At Mass this morning, we sat behind a family of four: Dad, Mom, a boy who looked to be about eleven and a little girl of four.
At first glance, the little girl didn't appear to be the spawn of hell. She had brown hair that was arranged in a short bob with bangs, a cute little outfit and pink boots. Her tongue was not forked and she didn't have a pointy tail protruding from the seat of her pants. The pink boots were made to fit normal human feet, not cloven hooves. But all normalcy ended right there. Because from the opening bar of the processional hymn, this kid acted like a goblin. Or maybe like her oatmeal had been sprinkled with crack.
The things she did were too numerous to mention, but two stood out in my mind in particular. The first was the way she snaked her skinny little arm behind her mother's back while we were standing to say the Nicene Creed. The child reached over and grabbed a bit of skin on her brother's side and pinched the living snot out of him, causing him to writhe in surprise and pain.
"OUCH!" he hissed indignantly, casting a Death Glare on his sister and appealing to his mother for justice. "She PINCHED me! Really HARD!" The girl smirked at him.
The mother, harrassed beyond all knowing, grabbed her little hellspawn by the upper arm and plonked her down on the seat and threateningly whispered, "You had better STOPPIT and I mean RIGHT NOW."
The child shrugged, completely indifferent to her mother's command, and sat there biding her time through the Mass until we stood to say the Prayer of the Faithful a few moments later. When her mom got to her feet, the little girl formed her hand into the "blade" shape favored by cheerleaders and abruptly shoved it nearly wrist deep up into her mother's butt crack. And I'm not talking about the upper butt crack, either. I'm talking about the nether region -- right there by the exit ramp, if I can be so delicate.
The mother, to her credit, did not yelp wildly and project herself onto a light fixture. Oh, she jumped, all right. She jumped good and proper. And she may have gasped, but I didn't hear it if she did because I was too busy trying to stifle the sudden urge to erupt in peals of helpless, horrifed giggles. I did not want that poor mother to hear me, adding to her possible embarrassment. But the sight of a little girl plunging her hand into her mother's rear is not something you expect to see happening right before your eyes on any given day.
Acting with admirable self-restraint, the woman reached behind her and removed her offspring's hand from between her clenched buttocks while simultaneously fixing the child with a look that would have melted the hair off any normal four-year-old. The kid, impervious, smiled smugly. The mother, in that manner parents have of communicating with their spouses using on the eyes, looked over at her husband and silently conveyed the fact that she was mere seconds from homocide. The father took his daughter by her (other) hand and led her out, presumably to hold her by the ankles and dip her into a holy water font like a big tea bag.
I hope he doesn't turn his back on her, I thought. And had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from exploding.
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