go, pick out a box of fruit snacks, and eat a pack on the way home. It is a thing that we do together and we both enjoy the time. Me because its an easy trip with a 2.5 year old, her because of the fruit snacks.
Today while I was buying bagels and she was picking out a box of "apple" (mixed fruit) fruit snacks, a random older patron started commenting on Lily's rubber mud boots. It started out innocently enough, "I really like your mud boots, I remember playing in those when I was a kid." Lily is now running full tilt towards me with an arm full of fruit snacks and this woman bearing down with a cart full of white bread and doughnuts. Then she starts, "You probably don't play in them the way we did, kids these days spend all their time on the computer." Lily is now wrapped around my leg, still clutching her fruit snacks. The woman continues, talking over/through/at Lily and I to the cashier. "Remember tiddlywinks and jacks? Kids don't even know what to do with them anymore, you set them in front of them and they're like whats that give me a phone!" I held my tongue while I paid for my bagels and Lily's fruit snacks and we got out of there.
Maybe it's the decline in the amount of sleep one gets, even with a pretty agreeable newborn, but I have been a little more irritable recently. Lily has to be constantly reminded to take those boots off when coming in the house because they're always full of mud or sheep, chicken, dog or deer poop. She might see a screen for 2-10 minutes spaced through the day when she is looking as pictures/videos we have taken, Sir David Attenborough's 2 minute planet earth video where he recites "what a wonderful world" that she occasionally watches while brushing her teeth, and a well placed Old McDonald music video. To be fair, Lily doesn't know what tiddlywinks or jacks are. Her favorite toys are pinecones and rocks. She collects baskets of pinecones on our walks "mama pine cones, papa pine cones, baby pine cones and big girl pine cones." There are rocks in the refrigerator right now. If she wants to look at pictures on my phone and I take it, she's fine - no meltdowns. If I want that basket worth of pinecones spread across the living room floor, its like a hostage negotiation.
Now I myself am an old man at heart who thinks the youths are trouble and have always stared grouchily at any vehicle traveling too quickly past my home. I think of myself as a sort of back to the lander type. In reality I am attached to my phone to a fault and reflexively check it even when it does not prompt me. I spend a big part of my day staring at a screen. A lot of that time is spent researching and learning about things like sheep, chickens, car repair, building plans and sheep - did I mention sheep? There is also some mindless and unproductive time spent as well. I was angry in the used bread store because that woman who was complaining about her perception of my child was more accurately describing the adults in that store than Lily.
Unfazed and unoffended by the whole event she initiated a conversation on the way home that went something like this:
"Papa, what kind of fruit snacks did I get?"
"No, Apple. Papa can you say apple?"
"Can you say fruit snacks?"
"Can you say apple fruit snacks?"
"Apple fruit snacks"
Giggles, "I love you papa"
"I love you too pumpkin"
I think I would like to be a little more like Lily, less screens, more nature, less irritable and, of course, a weekly dose of fruit snacks.