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     “Mine!” is what she screamed and mine is what she meant, banshee was bound and determined, one might even say hell bent. Just a little wisp of a girl at a table next to me, Mommy and Daddy admonished her but not too forcefully.

     “That man won’t take your popcorn, Lilly,” said Mom to the pixie blonde, ears suffered a piercing scream when little Lilly did respond. With her sixty-six word vocabulary she was having devil of a time; using words to tell me that what sat before her was only hers, not mine.

   Little Lilly’s tiny sis was perched up on the table asleep in her car carrier, enjoying catatonic bliss. My darling companion asked, “How old’s your baby girl?” Little Lily held up two fingers, Mom smiled and demurred.

     “She turned five months last week,” Mom said with smile and a nod. (I could not help but wonder if Lilly was taking the change awful hard.) Lily scooched toward me, bridged the gap on bench we shared then kicked me with her foot as she skedaddled away from there.

     I turned my head toward Lilly, Mom said, “Leave the man alone.” Lilly proceeded to climb off the bench and round the restaurant roam. She ran down the aisle, past a table or two, Daddy called his angel back and that’s when she kicked me anew.

    It was then I looked at Lilly with my mouth open quite wide, I donned a tearful continence and feigned a damaged cry. “Lilly, that one was on purpose; why are you kicking me?” Gave an upstage wink to Lilly’s folks who seemed as abashed as they could be.

     Mom reacted with apparent horror, though this too may have been faked, I allowed my eyes to fill with tears to illustrate the little tyke’s mistakes. “It’s okay,” I said with catchy throat, “I’m not badly hurt,” I added a small gasping breath to create the scene Lilly had earned.

     I was not feeling angry, rather I was feeling sad; Lilly was struggling with her world and I was bulls eye for her mad. I could have ignored the situation, I could have given in and moved; I did not view those as proper options for what our tableau ensued.

     Mom urged Lilly to say sorry a prompt she did resist I was deep in character and my tears did drip. Couldn’t look at Lilly lest I turn the jig from down to up; that little spoiled child on popcorn continued to sup.

     She threw her plate upon the floor, made a mess right then and there, Mom and Dad urged her to please stop but Lilly just laughed and stared. Nothing like socialization to teach a child wrong from right; guess I should count myself lucky that little Lilly did not bite.

     The little yuppie family left a mess in their wake, not sure if Lilly was more tornado or a 5.5 earthquake. All I know is that my lunch was an affair filled with drama and if I see Lilly’s family again I’m gonna run for cover.

     “I got mine, forget you guys,” emblazoned on their family crest; I guess they figured the custodian would come and clean their mess? The world on its axis is spinning but evolving we are not; for the rest of our lives we’ll deal with what these folks have wrought.

     “Mine!” is what she screamed and mine is what she meant, banshee was bound and determined, one might even say hell bent. Just a little wisp of a girl at a table next to me, Mommy and Daddy admonished her but not too forcefully.

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