Antiseptic Scrub, please.
Suffered a nasty start to my day, at our local coffee shop. I had arranged the boys (Harry, Hunter, George, and Darcy) on a curved bench in a corner, pulled a chair to the other side of the small round table, and we were set for a happy half-hour of conversation and snack, me with my coffee, they with their bagels and cheese, before heading off to the park. The boys are adorable, chattering at reasonable volume, remembering their pleases and thank-you's, being just about as sweet as it is possible for a three-year-old to be. Which is plenty sweet! Sitting as we are by the front door, several people stop to comment on the children, or exchange simple pleasantries with them. A grandfatherly type is sitting at an adjacent table. Fifteen minutes or so after our arrival, he rises to leave. Looking at me, he chuckles, "That's quite the crew of boyfriends you've got there." It's hokey, but he's of a generation that talked like that, and I've been raised to be respectful to the elderly, so I smile. Even as I open my mouth to respond, however, he continues, "Don't you think you should pick someone closer your own age?" My smile falters a bit at that, for by my standards he's veering into the realm of questionable taste, and it felt just a little barbed, but he's still chuckling, so I try to respond lightly, going along with his feeble joke, humouring him until he goes away. "I'm rather partial to three-year-olds," I say with a grin. He's on his way out the door. This uncomfortable exchange won't last much longer. He's not done with me yet, though, and he tosses this last at me as he pulls the door open. "Well, you can still abuse them." Pause. "Or beat them up." My stomach contracts with shock and utter disgust. "I don't think I'll do either, thanks!" I call after him, with some savagery, but he's already passed through the door and probably has not heard me. Yuk. Yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk. It took a good two hours in the autumn sunshine to wash the taint of that exchange from my soul.