When I tried to go to sleep last night, my hungriest child requested food. Because I grew up being hungry all the time, even though my parents weren’t direly poverty-stricken, I let him. An interesting dialogue resulted:
“Dad, there’s nothing to eat!”
“You’ve got chicken in one crockpot and beef in the other. Just put some lemon pepper on it. That makes everything taste good…”
Suddenly, I sense someone standing over me. I roll over and find myself looking up, eyeball to bag of lemon pepper. Small bits of lemon flavoring and pepper fall off the bag, going into my eye.
“Dad, is this the lemon pepper?”
“Yes, good job…could you please move that away from my eye?” I begin rubbing my eyes.
“I’m sorry about putting lemon pepper in your eye, Dad.”
“It’s okay. Don’t do it again.”
There’s a long pause…
“Dad, why are you laughing? I said I was sorry.”
Having experimented with small amounts of cayenne in my eyes, it wasn’t a big problem. The hard thing was to stop laughing and go to sleep. It took me about four tries, plus additional efforts reassuring the child in question.
This is pretty typical for this child. It’s interesting to me that the child who usually tries the hardest to do and be good is the one who forgets the most, drops and spills things, and has the hardest time keeping things positive. He’s the one who has the wackiest adventures, who we have to watch most with hot, liquid, delicate, and dangerous objects.
It’s the ones who are quiet, smooth and don’t cause mini calamities that I have to worry about most.
Every parent knows to watch out when her or his children are too quiet. It’s part of the free entertainment that comes with being a parent.