Lauren is the kid in the class everybody likes. I can't say I truly understand what constitutes popular at age 4. This was what the teachers told us way back when she was a toddler in daycare - the other kids just like her - her peers, the older kids. Anyway, I'm not complaining...it's certainly better than the alternative.
And so, this wasn't the first time I have been approached by a fellow parent in a store, child tagging behind, with an awed whisper, "It's Lauren!" But this time, it was in the Target a couple towns away, in the art supply aisle. Classmate's dad appeared to be by himself. He looked at me vaguely, trying to place where he knew me. Looked at Lauren.
"Hey," I said.
"Our kids are in the same class..." he exclaimed.
"Mine is Nicole."
"This is Lauren." I replied. Lauren looked at me. "He's Nicole's dad."
"Oh..." she said. "Hi, Nicole's dad."
"Wow...This is Lauren?! Oh my goodness. Nicole is always talking about Lauren."
I chuckled. "Yes, they must be friends at school. Lauren talks about Nicole too."
"Wow. I have to go get her..." He returned a couple minutes later with Nicole, who had been admiring princess dresses a couple aisles away with her grandmother.
So we admired princess dresses with Nicole for a while, and then Lauren and I had one of our conversations that went like this:
"K. We're going to have to finish up our shopping so we can head home. I don't want to have to drive in the snow."
"Well, you know, Lauren, when you can actually drive the car, that will be a relevant offer, but right now, it's not. We're going in a couple of minutes."
"When I'm sixteen, I can drive..."
"True. But that isn't going to help me this afternoon."
Classmate's dad alternated between looking surprised and amused by this exchange.