Let The Kids Personality Bring Light In Your Day
Sunless Saturday morning...
It was a sunless Saturday morning, complete with driving rain. I woke with cramps, a headache, and sinus trouble, wishing there was something I could sprinkle over the rest of the family to keep them sleeping until I was ready to cope. It was not to be. Dad and our oldest son were soon up, banging their way out of the house. That left me with our 5-year-old, that package of energy who, once his feet hit the floor, would attack the day with gusto. I would be his only companion on the quest. The thought made me groan.
All too soon, I heard him stirring. He fluttered out to me in the gloom and crawled into my lap. He was tousle-headed, soft and warm, blinking away the last remnants of sleep. He hugged my neck hard for awhile, then pulled back and flashed his lop-sided grin before kissing my cheek ever so gently. "Good mornin', Mama. I'm glad to see you. Did you have good sleepies?"
"Yep, and good dreams. How about you?"
"Me, too. I'm hungry. Can I have coffee?"
He slid off my lap and headed for the kitchen, with not even a backward glance to see if I was following.
While I put in the coffee pot, he put in his order for "lots of grapes." When the coffee finished brewing, I put the smallest splash in his milk and sugar warmed it a little to make it "real" coffee, and delivered it to him at the table along with his grapes. I went back to pour myself a generous mug.
"Mom, I wanted to see if my grape would float. It didn't. Can you get it out?"
And so it started. He just had to begin the day with a buoyancy lesson. I fished the grape out of his "coffee" and he popped it in his mouth. "Mmmm. They taste good warm, dipped in coffee!"
I sat down opposite him to make sure he didn't intend to bathe all his grapes before he ate them.
"You want some grapes, Mom?"
Patiently, I waited as he plucked grapes and made sure every trace of stem was removed before he delivered them to my cupped hands.
"Two...." He dropped them from one of his hands. "And two more." He dropped the others. "Two plus two is four. Do some math with me. Easy ones."
We practiced addition he could do on his fingers, but only for a couple minutes. Then he was back to eating grapes, and I was back to nursing my coffee.
"Look, Mom. I can get grape juice. Try it!" He handed me another grape and explained just how to hold it in my mouth with my thumb and forefinger, squeeze it, enjoy the juice, and chase it with the rest of the grape. Of course he wouldn't rest until I followed each instruction precisely.
'How many ways are there to eat grapes, and how many of those will he discover or invent this morning?' I asked myself. I smiled at him. He smiled back and began peeling his next grape. I laughed out loud.
Before I knew it, we were playing ring toss. He was pitching a bagel at the paper-towel-tube post I held out over the table. Poor table manners, I know, but it was great fun.
Soon, all that was left was the grape stem picked clean, a few bagel crumbs, and two empty cups. I caught myself humming as I cleared the things away. He was off chasing the day. I could hear him being a cat. Throughout the next several hours he would become many things -- an artist, a monkey, even a pain in the neck. However, I could handle all those now, thanks to those few minutes when he was my sunshine.