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If You Give A Girl Summer Money

July 3, 2015

Written by Marykate O’Malley, mother of three wonderful children, Gladwyne 


Inspired by If you Give a Mouse a Cookie.


If your darling Aunt (Betty) gives a girl (Amanda) summer money to celebrate school ending, chances are she will ask to go to 5 Below. And when you arrive at 5 Below, your son will ask why the o is so small. And 4 days will have passed, and chances are you are still thinking about that tiny o (what does it mean???) at the sink washing dishes (why is the o so small) at a red light (does it mean degrees?)  in carline at camp drop off (did they run out of room? forget and add it in later?)


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And chances are at 5 Below she will select the slime because you said (your exact words were) “whatever you want”. And she will show you the slime and you will consider saying no, your face is saying no, but she doesn’t seem to notice (or doesn’t read your body language) and focuses on your verbal language, which is saying nothing, which is interpreted as yes. And chances are she will do the math and realize she can select 3 jars of slime, and not just one.

And chances are, because she buys the slime, you will set ground rules – not in the car, nor the couch, nor any cloth. Outside only or wood floor. Basically banned. But chances are she is the optimistic type, like her mother, and her spirit isn’t dampened by these rules, rather it soars as she skips out of the store for she is leaving with slime. Victory is hers.

Chances are because the slime came home from the store, it will end up on the kitchen ceiling. The mysterious slime, that no one knows how it got there, dangling like a neon green atomic colored strand of spaghetti, drop formed but never falling in mid-descent, hovering strangely above everyone’s head like Nickelodeon mistletoe. And when your friend arrives to collect her daughter, you will point to the slime, shrug your shoulders and laugh. And chances are she will laugh too because good friends understand that sometimes slime ends up on the kitchen ceiling. Chances are later that evening your brother (Brendan) will remove the slime, gracefully, with one swift swipe, because he is taller than you, and kind.

And because the little girl has the slime, chances are she will open a slime store. And create a sign that reads “open” and place it outside on the deck. And if she opens the store, chances are her brother and sister and neighborhood friend will visit. And chances are if children visit the store, they will play with the slime. And throw it in the air and catch it. Dangle it. Cover their legs with it. And somehow it will end up on the collar of her brothers’s favorite shirt (known because it seems to be the only shirt he is ever wearing in photographs). And chances are if it ends up on the collar of the favorite shirt, her mother will be silently gloating, a reason to ban the slime due to natural consequences. (slime 0. Mom 1)

And chances are the slime will be played with while watching a movie, because it is late, and rules can be forgotten when it is late and there is a movie on. And chances are if it is late and the slime is out, it will be thrown in the air and land in the little girls hair framing her darling face. And chances are her mother will coax most of it out with a damp paper towel. And because it is slime chances are there is still some remaining. And chances are the neon green will bother the young girl and she will retrieve scissors and while the movie is playing, trim the slime from her golden brown hair, and re-enter the room with a new look. Because nothing can be done about it now, her mother embraces the teachable moment (this is why we don’t), admits it looks cute, and declares it will grow back.

And chances are after the favorite shirt is thrown into the wash, her brother will raise it from the dryer, above his head, like baby Simba in the Lion King, and declare to all, “the slime came out!” And the mother will acknowledge the new haircut is very becoming on her daughter, and reminds of Audrey Hepburn’s short banged look.

And chances are the following day, the little girl will find some tooth fairy loot while cleaning out her desk and ask, “can we go to 5 Below?!” And the mother will look at the slime store, the new haircut, the favorite shirt, and reply, “not today dear. Not today.”


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