There is a traffic light, just a bit into our journey home, that seemingly is always red for us. It stops us directly under the Beltway, and there we sit.
So there we sat. E yelled, Mama! Look! She pointed to the red van on our right. That man is doing two bad things! His hand was resting in the window frame, holding a lit cigarette. Mama! You don't supposed to have your hand outside the car! AND! He's smoking a licorice! Mama! He's being not safe and he's being not healthy!
I don't know why she calls cigarettes 'licorice.' But I didn't have time to correct her because as I turned to look at the Not Safe Not Healthy Man, he turned to look at us. Open windows. He had heard E's admonishments.
Luckily, he smiled and waved. She giggled.
Then she turned away, shyly: which brought her attention to the head-bobbing pigeon on the median wall. Mama! What's that bird doing? L looked up and saw the pigeon. Ducky! Ducky! Mama! Ducky! Cigarettes are licorice and pigeons are ducks in my world. "Sweetie," I tried, "that's a birdie, not a ducky."
But Mama, what's he doing? E persisted. I told her that he looked like he was getting a snack. But what's he eating? Uch. "Um, love, I think he's eating poop. Those are big piles of bird poop that he seems to be picking at."
L rejoined the conversation. POOP! she yelled with recognition of a word she knows how to say. POOP! POOP! POOP!
Again, I got that feeling of being looked at. This time it was the car on the left. Open windows. A car filled with teenaged boys heard L's exclamations. They were laughing. A lot.
Thank goodness, before we could meet any more of our neighbors, the light finally turned green.