I was helping Kaiden change in to PJs the other night. I was half-listening to the story he was telling about someone at daycare, my mind being on all of the errands I had to run the next day. I tuned back in as he asked me how old I thought one of the girls at daycare was.
"Umm, I donno," I said as I was pulling his shirt over his head, "Twelve?"
"Right! You're a good guesser mom." he replied, "You're 41 now? I bet when you're 42 you'll have this down pat."
I enjoy their genuine (and not so genuine attempts) at compliments. They will often tell me I'm a 'good cooker' if they like the meal. At the same time, those meals may only consist of Mac and Cheese with a side of fruit cocktail, but I'll take them where I can get them. My husband has them pretty well trained to, "tell mama how nice she looks today." Which is sweet. Although I was a bit taken aback when my oldest told me I looked 'hot.'
My dad suffered a stroke many years ago and is unable to use one arm completely, and he walks with a cane...sloooowly. When Grammie and Papa come to visit, my mother and I can make a couple of trips to unload their luggage in the time dad makes it to the front door. One evening during their visit, they decided to take us out to eat. The kids were excited since we don't go out very often at all (as my restaurant experience is eerily similar to taking them to church). We're all buckled in the car, waiting for my dad's somewhat unsteady pace to finally bring him to the car door. When he managed to lower himself into the passenger seat, Kaiden commented, "Papa, you're as slow as a turtle in malaska." Add that one to our permanent list. Also on that list, we now refer to Applebee's as "Bumblebees."
Some of the things they say are just so adult, which is what makes it that much more humorous. Kamrin often wants what adults are having, whether it's what we're eating or what we're drinking. After begging several times for a cup of 'Foffee,' I mixed up some hot chocolate and he enjoyed drinking that instead. He mimicked the whole two-handed cup hold, while hunching over the steaming liquid acting like he was trying to wake up. One early morning, I had my own cup of real java in my hand, and really was trying to wake up. I looked over at Kamrin swinging his bare little feet while sitting at the kitchen table. "What do you want for breakfast, Kam?" With his back to me, he holds his hand up behind him, palm towards me, and without even looking my direction he says, "Don't tok (talk) to me, I don't have my foffee."
"Mom, my want ice cream." Well first of all, it was 10 in the morning, and second of all, if I did feed my children ice cream in the morning, he didn't say please.
"My gonna count." He puts his hands on his hips and taps his foot. "One, two...four...seben, don't make my get to free..." Wow. Heard that one before.
And if that doesn't work he will threaten with, "My won't be your best friend..." He doesn't know it, but he'll always be my best friend.
Getting him out of the bath, I always marvel had how skinny my youngest is. I asked him, "How come you're so skinny." He tilted his head, paused and said, "My a tiny wittle boy." Well that answers that.
A lot of things they repeat, although I don't always remember saying it in the first place. They had received a bag of salted nuts for their church program, which were now in a bowl on the table. Kamrin didn't know how to crack them open, and after explaining how to squeeze them between his fingers, and demonstrating on my own peanut, he says, "Well, here goes numpin."
They also have not mastered the use of discretion. It never fails, we will be in the middle of Wal-Mart or the grocery store, when one of them will announce, "I have to pee!" My luck is that we are usually in the aisle furthest from the bathroom. I must quickly do the calculation in my head, "How many more items on my list? How long are the check out lines? And the drive home is 15 minutes....(sigh)." I have Kaiden stand at the front end of the cart and Kamrin stand between my arms and hang on to the handle, so I can push the cart, the one with the wobbly wheel which squeaks every full rotation, at breakneck speed. I manage to maneuver around the little old lady on the scooter cart and keep my cart from tipping as two wheels leave the ground and we make the turn around the pyramid of canned goods. I then must trust that total strangers will not rummage through all of my carefully chosen items, since I must leave the cart parked in the hallway leading to the rest rooms.
Kamrin is a night owl. He gets that from me. Or from the person I used to be before I had to get up at 5 AM to get kids to the bus on time. Anyway, while Kaiden is asleep at 8:30 at the latest, and dad soon follows him, Kamrin refuses to shut his eyes. It's quiet in the house, and I've gone through the bed time rituals with Kaiden, and there Kam is, sitting in the lounge chair, patting the open 6 inches beside him, beckoning me to come sit. So I do. Mostly because it is a bit of a challenge to force myself to go to bed at that hour. It's just not in me. Twenty minutes later, I give up on him falling asleep while we rock in the chair.
"I'm going to bed Kam."
"Can my sleep with you?"
I sigh, because I know that about 30 minutes after we're all tucked in, I will have to drag myself out of bed and carry him to his. He follows me around as I turn off the 7 lights that have managed to be left on, check and lock the doors, peek in on Kaiden to make sure he hasn't kicked his blankets off yet. I hoist Kamrin into our bed, where he bounces to the middle, makes sure his (my) pillow is just right, and pulls the covers up to his chin. I bulldoze him a little further to dad's side (after all, dad's already asleep), turn off the light, and slide myself into my 3-inch strip of bed. Ahhh.
"Can my hab a drink?"
I roll my eyes in dark. I get up, walk to the kitchen, grope for a glass in the dark, grab some water and trudge back to the bedroom. I blindly reach for him in the dark.
He takes the most minuscule of sips and hands it back to me. Urgh! I go through the motions of positioning myself into my thin strip of bed real estate. I feel his tiny little body scoot closer to me. He slips one skinny little arm underneath my neck, leans his cheek on my forehead, and stroking my hair, whispers, "You're da best, mom." That makes it all worth it.