I learned a few things the other day. The same day. I thought I’d share them with myself.
1. A child who says he has to pee now, cannot be coaxed to ‘hold it’ another block, another mile, another anything. Pull over and let the kid pee. High five the hands that held his weanie, the ones he didn’t even bother to wipe on his pants. Understand that this high five serves as your own congratulations–heh–no washing a car seat tonight. Marvel at his artwork in the grass, on the rocks, on the concrete block at the edge of the parking lot. Tell him, “that’s really something.” Drive the last block home.
2. Understand that a small boy needs no cape to pretend he has a cape. The arms of his sweatshirt knotted around his neck produce the same flopping effect when he runs. As do a pair of sweat pants flitting behind his sister.
3. Offer to read books together outside. Insist that a certain boy and girl wear more than their swimsuits. Explain that it isn’t even sixty degrees, though it should be. Show them your fleece jacket, long-sleeve, shirt, jeans and tennis shoes. Say, “see. It’s cold.” Point to where the sun is, wait…was…hey, is. Begin reading even as a little boy makes 86 trips inside for all his stuffed animals. Agree that it might just possibly be getting warmer. Let the kids peel out of their snow pants and back down to their suits. Lean back on six or seven stuffed animals and wonder where the heck the sun’s been all your life. Ditch the fleece and smile. Life just got better.
4. Remember that even if you served a hundred dollar plate of chicken, the kid would still want ketchup to get it down. Ain’t nothin’ personal.
5. Remind yourself that it’s just a toothbrush–even if it was yours.