I truly don’t look for trouble, but sometimes trouble finds me, like a homing pigeon coming in for a landing.
It’s cold. People are bundled like Eskimos, so I ask you, why a 3 year-old is shivering in her stroller without mittens nor gloves while her babysitter, a young woman of color with nails the length of a bread stick, is on her phone talking a mile a minute in some Islandese while this little kid takes it like a trooper?
I can only guess it’s because she’s used to being cold and uncomfortable not yet realizing, she has rights.
Don’t worry honey, Norma Rae’s got this.
“Excuse me, “I say, remembering to pause and breathe deeply so I don’t kill her.
After reluctantly covering the phone with one of her well manicured mitts says, “Yayz’, what eez’ it?”
“Looks to me this baby is pretty cold. Doesn’t she have mittens?” Now the kid, who looks like a Dickens character in a pink parka, stares up at me knowing she now has a lawyer, or hit man, in her corner.
“She ez’ fon…and ahs on the phone, to Antigua?”
Yes, you’ve guessed it, Norma lost it.
“I DON’T CARE IF YOU’RE TALKING TO NEPTUNE. I ADVISE YOU TO GET OFF THAT PHONE NOW OR I’M CALLING CHILD SERVICES.”
Yes I know. If I may quote Abraham Lincoln, the bottom fell outta’ the tub.
To say she went off on me would not do the statement justice. Just then, on cue, two policemen come out of Starbucks.
“OFFICA’ THIS WHOH-MAN IS HARASSIN’ ME.”
Before I could suit up, one of the cops who, I’m now madly in love with says, “How come this kid isn’t dressed enough. It’s freezin’ out here?”
Did he already hear my altercation with her, or has the almighty interrupted his shopping to make a cameo?
“He bent down after handing his coffee to his partner to hold the little girl’s hands ever so gently before saying, ‘Where are her gloves? Her hands are ice cold.”
Now Nanny, who might be doin’ 5 to ten at the Women’s House of Detention knew she was in deep shit.
“We left quick…had to bring her brotha’ ta’ school. I fagot’ to take dem.”
“Where does this little one live because we’re takin’ her home.”
Despite my leanings to slug her, my heart opened to Nanny’s panic, who went from tribal leader to cleaning the hut without PASSING GO.
“Officer,” I purred, like I was 25 again, “maybe you can just drive them home with a warning and not, you know…
“Tell the baby’s mom her kid should have someone more responsible?”
Oh God did I love him, me and my libido that made a quick trip in from Miami.
I smiled as he still held onto the kid’s little fingers who was as enamored with him as I was, but alas, younger, so I knew I didn’t stand a chance.
I watched his partner put the stroller in the back of the police car while he held the little girl as if she were his own.
“Looks as if you’ve had experience,” I said, while Nanny stood by, bristling.
“Three, the oldest 11.”
I smiled, squeezing his arm hard as a rolling pin before he gave Nanny back her charge, not letting her forget for one second, who was in charge, as they drove away, leaving me without an ending.