Bottle

by Marinka on June 16, 2009

When the kids were little, some days my mother would pick them up from school. The best was when she would talk to the other parents and report back to me. Because she never remembered anyone’s name, her reporting back was always really fun.

Like:

“So the thin one that always smells of alcohol is hosting a party-” and “The G-string Showing From Pants is upset about the new math program–“

One day, however, she was very agitated when I got home.
“Hair In Pigtails wants to stuff Young Ladrinka into a bottle,” she told me.
“What do you mean, stuff him into a bottle?” I asked. Young Ladrinka was four at the time, much too young to be a Genie.
“That’s what she said in a bottle. You need to watch her.”
Now, I’m one of those people who has enough going on without watching other parents for signs that they want to preserve my children.
“Hey,” I told Pigtails the next time I saw her, when she was Headband. “This is slightly awkward, but did you talk to my mama about Young Ladrinka?”
“What about him?” she asked.
“Oh, you know. Kids. Bottles.”
“BOTTLES?” she asked. “He still drinks from a bottle?”
“Of course not!” I stomped that rumor right out. “Did you say anything about bottles to my mother?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” she said and looked at me like I was the weirdo. Or maybe she was sizing me up to bottle me up as well.
The following week, mama had a recurrence.

“Unfortunate Bangs is at it again,” she told me. “She wants him in that bottle.”
“For crying out loud,” I protested.
“You always look for good in people,” mama said.
Of all my personality flaws, always seeing the good in people isn’t in the top 5,000. But the next time mama went to the school to pick up Young Ladrinka, I tagged along.
“Hi!!” Suddenly Redhead waved to mama and smiled at me.
Mama nodded curtly. “Hi!” I squealed, for no apparent reason. Young Ladrinka grunted.
“Oh look at him,” Red said. “I keep telling your mother, you should bottle this kid’s looks. He’s going to be a heart breaker.”
“I told you!” mama said. “Bottle.”
Yes. Bottle.
Fucking English.

One year ago ...

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