Hannah just asked me if she could wash a window.
It’s the big window in the front of the house; the one that, when the curtains are opened, shows a good share of our living room, dining room and family room.
(It’s a big window, is my point.)
Seeing as how it’s been on my to-do list for a few months now, and either rain, snow or general laziness has prevented me from cleaning it properly from the outside, AND seeing how she was begging to help, I armed her with a bottle of Windex and some paper towels, and told her to have fun.
I failed to comprehend her after-school attire. (I was busy editing, and therefore, not paying close attention.) (I have no comment about all the other days I am distracted. You should have no comment, too.)
She was outside for several minutes, came in for more paper towels (I told you it’s been a few months…), yelled some friendly “Hello”s to passers-by, and chatted up the elderly woman who lives next door.
After the window had been “cleaned” to her satisfaction– which, if I’m being honest, is far less clean than it is smeary– she came in to perform the same task on the back patio doors.
It was then that I realized how she was dressed, and the twin feelings of panic and shame fought for victory in my soul. (Or maybe that’s just the baby– it’s hard to tell anymore with all the kicking it does.)
Imagine, if you will, a darling seven-year-old in a long, flannel nightgown (hot pink with monkeys gallivanting across it), hair bumpy from the pigtails she pulled out after walking through the door, draped in costume jewelry, wearing purple Belle socks and a pair of mint-green ballet flats pilfered from her mother’s closet (because, apparently, her own closet, a mere three feet away, was too far to travel to obtain appropriate footwear). Throw in the dirty paper towels and bottle of Windex, and you’ve got yourself a potential visit from Child Protective Services.
At the very least, you get disapproving looks from your neighbors.
I wonder how many batches of cookies it will require to make this all go away…