31 October 2010

Childcraft set, $6
Op-shopping can be hazardous. There’s the mild kind of hazardous, such as the time I put my hand into the pocket of a pair of pre-loved jeans and pulled out a hanky that was stiff with someone else’s snot (vintage snot?) Then there’s the slightly more serious kind, such as the time a pile of books fell on my daughter’s head. I was reaching for a box of children’s encyclopedias on a top shelf, but unbeknownst to me, three of the volumes weren’t inside the box but were sitting horizontally on top. My then four-year-old was standing right next to me, and when I tipped the box forward the three volumes slid off and went plop, plop, plop onto her head; just like in a cartoon.

“Did your mama drop books on your head today?” her father said to her that night. And out of a sense of loyalty, or embarrassment, or a need to distance herself from the trauma of it all, she narrowed her eyes at him. “No,” she sniffed.

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