Monday, February 9, 2009

The baffling resiliency of little ones

Last night at about 2 a.m., I heard my bedroom door squeak, then open slightly. What always emerges in the wee hours is a sleepy 5-year-old who scrambles into my bed, settles himself under covers, then falls asleep. This time I wait.
Then hear that sound parents know all too well: the splattering of stomach contents onto the floor. The reaction is instantaneous: the mad search for a receptacle of any type, then something to wipe the face afterward.
I expected to touch burning skin at his forehead but found none. Strange, I thought, drifting off to sleep; kindergartner glued to my left side. In the morning, I thought for sure I’d be trying to juggle a little boy home from school with my and my husband’s work schedules, but the sun rose and ... T was fine. Screaming obnoxiously for no reason, bugging his brother, doing cartwheels on the bed.
I’d been through this phenomenon with his older brother many times, yet every time it leaves me shaking my head.
It feels so ... expeditious. Expell offending substance, resume life of constant fun. Mom cleans it up.
I did try to get dad to help, once morning arrived. (Yes, I covered the soil with a towel, hoping it would disappear by morning).
“I was up all night with T,” I moaned. “Will you clean it up? It’s all over the door, walls and floor!”
Dad: “No, I’ll let you do that.”
The silver lining? I did get T to finally change those black jeans with the tattered hems he insists on wearing for days at a time. (He’s convinced he’s a skateboarder).
I told him he threw up. And it dried overnight.
It worked.
Sort of — off into his bedroom, T leaped, changing into his other pair of black jeans.
Hopefully the teacher won’t notice.

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