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Monday, February 24, 2014

The Conversation at the Post Office

I don't often have time to go on wacky adventures with my kids anymore. We're all busy, unlike the lazy and horrific days of yore when I had to spend all day walking them two miles to the library and two miles back because they were babies and I didn't have a car, or a life, or any friends. So, if you were wondering why I hadn't posted any adventures, lately, that is (thankfully) why.

Anyway, that ended today when we went to mail out our Valentines.

But it's February 24th, you say. Why on Earth are you sending out Valentines now?

Answer: I made the tragic mistake of putting one flat lollipop in each envelope.

Before February 14th, we all piled in the car and went to the postal shop right near our house. The crusty postal worker there (who has known me for four years now, and still can hardly crack a smile most days) told us they were too thick to be considered regular mail, and we'd need an extra 20-cent stamp on each.

But they didn't have any 20-cent stamps and they weren't scheduled to get any in apparently ever. So I took my Vcards back (haha), and kept them in my car for two weeks, like any normal person would do.

Today, however, I had to go to the bank anyway, so I thought, 'let's find that elusive real post office and mail these suckers.'


First of all, I looked online, and the first link I tried for an address sent me via GPS to a Dairy Queen. Awesome.

The second link I pick gave me a real post office, but it was all the way across town. I spent an hour trying to get to a post office. With my tired, just-got-out-of-school-and-haven't-eaten-yet kids. They performed admirably under the stress.

When we finally got there, there were a lot of empty spaces in the front, so I looped around to get to one...and found myself behind the longest stream of cars ever (which appeared out of nowhere!). By the time we snuck in, all the empty front spots were taken. I took a spot in the back. And we got in the loooong line. Right behind a police officer. Which is where our story really begins.

For a while, the girls amuse themselves with just me, but soon enough they tire of that and begin taking in the world around them. Almost immediately, Dulce asks: "Mama, is that a--"

"Yes, it is." I cut her off. I knew what she was going to say. "That's a police officer."

Not willing to be foiled, however, she pushes forward. "Is that a cop?"

Grimace. "Yes, but it's more polite to call them police officers." (At this point, he's staring at us.) I continue. "You can also talk to him, you know. He's standing right there. It's rude to talk about people loudly who are right in front of you." He nods in a kind and goofy way. (Thank God.)

Dulce is not going to let this go. "I thought they were called cops."

I just shake my head.

We spend a few blessed minutes in silence before Dulce gets braver. She walks closer to him. "Excuse me?"

"Yes?" he answers.

"What's that on your belt?" And we go through all the radios and guns and tools he's got on his belt. And I have to sternly say, DO NOT TOUCH THAT GUN to them in a post office. Grand.

Then Natalina gets involved. "Excuse me?"


"Is jail real?"

(Remember there are like 50 people in line. All of them are laughing at this point.)

"Yes," he says. "So make sure you never go there."

She nods seriously, and takes a few moments to contemplate her future decisions. Then...

"Excuse me?"


"Are you in charge of jail?"

"No, I just take people to jail."

"You took someone to jail?"


"What was his name?"

"I don't remember. There have been a lot of them."

Her eyes widen.

"Why do you keep putting people in jail? You look nice."

Then it was the officer's turn up at the counter, and he made his exit.

I called out thank you to him, and wondered if I should tell him he got off easy. The other night the girls had asked a man with long hair and a bit of a belly if he was going to have a baby.

Five is a loud age, guys.


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