"Come be a bus driver!" Joey sticks his head in the door and invites me to join their world. I glance around the kitchen. Half of it is gorgeous, because I have hepl these last couple weeks, trying to get a handle of something in my life. The other half is a disaster. And my help is due any minute.
"Be Ms. Frizzle?" the voice calls in again. I turn to that little face, who on most days would be absent at this hour- at school. He's six years old now. He looks tall. Well, he is tall. Growing up fast.
Kitchens can wait. I turn obediently into Ms. Frizzle. Outside.
We have some minutes to kill before speech therapy, so I decide it might be a good chance to drop by A.C. Moore and get some stickers and art supplies. The boys chatter behind me.
"No Miss Nikki today! No Miss Janine today!"
"I'm a T-Rex! RAWR!"
"OK, guys, here's the plan. Are you listening?" I put the L-sign to my ear to make my point and grab attention. It semi-works.
"Listen! I want listen! No listen! No hear!"
"Aer you listening? Here's the plan, guys. We are going to go to the craft store and get some stickers. Then we are going to go see Miss Nikki."
"No Miss Nikki today."
"Yes, Miss Nikki today, sweetie. So we're going to the craft store, then to Miss Nikki."
"The store? What store?"
"The craft store. We're going to buy some stickers."
"The crap store?"
HIs Dad would be so proud.
Andy and I sit in the waiting room, waiting for Joey's return. He taps my head.
"GOOSE!" He squeals as I get up to chase him around the island of chairs.
"Duck," I tap him on the head.
"Duck." He giggles. "Duck."
"Penguin." More giggles. "Duck. Duck. Monkey. Swan. Panda."
"Say GOOSE!" he squeals and giggles.
"GOOSE!" and we're off.
The other lady in the room just glares at us. She is completely missing the fun, poor lady.
One great challenge here remains getting Andy to eat, especially at dinner. Conventional wisdom about just letting the child go hungry (well, not eat) doesn't help much- Andy would happily go hungry at dinner, and spend the rest of the night screaming about being hungry (until food is presented- then he'll happily not want to eat again.)
So tonight is leftover night. Curry Chicken salad with asparagus, Indian chicken, chili casserole, or peanut butter and jelly... naturally, both boys choose PB&J. But I fool 'em- I use multi-whole-grain bread. Then i slice up some watermelon, and voila! Dinner.
I start heating up leftovers for JoeyAndyDad and I, as the boys settle into the evening meal. Andy is jumping on the trampoline, Joey is intent on the food. Drinks are fetched. Plates are heated. I get to sit down. JoeyAndyDad gasps.
"I think that's the first time Andy has finished first."
I look over at Andy's plate. It's cleaned. Joey is still chewing on a sandwich quarter. JoeyAndyDad and I have hardly started. Not only is the first time Andy's ever finished first, I think its the first in retrievable memory that he's even taken a single bite before the rest of us have finished.
"Want dessert! Want cake!" he announces proudly from the trampoline.
Cake it is.