There is a moment as a parent where you suddenly realize you have a sixth sense. Those of us who listen to that sense find ourselves walking in on some of the strangest things but doing it at the best time.
Our son has pretty much always been a happy accommodating kid. We would sit him in his high chair at the dinner table and feed him the kid portioned version of whatever we were eating. Like most kids he was very into exploring textures and trying out new motor skills. Or what I really mean to say is he loved smashing the fuck out of his food then trying to get it in his mouth with varying degrees of success.
Every meal time ended in a messy kid that had to be cleaned up. But like I said he was happy and accommodating. A warm washcloth and some gentle wiping and he was good as new, ready to tackle that big stack of blocks with plastic dinosaurs. My wife taught him some simple ASL words so so hand gestures were part of our lexicon when talking to him. When dinner was done and it was time to get cleaned up we’d say “hands up”. He’d put his grimy little paws in the air and grin because he knew what was coming next. One of us would snag the high chair tray while the other cleaned his hands with the washrag and then tackled his face with gentle rubs and lots of giggling.
One warm summers day my wife had just come from the grocery store with a full car load. She’d even gotten us all some treats. The one she gave the boy was called a chocolate “ice cube”. We set him on the couch with it to keep him busy while we went back and forth to the car getting bags and taking them to the kitchen.
All seemed well as we chattered and put away the groceries when I got this funny feeling. The Boy had been quiet for too long. I stuck my head out of the kitchen and looked at the couch. There I saw the boy, his face covered in chocolate from his eyebrows to his chin. He hands wers deep brown to the elbow and the front of his shirt was a splattered mess. The chocolate “ice cube” was a melted sludge he was trying to lick off his fingers when he saw me.
He smiled and started to turn to crawl down off the couch and head for me. I could just imagine what would happen if his chocolate smeared hands and body made contact with the blue velor.
“Hands up!” I said loudly pointing at him. Startled his eyes went wide but his hands shot up in the air. My wife stuck her head out of the other entrance of the kitchen to see what the commotion was.
There he sat wide eyed but smiling. Our chocolate colored child with his hands in the air.
Two washcloths later he was less sticky and safe to move about without causing fabric mayhem. Surprisingly the couch didn’t have a spot of chocolate on it. His shirt was a lost cause so off it came. shorts too. The only thing left was to head out into the yard for a romp through the sprinkler where we all got happily wet and cooled off.
The lesson my friends is to listen to that small feeling thats says “hey its Too quiet out there!” you might just save yourself some hassles!