Although none of the kids really ride in it much anymore, we have an old, beat-down Chariot stroller that has seen better days. More often than not, it ferries around backpacks and picnics instead of children. It’s dinged up, dirty and usually at least 2 of 3 tires are flat.
On Hallowe’en night a few weeks ago, we took it with us for Trick or Treating to haul coats, blankets, tired kids and of course, beer. Because Trick or Treating in Pemberton without beer for weary parents is like Trick or Treating without candy for hyper kids. Walking the kids to school the following week, I’d noticed an empty Corona bottle left over in one of the back pouches but quickly forgot about it. I’ll toss it when I get home, I’d told myself.
This morning, Anja and I walked to her Nature Camp and I left the Chariot there, knowing I’d return at the end of the day to collect it, and her. Nothing unusual there, that old Chariot gets left in a lot of places.
As I walked down the path this afternoon, I heard her friends shriek “Anja, she’s HERE! HIDE IT! NO, SHOW HER!”
Isn’t that sweet, I thought. She must have made some nice craft for me. I felt all warm and fuzzy inside.
As she came peeling up the path towards me at full speed, I noticed something in her hand. Was that… could that be… Oh. My. God. My 4 year old is giving me back my own empty beer bottle. AWESOME. How quickly the warm and fuzzies get replaced by the shame and mortification.
But wait! It gets better.
“MAMA! Look! We found the beer bottle in the stroller and there’s a DEAD MOUSE IN IT!”
That’s right. A dead mouse.
I was torn between being totally and completely grossed out to being in awe of this 4 year old little blond sprite who thought it was the coolest discovery EVER.
“Mama! Look at his feet! Aren’t they cute? And look at the tail, it’s so long! How do you think it got in here?”
And on and on it went. Clutched in her lap, we had to take the empty Corona and it’s petrified contents to show her brothers and friends at school before we could properly dispose of it.
Amazingly, it didn’t take much to convince her to toss him when we got home (though she tipped the bottle over and tried to shake him out, first).
“That was such a fun show and tell, Mama.”
Shall I clear a spot off the mantle for my award?