We are walking to the park.
“I have polka-dot boots!” Poppy speaks mostly in highly-enthused declaratives. “I have polka-dot boots, and polka-dots on my pants! And Jazz has polka-dots on her coat!”
Jazz and Poppy are equally delighted by this revelation. Which is true. Poppy has the World’s Cutest Boots, black with large white dots, and trimmed with a bright pink bow. Truly adorable. Her pants are white, with multiple pastel-coloured dots in varying sizes. Cute, too. Jazz’s coat is more muted: pale pink with smallish polka-dots in tones of white through grey.
“Oh! ROSIE has polka-dots!” Poppy has had to look a bit harder for Rosie’s dots, but there they are, on her socks, visible in a thin band between pants and shoes as her feet peep out from the stroller. (Rosie does not care one bit about dots, nor does she notice the careful examination of the other children. Rosie has a fallen leaf. Rosie is happy.)
Daniel cares about dots. “I has dots!” he declares, excited to be joining in. We all look at him, a little blank. Plain blue knit hat, dark red jacket with white stripes along the pockets, jeans, orange shoes. But even as Jazz inhales for her hearty denunciation of his delusion, Daniel proudly points to his new runners. Runners which, unlike every pair of shoes he was worn in his short life, do not have velcro. Today, for the first time, LACES! With holes in the shoes to thread the laces through! And those holes? Are ROUND! Round like POLKA-DOTS!!!
To their credit, the girls let this pass. Daniel has polka-dots on his new shoes. COOL!
All eyes are now on Grace. Oh, dear. Poor Grace does not have polka-dots. From the top of her head to the tip of her toe, there is not a polka-dot, nor even a polka-dot approximation. We all pause to take in the pathos of this lack. Then Jazz’s face brightens. “But you have doggies, Grace!” It’s true. Her coat is a visual cacophany of largish dog silhouettes — Scotties, I’d say — in tones of white, grey and blue on a pink background.
We are all very pleased for Grace.
Now, it seems, it’s my turn. Jazz looks me up and down. Red cable-knit sweater hangs loosely down around jean-clad hips, pink runners enclose black socks. No polka-dots. (Apparently the grommets in my shoes do not count.) No doggies. No patterns at all. (Cable knit, it seems, does not count, either.)
Jazz looks me up and down, then makes her declaration, her face matter-of-fact:
“Your clothes are boring, Mary!”
Her tone is mildly pitying. Poor, poor Mary, so sartorially impoverished.
I think I need to get me some polka-dots.