My family and I had a very eventful week. One of those events included going to the Nashville Zoo for the first time, so of course Kara’s grandma had to get her a souvenir (or two… or three). One of the souvenirs Kara picked out herself was a colorful rubber caterpillar. It’s very bright and very stretchy—an irresistible combination, apparently.
And not just to my Kara.
On the way home from Nashville, we stopped at a Chipotle (AH-mazing). At this point, Kara was anything but a champ, so when Steve and I realized we would not be able to keep her happy in the store, he decided to walk around outside while I ate and then we’d switch. He got up with Kara and left, leaving her caterpillar in his seat. I hadn’t been eating long when I saw a little blonde head beeline to Steve’s empty seat. She picked up the caterpillar and I said something clever along the lines of, “Uh, honey? Whatcha doin’?”
The little girl looked up at me. “What’s this?”
“That’s my baby’s toy.”
“Where’s your baby?”
“She’s outside with her daddy.”
The little girl put the caterpillar back on the seat but didn’t go anywhere. Then her mother walked by and she held it up to show it off. And the mother who had a baby in her arms and was out by herself with her kids said something along the lines of, “That’s nice, put it back.” So the girl put the toy back on the seat and then, as soon as her mother’s back was turned, she swiped it up quick as a thought and hid it behind her back. Unfortunately for her and fortunately for me, her back was facing me. I chased after her, stood in front of her so she had to stop, and gently took the caterpillar away from her. The mother saw what her girl had done and was absolutely mortified and so apologetic. I made sure she knew I knew it wasn’t her fault, and the whole time I was just dreading what kinds of things Kara will do to embarrass me when she’s that age.
In the meantime, Kara will never know how close she was to losing her beloved caterpillar, and there’s no harm done.