the going rate for a cup of lemonade

I turned left onto our street this afternoon and saw what I often refer to as the "bike gang" riding in circles across from our house. I had Howard on and couldn't really hear what they were yelling at me, but it seemed quite important as they were throwing their arms up in the air and blocking my path. I cannot read lips, seriously I can't. When people mouth something to me they may has well announced to the world that they are sharing a secret or perhaps bashing someone/thing. What could I do but turn the radio off and slam on my brakes, adrenaline pumping through my body. What was so important? They were saying "Lemonade" at the top of their lungs. Seriously? Lemonade.

I brought my stuff inside, retrieved the baby, and thought, you know what - Sick Steve could probably use some of that lemonade. I grabbed a single out of my wallet, I let Caro carry it (which she loves, she eyes it, grabs it with her LEFT hand and then shifts her body so she can get her right hand on it too), and we walked over to check out the merch.

As I approached the "stand" (a card table covered in various items including a county time lemonade container, a pitcher of lemonade, and an "ice bucket" - really a huge mug that read "Chug It,") there were I kid you not, a dozen kids of various sizes, shapes, and ages milling about. I heard one of them say "that lady is coming." Ok, since when did I become old enough for pre-teens to call "that lady?" Isn't that term referred to the mean ladies in the neighborhood who watch you from their window through barely parted curtains, waiting for you to step on their lawn so they can turn the sprinkler on you???

I had Caroline hand them the single after they announced that the going rate for a cup of lemonade was a quarter. Feeling generous, despite the fact that they stopped my passage to my house and made me so nervous that I thought one of their friends was in fact choking to death on the lemonade stirring spoon, I told them to keep the change.

As we walked away a little boy told the rest of the group that earlier another LADY had given them SEVEN dollars for a glass of lemonade. SEVEN BUCKS? I mean really? and I thought I was being generous? Guess not. I guess the going rate of lemonade actually has nothing to do with how much the stated amount is?

Hope the little bike gang enjoyed their last two days of summer. I have to be nice, though because I am hopeful that I can pay them less than the going rate to shovel me out come winter.

In school related news, I had an icky moment when I dropped Caro off at school on Tuesday. I am still kind of wrestling with it. To set the scene, as you walk into school you walk by the office at your immediate right and then you hit a long "hallway" with open "classrooms" along the right, storage and kiddy sized restrooms on the left. We are in the 5th room, so we walk by several other classes before we get to Caroline's. Typically I am greeted with smiles and good mornings by all the staff members, but I also get to peek into their rooms and see not only what the kids are doing, but how they are doing re crying, being held, etc while their mommies and daddies are not watching. GENERALLY, I would have to say that staff are being appropriately responsive. On this particular day though one of the teachers was filling out an attendance form at the wall while one of the kids was crying. She said, "If you stop crying you can go home" and LAUGHED this evil little snickerish laugh. Then she looked up and saw me and just did this oh $hit expression. I shook my head a little, but I was stunned and really sad for that little girl. I placed Caroline without incident in the open and warm arms of her teacher, but I am still thinking about that other EVIL teacher and I still wonder if I should have said something to her, to the director, to anyone. Like I said, this seems like an isolated incident, but WHY oh WHY do I only have the guts to voice my concerns here and not in the moment, if I even should have? So if I see something like this happening again, how is a girl to respond?


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