Abnormal Children

flirt, girl, pinkI watched her as she sashayed down the aisle between rows of dining tables. She had just come from church, no doubt, from the appearance and timing of her family’s entrance. She couldn’t have been over five years old.

But from head to toe, and not just the exterior but somehow even the aura emanating from her, all was advertisement.

Her hair, held in a side-saddle pony tail with a frou-frou clip composed of fuchsia feathers, probably was naturally palest blonde, but crease marks from a hasty curling iron had been sprayed to stay in place during the normal cavorting of a five-year-old. The ear on the un-pony-tailed side offered a pink, diamond-looking, pierced earring.

She did not cavort; she swayed in a dreamy sort of notice-me way. Even her tiny fingers posed. And she flirted fake embarrassment from behind the frou-frou near her cheek while fuchsia-manicured fingers clumsily retrieved an escaping shoulder strap. That’s when I noticed it: the batting eyelids carried a heavy load: blue eyeshadow and brown mascara, to top off pink blusher, and an overload of pink lip-gloss.

Her dress, also hottest of pinks, shimmered as it clung, draped closely to her thin child figure, revealing the bone of her structure, the ripple of her musculature, the absence of pantyline. Ebb and flow of glowing fabric blared unmistakably: temptress.

The dress was far too short, as was Mama’s, but at least Mama knew how to walk like a lady. And Mama didn’t shimmer.

Actually, Daughter’s included a wrap application of an attempt at an empire style skirt that was not full enough to allow room for walking, so each step she took opened the skirt and revealed one long, tanned, and muscular leg and hinted at much more. When one fuchsia-tipped toe pushed against silver, strippy, demi-heel sandals as she struggled her little self onto the adult dining chair, an older man across the dining room dropped his fork on the floor and picked it up.

And looked.

And she noticed. And tried, not-enough, to conceal a knowing smile.

Rumpled and stale-haired, he approached their table and asked Dad if they didn’t know each other, occasionally glancing at Mama’s low-slung necklace. Dad searched his memory, clueless, finally blushing at not knowing, rose to shake hands and share a bit of social info. No, we live over in Dovegate Addition . . . don’t recall meeting you, but then, I stay gone on the road; field work, you know . . . the kids go to Dovegate schools so maybe we’ve passed during a PTA meeting? Oh . . . so sorry . . . I didn’t mean . . . well here’s our waitress; nice to meet you.

And as the older man turned to go, he patted Daughter’s shoulder ever so lightly, accidentally brushing a strap with one finger, saying, “Nice children.” And her shoulder straps really did fall down a lot whenever she was sitting . . .


Of course it would have been highly unlikely to have found a photo that was exactly like this true life situation, but this one captures the sauce pretty well.

Published by Katharine

Katharine is a writer, speaker, women's counselor, and professional mom. Happily married over 50 years to the same gorgeous guy. She loves cooking amazing homegrown food, celebrating grandbabies, her golden-egg-laying hennies, and watching old movies with popcorn. Her writing appears at Medium, Arkansas Women Bloggers, Contently, The Testimony Train, Taste Arkansas, Only in Arkansas, and in several professional magazines and one anthology.

8 thoughts on “Abnormal Children

    1. Thanks for this comment, Bats. You and I think so alike, sometimes. That “wow” and “sigh” were exactly my reaction when I saw this happening. May many more see what we are doing and sigh about it, is my prayer.

  1. Truly alarming. I worked in a program called Safe Environment/Called to Protect. That man is grooming that child to abuse her. He shows all the alarming signs of being a child predator. Oh my gosh….have you seen them since?

    1. Thanks for your comment, Kate, but my intention was not to focus on that man, aside from his obvious response . . . In my opinion, that mom bought and chose the clothing for that poor little girl, and no doubt set the example for the child’s behavior. The dad is never home, I guess, and the other man is probably a predator, yes, but we have to ask ourselves who really is grooming that child. My guess is the mom has the girl in contests and the girl never knows when to turn it off or something. Oh, well, I suppose the dad’s cluelessness is totally a factor, isn’t it. Hmm. In my head I was mostly blaming the mom, but . . .

      1. early grooming signs include the predator establishing a trust relationship with the parents. They now believe they have reason to trust him because he made them think he knew the dad from way back when. Thus, he can track the little girl, knows her neighborhood and her school….bit by bit… He can just show up or invite them to dinner or whatever….those super early stages are where the predator gains almost permanent power….Predators count on one or more parent being clueless….

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