At the mall today, after some hysterics over a "flushy" toilet at Nordstrom, Lu was acting like a whiny little baby before we went into California Pizza Kitchen for dinner. In response, I acted like a whiny little baby. Nini diffused the situation, luckily, so we were able to enter the restaurant, order and eat like CIVILIZED PEOPLE.

Not so civilized: the people sitting next to us. Where do I start? This little family was a study in "Not How I Would Do It" — a useful phrase coined by the Stephens, a coy little judgment you won't be able to stop using (my granny's version of it was "I'm not on that committee.") The toddler, a month older than Lu, was screaming, banging her plate, standing on a chair, jumping on the booth, crawling on the ground, meowing, and acting in so uncivil a manner I really can't even describe it. The people next to us, an entire table away from the kid, asked to move. She was acting like a complete freak.

Which I realize makes my use of the word freak to describe Lu...unfair. She sat in her chair. She ate her dinner. She whined over a few lost crayons, but then shared her sundae. All the while, her crazed neighbor was acting so bad as to make Lu look perfect. Little Miss Crazy's Mama (mother of four, plastic-surgeried to the hilt, "none of my kids ever sat in a high chair or slept in a crib") kept praising Lu as though to set an example for her daughter, despite the fact that she's raising her like an animal. One that meows at the CPK.

Lu was no angel, but she did not crawl or meow. Comparison suited her today.