I walked out to the corner this afternoon to meet the Fries after school.
Medium and Large raced over to the crosswalk, and when I saw that the unusually heavy traffic was stopping for them, I waved them across.
It took another minute for Small to arrive...holding hands with a small, bespectacled, blond girl.
*facepalm* I already know where this is heading.
"Who is that, honey, and why is she with you?" I called.
"She's gonna sleep over!" Small shouted back.
I crossed the street, tossing apologetic looks to the patient drivers who were backed up on either side of the crosswalk.
"Honey," I said, "she needs to ask her mom before she can sleep over."
"She did!" Small insisted.
"Well, her mom didn't talk to me." I smiled at the little girl. "You need to go home your usual way, honey," I said, and waved her back toward the school and the line of buses. I felt bad for the mild confusion on her face, but I was not going to be the cause of another mom's panic.
I ushered Small back across the street to our house. "Who was that?" I asked her.
"Quora." Ah. One of her classmates, and a name I hear often. It wasn't until Valentine's Day that I realized the little girl I'd thought of as Cora was a victim of Creative Spelling by Parents.
"There are no sleepovers on school nights," I informed Small Fry. "And Quora can't sleep over unless I talk with her mom first, and I haven't."
I don't know that I ever expected that one of my kids would just drag a friend along after school, since we live so close, but I know this: Small is the one that didn't surprise me in doing so first.