It never occurred to us that the waterpark would not open until ten in the morning so yesterday we found ourselves outside a locked door in our bathing suits trying to decide what to do for half an hour. Ultimately we waited and while we waited we were joined by another family who had apparently arrived early on purpose; the better to stake out prime slide-side real estate. Which, you know, go for it.
One of their children, a little girl of about seven, wandered around for a bit and then peered at Edward. She said, "Your face is really red."
I thought, I'm sorry, ok? I mean, o lord how long will I cry and thou wilt not hear? even cry out to thee of April Freshness and thou wilt not save! I just wanted my pillowcases to smell like Procter or maybe Gamble. Don't judge me!
Caroline, who had been sidling up to the bigger girl, no doubt about to introduce herself, heard this potentially negative assessment of Edward's appearance and stiffened.
You know, Caroline might spend her free time making sure that Edward knows his place is right next to her only just a leetle bit lower but she'll be damned if she's going to let anyone else chivvy him. He came with me to pick her up from Chinese school once and this kid leapt out at him from behind the door and roared. I suspect they had been talking about dragons. Anyway, as Edward jumped back Caroline flung herself at the kid, shouting "No! You're scaring him!" Then she put her arms around Edward and glared over his shoulder at her classmate.
"Don't even look at him!" she snapped.
The kid and I exchanged glances, like, whoa, hey, what's up with the crazy girl and he said something in Chinese and she said "Not good!" and then repeated 'not good' in Chinese. I mean, I think that's what she said. Boo, something.
So the child commented on Edward's rosy cheeks and Caroline said, with a deadly yet polite chill that would have done Miss Manners credit, "My brother is very sensitive. He has a very bad rash." Then she tilted her chin upwards and looked at the girl in a way that usually makes the rest of our family take a step back.
Just as I wondered if she was going to throw down the gauntlet in the form of an arm floatie, Edward chimed in.
"Yah," he said cheerfully. "I gotta bad rash but it's getting a yidduh better."
And he hoiked down his swimsuit, bent over and showed everyone his bottom.