My youngest child, Poe, thinks she's famous. It may be because she has an unusual name and people tend to remember it or because she attends a preschool that encourages family members to get to know each other.
Perhaps, it's because she dresses like a bohemian carnival busker and has a voice which could double as a car alarm.
Regardless of how she came to this conclusion, my child now believes that everyone knows her and she expects indulgences as a result.
For instance, her pool pass is the only official identifying document she has that she is regularly allowed to touch. She's got a birth certificate, a social security card, and a passport, but we don't allow her to keep any of those on her person.
But her pool pass is something we're willing to let her carry. For this reason, she is very possessive of it.
Most of the time when we take her across the street to our closest Reston Association pool, the kind teens working the front desk recognize her and allow her to show the pass and then tuck it back into her Hello Kitty tote bag.
However, should the lifeguard in question fail to understand that the kid in the flowered tankini will not be relinquishing that precious piece of plastic to his custody, then some variation of the following will occur.
Poe will tuck the pass into her bathing suit bottom and announce, "This is my body. You can't touch my body."
She has also been known to become more anatomically specific and mention that "I won't let you touch my front-butt."
Now, I am proud that my child feels in control of her body. I am also pleased that she has developed self-advocacy strategies which are unambiguous and powerful.
However, she does not care that the 17-year-old boy behind the counter is horrified by what she has uttered. In fact, she is often so pleased to have turned her swimsuit into a safety deposit box that she will fold her arms across her chest and walk away from the counter, leaving me to absorb the shock and awe of any witnesses.
Because it is never just that floppy-haired teen who has heard my daughter's declarations. There are always at least two other people (often a mother and child who will look at me as if I have wiped my nose on their beach towels) wondering about my skills as a mom.
But my child will have already gone through the dressing area and I am compelled to make a hasty departure from the judiciary panel before me in order to prevent Poe from leaping into the pool unsupervised.
She will have already removed the pool pass from her swimsuit and put into her bag. Her flip flops are off and her towel is draped across a chaise lounge.
She is ready for her close-up, a celebrity ready to indulge her fans if only they'll respect her privacy.