The little girl, with long locks of
strawberry blonde, bolted from one side of the boutique to the other, laughing
boisterously. She weaved in and out of the display shelves that had been
meticulously stacked with the latest spring trends. The satin swept her rosy
cheeks as she slipped through the rack of red pencil skirts to hide in the
harbor of hangers holding the boutique’s newest arrivals.

“Are you hiding in there?” her half
attentive mother asked, giving the child just enough attention to elicit a loud
squeal of laughter affirming her undercover presence.

The child quickly moved to the middle of
the floor where a large, full-length mirror stood so customers could evaluate
whether a wide of more narrow-brimmed hat better complimented their chosen
spring attire. The giddy girl placed her grubby hands on the reflecting glass
before squishing her nose and face against the foggy haze she had created with
her giggling breath. She stuck out her tongue and licked a line through the fog
so she could see her playful face a bit more clearly.

Horrified, the boutique owner watched the
mirror-licking child while her mother browsed, seemingly oblivious to the new taste
bud cleaning technique her child employed by the looking glass. Before the
owner could even approach the spit dripping mirror and child in the center of the
boutique, the little girl began gallivanting back toward the summer sandals
that sat on individual shelves showcasing each style’s unique design.

“How do you like our new styles for the
season?” the owner asked the lady who looked admiringly at a sundress that
draped from the hanger she held at her shoulders.

“Everything is quite lovely, thank you.” The
lady replied shortly, completely enthralled in looking at herself while her
daughter proceeded to pull each and every sandal from the shelves and line them
up like a choo choo train on the floor.

“It looks like your daughter has already
chosen some footwear to compliment your dress,” the owner smiled with an
attempt to educe some parenting from the woman.

Instead, the lady gave the girl a fleeting
glance over her shoulder, and expeditiously resumed her browsing without
another response. The boutique owner was upset with herself for delivering such
a passive observation. She decided to undertake a different tactic and joined
the little girl who was sliding the sandals along the floor in the back of the

“Let’s put these sandals back on the
shelves, Sweetie so people can see how pretty they are,” the owner suggested.
The child sprung up to her feet leaving
the owner to clean the strewn sandals on her own. She started skipping around
the store singing “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” only to have her mother join in
with “Three, Four, Shut the Door.” The boutique owner was left wishing she had shut the door, and locked it before
the pair had even ventured in. She was shocked at the lack of discipline and
the utter disregard her customer had for anyone but herself. She somehow
managed to endure another fifteen minutes of skipping, singing, hiding,
seeking, spinning, squealing, disregarding and donning before the mother
daughter duo left the boutique without a single purchase, apology or extension
of gratitude.

“I made it a point to learn about Fashion when
choosing to become a boutique owner,” the owner silently said to herself. “How
wonderful it would be, if  women would make
it a priority to learn about parenting when deciding to become moms.”


Mary Marcia is the
author of Women Without Children now available electronically or in paperback
on Amazon.