"Not here!" I hiss, looking around the room, which is strewn with colorful plastic toys and parenting magazines. She looks at me with the slightly bored expression that so perfectly complements the smoky blue accent line she has drawn under her lower lashes.
"Stop," I repeat. "What?" she says.
"You may as well take that eyeliner and scrawl "bad mommy" across my forehead," I say.
I snatch the eyeliner away and put it back in my purse. Because I am a hypocrite. Also, it is my favorite eyeliner.
A few minutes later she is sitting on the floor happily playing with a yellow plastic dump truck. Ten minutes after that I am trying to make a decision about whether to have her vaccinated against a sexually transmitted virus. Which seems dramatically premature to the mother of the little girl playing with the toy truck. The mother of the fifth-grader wearing eyeliner, on the other hand, had better have her ducks in a row.
* * *
"Oh honey," the mother said, sizing up my miniature flapper in her black fringed minidress, sequined headband and rolled stockings. "You've got yourself a ho." - essayist and author Ayelet Waldman, writing on NPR.org