Yesterday was a day of retail errands with Maddy and Kyle. Port for a dinner party. John Stewart’s “Earth” for a birthday present. Some new clothes for Mr. Fashionista. As we swept through the Thanksgiving parade sponsor’s space on our way to the candlestick maker, the little blond had her left hand in mine and her right extended to brush all the fabrics she passed. “Ooohh, so soft” she’d say as she swiped sweaters and other garments within reach. As we approached a woman bent over a display of scarves, I thought, “no, she won’t.” I was wrong. The little paw remained extended right across the protruding butt like it was just another clothes rack.

We kept walking, but I at once chastised baby girl and turned back to apologize to the woman. She was smiling.