Overheard: Eliot redux

I had to go to the dear one’s new preschool this morning to sign a form for the fall. In the lobby, I met a mom and dad with their dear one. They were on the same errand. We exchanged a few quick greetings. They told me that Miss -- would be right back. The father insisted on their staying to say good-bye and thank her for her help. Then, suddenly nervous, the mother straightened herself up:

“Dear! I’ve been remiss. I’ve neglected to bring a juice for our son. Shall I head off in search of one whilst you remain here to wait for Miss --?”

I detected a stiffness, an attempt at pontifical solemnity, that I found rather tiresome.