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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

The line at the post office today was no shorter than it was yesterday, but the people in line looked a little friendlier (and I had a little more time to spend), so I waited for my package. I knew it was an early birthday present, and I knew it would be something I'd like because I knew who it was from. I didn't want to wait another day for it.

It took forever, of course, to get to the front of the line. Nobody in that office is in any particular hurry. One time in all the years I've been going there I heard a clerk at the window ask someone in the back to come out and help. Mostly they just try to take as much time with each customer as they possibly can, maybe to see how long the line can get before people start grumbling.

There wasn't any grumbling that I heard today. It might have been because of the three small children that were in line with us. (With their mothers, actually.) All three were charming and friendly and in good moods. They definitely kept me entertained.

One little girl was Michelle. I know that was because her mom had to keep calling her to come back inside. Michelle couldn't have been two years old yet, and she was tiny and delicate-looking, but her mother didn't seem to have any worries about her. She smiled the whole time she was calling, "Michelle! Michelle!"

If I'd been standing in the doorway, I would have probably tried to keep her from getting out, instead of stepping aside as the woman who was standing there did. I wouldn't have chased her, though. That's her mom's job.

Finally when they got to the window Michelle's mother had to run out into the lobby and carry her back inside. While she was holding her, Michelle played with the pen and managed to wrap the cord around her mother's arm. It took her a while to get untangled and leave, but it was fun to watch.

There was another little girl about the same age, in her mother's arms. This mom wouldn't even think of putting her daughter down on the ground and letting her wander among the strangers. And they were both very happy with the arrangement. They talked to each other constantly (Mom talked and the baby repeated), laughing the whole time.

Finally, there was one little boy, Anthony, who might have been three, or nearly. He could have roamed around if he'd wanted to, but he stayed tied by an invisible tether to his mother's side. That's probably because she was holding a bag of chips, and every time he'd say "Frito" she'd give him one. He was intensely interested in the two little girls, but he'd just tentatively walk toward them and stare, then run back to mom.

She didn't have to call out to him or rein him in. I only know his name because when she was finished at the window, she said, "Come on, Anthony, it's time to go." She probably took him home and gave him a healthy lunch.

21 March 2004

Looking south from the northwest corner of the house.

Somehow, with all this activity, it didn't seem like half an hour that I waited in line. It was, though, at least. I'm glad I decided to do it today, because I'm sure yesterday's floor show couldn't have been as amusing.

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I really thought I'd get a chance to go over this week's video assignment one more time today, but what with payroll and a late flurry of pointless phone calls (and a 45-minute nap in the middle of the afternoon, shhh, don't tell), it just didn't happen. I had my homework done, but I would have liked a little more review before class.

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