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A Manner of Speaking Mar/Apr '95

by Bonnie Neugebauer
March/April 1995
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/a-manner-of-speaking/5010262/

Standing in line at the convenience store, mind wandering, I was brought back to the moment by a young female voice behind me. "You want those chips? They look good, don't they? So you think you deserve those chips? Well, I don't think so, not the way you've been acting today."

We shifted from one foot to the other, not turning to look, uncomfortable, hoping. There was a quiet shuffling, then her voice again, "I'm just going to leave you right here by yourself. Some stranger will come and take you away, and you'll never see me or your Granny or Papa again. That's what I'm going to do!" No one moved. Frozen.

And then they left, scuffling, aisle to door. "Well, you'll never get those chips now." Three year old eyes focused on the chip display. "I was going to buy them for you. But not now. Not when you behave like this." The door squeezed cold air behind them.

Silence. No eyes connected. The line moved uncomfortably forward, and we made our individual escapes.

I can hear your indignant accusations. You're right. I didn't ...

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