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The Big Little and I decided to trek to Panera Bread first thing this morning. We buy all our breads, pastries, and bagels there – if you don’t go early, you get the runt of the litter. We know this rule well and we were committed to following it.

We set off in the car at 0645, which can be a death wish when you are with a Little. However, the motivation to pick out her own breakfast pastry kept her together. As we arrive, Little knows we are in a happy place where she gets yummy food. We stroll in and place our order, which is quite extensive since I’m purchasing baked goods for a daycare, for the entire week. And of course, the Little needs a minute to point to what she wants from the wide variety. Hey, she’s a human with an opinion also. Back off!

Then, with a sudden cold chill in the air, the Evil Stepmother walks in. No shit, the lady looked so menacing, with her silver hair and nastily pinched face, that the Little buried her face in my neck and began crying.

Since we had already ordered and paid, I took my softly sobbing Little and walked to the other side of the counter to watch the worker begin bagging our order. The worker asked me if she could take the Evil Stepmother’s order before bagging mine so that she could get hers cooking. I was gracious.

The Evil Stepmother was not gracious in return.

Evil places her order, and they are baked goods like ours – no cooking required. She stands near us watching the worker bag my order. After three bagels have been bagged up, Evil nastily asks the worker if she can just have her stuff first. The worker looks nervously at me, the Little buries her head again, and I study Evil who refuses to even glance in my direction.

So I respond to the worker, who at this point is in a bad situation, “Why don’t you go ahead and fill her order. God knows she can’t wait for her muffin, but this baby is totally fine starving so an adult can be happy.” The Little, by the way, is happily waiting for her meal and just thrilled to be out for breakfast. Better manners than an adult!

The employee looks at me like she’s about to protest and I say “It’s really ok, some people have no manners and shouldn’t be out in public.”

The employee gives me a relieved smile and plates up the two pastries the Evil Stepmother had ordered.

Evil walks off, taking the chill in the air with her. The worker thanks me for my patience and resumes packing my order. Then I feel the cold, wintry blast of air hit me again and I turn around.

The Evil Stepmother has returned.

She nastily demands that someone bring her butter and various fruit spreads – which she did not order. The Evil Stepmother then berates the worker, saying they should have given her all that to begin with. The worker looks and me, takes a deep breath…and before she can even say a word, a worker from the back comes running up and tells Evil she’ll help her. Evil glares at me and stomps off. But not before the Little got the last word in the face of a true bitch.

Little looks at the Evil Stepmother and bellows out “Mine!” pointing to her chest for emphasis.

Now that’s fucking victory, any way you look at it! Plus we got three free bagels as a thank you for being patient. I wonder how many times people have spit on the Evil Stepmother’s food when she orders?!


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