The strange, beautiful world of Secondo

Each child comes equipped with their own attributes. Sometimes it is more appropriate to label these fine characteristics as peculiarities. I mean that in the best way possible.

As you are already aware, Prima’s got her penchant for destruction and re-creation, which is balanced by her rip-roarin’ imagination, her observational skills and her determination.

Secondo, meantime, is developing a keen sense of (ahem), theater, which when coupled with her blond ringlets, grey-green-blue eyes, pouty lips and blush colored cheeks can only spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

Case in point: Mr. Bailey and I were recently doing the Modern George & Mary shuffle: a trip to Target for paper products, underwear and a gift for a birthday party, then a bounce over to another discount retailer to hunt down a pair of summer chic wedges. Secondo was un-enthralled with all of it. Typically a ride-along good sport, about halfway through the sojourn, she grew irritated. (Full disclosure: her tipping point was that nothing in our red plastic basket was for her.)

As we approached the Target check-out, Secondo’s occasional whimpering turned into a louder, mournful, and surprisingly conversational tone. Wondering if she had found another toddler in the same sandals and began a dialogue about her woe, I turned to locate the place of her pouting.

I found her, forehead flush against the filthy Target check-out mirror, (used to allow Target cashiers to spot any missing or hidden item on the bottoms of carts), chatting and sniffling away her woes. To herself.

Secondo's conversation with, who else? Herself.

Brow furrowed, she was con-versing – albeit to her mirror reflection, spilling out the fornlorn injustices of the day.

Truthfully, Mr. Bailey and I were entertained. She was cute, and funny. We giggled with each other, then cajoled and encouraged her to step away.

“Come on Secondo, let’s get moving,” we supplied. Nothing.

“Secondo, we’re all done here.” Mr. Bailey said a bit firmer.


Not to be denied nor disturbed, she flat out ignored us for several minutes, diligently keeping up her —er— end of the discussion. We practically had to pry her away from the mirror, red-cheeked.

The catharsis continued in the shoe section of the next store, and was facilitated by a cleverly placed stool, allowing her to cup her sweet little face on her pudgy hands to discuss the intricacies of her grief with – herself. For a long time.

Finding no wedges chic enough, we tried the same routine to extricate Secondo from that mirror as well.

A rapt listener. And speaker.

Secondo, with her heels dug in against a wrong done to her, does not bend in quite the same way Prima will. Instead, her anger becomes a beautiful brood, like the darkest edges of cumulus storm clouds, stories high. The blooming brood is as quiet as those clouds, and just as dangerous, replete with her cherub countenance and blond ringlets.

It’s a perfect storm, I realized as Mr. Bailey playfully threw Secondo over his shoulder next to the athletic shoes. She’s enchanting – mad or happy, frustrated and alone or gleeful in mirrored glory.

As her mother, this particular peculiarity has me delighted – and very, very worried.