Manners

November 2011, Duncan is two-and-a-half; Milo is three months old.

In the bathroom at the library there were two sinks and one hand dryer.  A woman was at one sink and I was at the other, balancing on one leg so that Duncan could perch on my knee to reach the water, using one arm to simultaneously hold him and wash his hands and the other to hold a fully loaded diaper bag, a bag of books, and infant Milo, who was fussing and squirming. 

The woman at the other sink turned to me and asked, “Can you switch sinks?”

I glanced over to see if she was joking.  There was no smile on her face.

“I need to dry my hands,” she said.  “The dryer’s on your side.”

“You want me to switch sinks?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said.

I raised my eyebrows at her.  If I had had a hand free, I would have turned up my palms, as in, Do you see me here?  Do I look like I could easily hop on over to that other sink?  She flicked her eyes to the dryer on the wall.  If she was my kid, this is when I would have said, You. Can. Wait.  But I didn’t.  Instead I ignored her and went back to my task of washing Duncan’s hands while she stood there glaring at me, sighing audibly at the inconvenience of having to wait those thirty seconds.  Then in the moment I took to set Duncan’s feet back on the floor, she pushed past us to get to the dryer first.  Duncan turned around and wiped his damp little hands on her nice black pants.

“All done!” he said and skittered back out the door to the children’s library.

Any thoughts to add?