Presents

Samantha is sent out of the room Josh is working in.

“Oh, wait.  Here, Daddy.  I made this for you.  It’s a “How to Color with Your Eyes Blindfolded” coloring kit.  Oh, look!  It has scissors.”

Ten seconds later, she’s back at the door.  She desperately pleads for re-entry, “But Daddy, I want to see you use your kit!”

“Fine, I’m leaving.  But don’t forget, when you use your kit, you have to be blindfolded!”

Gifts with strings attached.  I can’t wait to watch him use it, either.

Advertisements

Rhyming Game

Samantha commands, “Daddy, let’s play a rhyming game!”

Joshua obliges, “Okay.”

Samantha sets the rules, “I’ll go first.”

She starts: “Bliss.”

Joshua responds easily, “Kiss.”

Samantha challenges, “Lipstick.”

Joshua doesn’t miss a beat, “Sedgewick.”

The game pauses.  “Sedgewick isn’t a real word!”

“Yes, it is.  It’s a city.”

Samantha doesn’t waste any time arguing.  She launches back into the game. “Hodgewog.”

The game pauses again.  “Umm … what is a hodgewog?”

Samantha smiles.  “It’s an imaginary animal that lives in that town you just made up.”

Love

Samantha comes back to me in the kitchen from carrying a message to her dad in another room, and airily declares,  “Well, I didn’t tell him what you told me to tell him.  I had something betterer to say.”

“Okay.  What did you tell him?”

“I told him that I loved him SO MUCH!”  It’s her story telling tone, the one usually reserved for tales of unicorns and princesses.

“Alright.  What did he say?”

“He said he likes me so much, too.  He said he likes me so much, he said, “Samantha, I like you so much, too.  I like you so much I’m about to cry a little.”  She isn’t even looking at me, she’s so wrapped up in the drama of her story, and her sweet daddy’s tears.

I answer, eyebrows up, “Is that really what he said?”

She sighs,  “Oh.  I don’t know.  I don’t really remember what he said.”

And then she scowls, because I am wiping tears out of my eyes, and trying not to hurt myself with the chopping knife from giggling too much.  She stomps out.

Differences

Josh is flipping channels.  A sci-fi movie catches his attention.  Despite the doom music, he doesn’t flip quickly.

A giant squid thing wraps its tentacles around the hero.  Samantha already has her hands over her eyes.  Josh steps in front of Simon to block his view.

Samantha asks, behind her hands, “What is it?  What’s happening?  Is it over yet?”

Simon is swarming Josh, “What is it?  What’s happening?  Get out of my way!  I can’t see!  I need to see!”

Josh flips the channel.  Both children wail, “NO!  GO BACK!

Samantha asks, “Who are those people?  Why were they in the water?  Are they going to be okay?

Simon bursts into tears, “Go back, Daddy!  I need to see it!  I need to see the octopus in the scary river!”

Receive

Daddy!  Sit on me!

Simon is standing in the recliner, bouncing around behind Josh, sitting on the front edge of the chair, flipping channels.

DADDY!  Sit on me!

“Hang on, Simon.”

DADDY!  Sit on me!  Sit on me, Daddy!  SIT ON ME!”  He yanks on Josh’s shoulders, trying to pull him back.

Josh answers, “Alright, then.”  He leans back.

“Oh.  Ow.  Daddy.   Can you please get off me?”

Haircut

I cut Simon’s hair today.  I’ve always just used clippers to hack his hair back to near bald.  It’s been awhile since I last cut it.  He wasn’t particularly verbal yet last time.  But it was still short hair.

I sat him down in my lap in the kitchen, and showed him the clippers.  I showed him how to turn them on, and he explored the guard and the blades with his finger.  He was fascinated with the buzz.  Then I informed him that I was going to cut his hair.

He said, “No.  I don’t need a hair cut.”

I said, “Yes, you do.  I’ll be quick.”

Though he disagreed with me, he held still for the first pass, and agreed that it felt funny.  And then he saw a hank of hair hit the floor.

I’m sure the neighbors thought I was after him with a chainsaw, cutting off entire digits and limbs.  He screamed, and writhed and sobbed.  I wanted to sob.

“NO, MAMA!  I TOLD YOU NOT TO!”

“I’m so sorry, Simon.”

He paused in his screaming, and writhing, and sobbing to wail, “That’s okay!”

More hair hit the floor.  There’s no hiding it from him.  He’s writhing in all directions.

NO, MAMA!  I TOLD YOU NOT TO!  I HAVE TO LEAVE!  I HAVE TO LEAVE RIGHT NOW!”

More hair, more withering of mama’s soul.

NO, MAMA!  I HAVE TO LEAVE!  I HAVE TO LEAVE RIGHT NOW! YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT BETTER.”

Finally, I’m done.  He points at the pile on the floor.

“YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT BETTER!  YOU HAVE TO FIX MY HAIR!”

I lack that magic.

Half an hour later, with little red dots still around his eyes from having cried so hard, Simon is quietly, peacefully playing in the bathtub as his Daddy arrives home from work.  I’m still shaking in my corner.

“Hey there, Buddy!  I see you got your hair cut.”

Simon smiles up at him.  “I did.”

Daddy asks, “It looks good.  Do you like it?”

Simon answers cheerfully, running a hand over his head, “I do like it.”

Summary

At the end of a long day shopping, we all had a snack at Whole Foods.  Sitting at the table together, family snack time went something like this:

“No, you each get one lollipop.”

“Simon, you cannot have your sister’s lollipop.  Yes, I’m talking to you.”

“Simon, sit down.  I’m trying to talk to Mama.  I will talk to you in a minute.”

“No, there are no more lollipops.  Hush, I’m trying to talk to Mama.  I will talk to you.  Let me finish.”

“Samantha, if you’re going to eat that lollipop, eat it now!  Simon, hold on.”

“No, there are no more lollipops.  HUSH! I’m trying to TALK TO MAMA!”

“Yes, Samantha,  you may give your lollipop to Simon if you don’t want it.”

So we eventually make it back to the car with a cheerful, sticky, thoughtful boy.  As Josh is fastening him into his car seat, he smiles up at his Daddy, and says, “Daddy, I love wallypocks.  I shared Samantha’s.  And you WILL talk to me.”