We got caught in a stream of West Ham football fans this past weekend at the Westfield mall in Stratford just as we were planning to go home. Rather than get bumped around, we took a detour to Foyles and parked ourselves in the children’s books section.
Your eyes lit up and you found your second wind, zipping around left and right, pointing this way and that at all the books you wanted.
After thirty minutes, the crowds had thinned out. “Okay, Baobao, let’s go ride the train and find Kili gou gou,” I said.
“Okay,” you said. Then you looked down at the one book you had not let go for the past twenty minutes. It was a variation of Julia Donaldson’s “Room on the Broom,” a book and short film you’ve binged on too many times to count. This book though had a noise button: WHOOOOSH *crazy witch cackle cackle cackle*.
“Come on, Baobao. Put the book back. Let’s go ride the train.”
“What? Why? Come on. You love the train.”
You looked down at your book and then back at me. “Please,” you squeaked, hugging the book while performing your happy feet dance.
Your mom and I looked at each other with wide eyes and half-smirks – that awkward face where we try to maintain the seriousness of the situation but feel overwhelmed with amusement.
“Check out,” you suggested.
“Baobao, how about we go find the book at the library? Don’t you want to ride the train?”
Unsure how to respond, your head drooped, tucking your chin into your chest.
Your mother picked up another copy of the book from the shelf and looked at it. “Well, the library probably doesn’t have a working one because all the batteries are always dead.”
“Please,” you said again.
This time I couldn’t hold back a full smile. “Okay okay. Check out.” This time, it only took two “please’s” to get what you want. I need to work on my parenting resolve.