Bub is looking for his mouse book. "Where’s One Grey Mouse?" he demands, spinning his head this way and that, not quite frantic yet, but close.
"It’s over there," I respond, pointing to a small bookshelf.
Bub does his elaborate pointing-mimicry game, screwing up his face to squeeze one eye shut and darting out his index finger at a rakish angle, roughly approximating the direction in which I’m pointing. He’s not necessarily looking in that direction, though, so I coach him. "No, down!"
He turns to face me and then looks at his feet, as if expecting the book to materialize there like magic. "No, over! And down!" I’m jabbing my finger in the direction of the bookshelf, he’s jabbing his in all directions, and finally the Pie scrambles off the couch, grabs the book from the shelf and presents it to Bub in triumph, with much mutual shouting of "Hurray!" and "You found it!" There is general jumping up and down and celebration, and I reflect that although Bub is apparently incapable of following a simple pointing gesture, he is generous of heart and he loves his sister.
We slept in this morning.
This was, apparently, because hubby had a late-ish court date this morning, though I had no way of knowing this when I looked at the clock and discovered that it was 7:20 instead of the usual 6:30. (Bub was out of bed already of course, having gotten up at 5:30, but he had been ushered down to the playpen where he takes his naps in the dim light of the basement rec room. Barbaric, I know – but I’ve somehow never managed to absorb the idea that it’s wrong to confine children if that will get them an additional two hours of sleep.)
As I poured out my Life cereal and orange juice, I enjoyed the unusual sensation of feeling rested and alert, enjoying my coffee for the sweet, creamy flavour rather than the needed caffeine jolt. This pleasant sensation almost – but not quite – outweighed the general chaos of our disrupted morning routine. Instead of munching quietly with Bub before the rest of the household arose, I was running interference for both children, jumping to mop up spilled drinks, replace Corn Squares with Shreddies, and respond to numerous demands of "Read a book this one!" from the Pie. When I barked at hubby, "If you’re thinking of having a shower, you can just wait until I finish my breakfast!" he wondered if I was cross about the spilled juice, or if it was something else. "No, pretty much just that," I responded.
Then the kids got up from breakfast, and Bub began wailing in horror because his favourite TV show came on, the one he usually watches at day-care, and as he bitterly protested this unconscionable violation of the morning-routine treaty, I reflected that the apple falls not so far from the tree. "We’re not so different, you and I," I told Bub in a deep, melodramatic voice.
"No TV!" he screamed in reply.
I started a routine of bedtime prayers with Bub the other night. I had thought of doing so before, but it seemed unlikely that he would understand or cooperate, so I let things slide. Recently, though, he has begun to participate enthusiastically in the rhyming grace we say before our meals. "Time to pray," we prompt him, and he folds his hands, chiming in at ever-increasing volumes: "Great God and giver! of all! GOOD! Accept our praise and bless! our! FOO-O-OOD!"
So as we were cuddling in bed a couple of nights ago, I asked him, "Do you want to pray?"
"Okay!" he answered, turning to go nose to nose with me, eyes as big and green as a cat’s.
Extemporaneous prayer has never been my strong suit, so I fell back on a version of the nightly prayer my mother used to do with me. "Dear God, thank you for the nice day Bub had today at Sharon’s" (his day-care provider’s house).
"And nice day at home," he prompted.
"Help Bub to be a nice boy tomorrow," I went on (niceness being the major concept in my infantile prayers). "God bless Pie, God bless Daddy…"
"God bless Mama," Bub added, "God bless Sharon."
"And God bless Bub."
"God bless Bub."
Wednesday, May 30, 2007