” Mom, Mom”? “You can do it Baby. Mommy’s busy.” “But Mahmmmmm” came the whinny voice that always made her roll her eyes.
He sat on the stool with a look of exasperation that only a four year old can have. The morning had started off well enough, pants on, zipped and buttoned, CHECK..Shirt on with the stickie in the back, CHECK…socks, sorta matching, CHECK…and he had actually found and put on his tennis shoes before she had to send him back to his room to hunt them down..BIG CHECK…
Now came the moment of truth…would he attempt to tie them himself like he had been shown umpteen times or would he continue to sit there with that “look” on his face, chubby arms crossed, jitterbug legs dancing in the wind and laces dangling, taunting.. like snakes in the grass.
She deliberately kept her back to him with one eye on the clock and the other spying on his reflection reversed on the window pane over her sink. She knew if she turned to look at him she would break out laughing since she knew that any minute now his lower lip would to protrude as he went thru that cross over between acting like a baby to getting angry at her. His mood would cause him to either huff down from the stool or (and what she was hoping against hope for) he would attempt to tie the damn laces himself..just to show HER.
Four year-olds could be so very unpredictable, which made that age all the more enjoyable, or at least she thought from time to time. She continued to slowly wash the dishes, placing each one on the rack to dry and hummed along with the radio which made him realize that she was not going to respond any further to his requests for assistance.
Slowly he bent a knee and brought a white tipped shoe up, crossing his little leg. She could hear him start to say the poem they had practiced so very many times….it was softly uttered as if he didn’t want her to hear…”Build a Tepee, come inside..Close it tight so we can hide”.. His little fingers holding tightly to the strings as if he was afraid they would unravel before his eyes….slowly ever slowly…She found herself whispering along with him now…she was urging him on from across the kitchen…” Over the mountain, around we go..” By God he almost had it she thought, trying not to show her excitement….” Here’s my arrow and here’s my BOW.” and it was done.
He sat there for a minute staring at his shoe. She couldn’t tell if he was in shock and disbelief that he had done it or if he was trying to figure out what he should do next. He looked up at her back and opened his mouth as if to speak then shook his head as if deciding that the timing wasn’t quite right. She on the other hand had a flash of realization as she watched him start the process all over again on the other shoe…today was a character building moment for her little man..today he grew up just a tad and as today he made a big grown-up decision not to leave things undone.
Thinking Ten: Plot Thickens ( Thursday) Something left undone