Posted by Duff

A couple of days ago, my husband made the (optimistic) mistake of taking a rambunctious two-year-old to a clothing store. Without a stroller.

The days are getting cooler, The Dervish is getting bigger, and she needed a new coat immediately.

It didn’t go well. The Dervish mentioned she would have preferred to go to the library, and unzipped and freed herself from the coat she was wearing (that my husband was holding onto since she wouldn’t hold hands) and dove under clothing racks while her father searched quite desperately for her size. Other shoppers, especially those without children (or at least those smart enough to shop without children if they did have them), did not appreciate her energy.

I am certain that we have both judged parents of out of control toddlers before. Karmically, I recommend not doing this.

He found her size, but she wouldn’t try it on. But he was spent. She’s not a hang-by-your-side-in-public kind of girl, even if she’s chained to your leg when it’s your turn to go potty. So he went to pay.

As he held her, shrieking, and fumbled for his wallet, she peppered his face with a series of surprisingly targeted blows. The woman in front of him noticed, but took that opportunity to discuss the virtues of a piece of clothing (that she might or might not buy at some point but not this moment) with the cashier.

“I’ve really been enjoying this blend,” she said matter-of-factly, as The Dervish had an Exorcist moment just behind her.

When they made it to the car,  my husband called his best friend,  a father of three. He received no words of wisdom, and told me he drove to the supermarket with tears in his eyes, frustrated that as kind as we are to her, we could have a child so angry with us. I have known this man for six years. He has only cried once, when our dog died.

It is still hard for both of us to accept that she is as Dervish as she is.

There are countless Dervish qualities that are positively exquisite and leave us feeling so blessed that it is easy to laugh (after the fact) at the sheer force of her will. She has amazing focus. She loves so purely and so completely, it takes our breath away.

It’s just that she disapproves just as deeply.

She lives each day like it’s a pile of leaves to be jumped in. As long as she doesn’t have to wear gloves.

My husband tried to take the tags off the new coat last night, and I stopped him. “Let’s wait until she’s willing to at least try it on.” I said.

We tried twice more to no avail. The tags remain.