Small Joys

By Mir
May 17, 2004

For a Monday morning, today was fabulous. I don’t know what I did to deserve it or what horrors lay in wait for later today or tomorrow, but I’ll take it.

Monday morning is Back To School, and Monday morning is often also Battle of the Cranky Tired Ones. If the Monkey (my 4-year-old son) is overtired, he gets up at the crack of dawn (“crack of darn” as he has aptly named it), comes down to my room, and is as unpleasant as possible until I get out of bed and run away to the relative seclusion of the shower. If the Chickadee (my 6-year-old daughter) is overtired, she just doesn’t get up. (I think she’s smarter than he is. Don’t tell.) At some point I have to drag her skinny butt out of bed to get ready for school, and let’s just say she isn’t a morning person.

Today, well, I think maybe they didn’t know it was Monday. The Monkey was kind enough to sleep until 7:00–positively, sinfully late for ’round here–and bounded his way into my bed in rare form. He didn’t even smell bad! (Still in nighttime pullups; and yes, I think he’ll be headed to college in them.) First we had to play with his stuffed puppies for a while, which I actually don’t mind when he’s in a good mood. (When he’s in a bad mood, I invariably make one of the puppies do or say something unacceptable and then he screams at me.) Then he got all snuggly and cuddly and started talking about his upcoming trip to Grammie’s and how much he’s going to miss me when he’s gone.

“You’re gonna hafta call me,” he informed me, in all seriousness.

“I am? What should I call you? Monkeypants? Monkeypants!” Now let me tell you… you may not find me amusing, but in fact, I am just about the most hilarious person on the planet. At least the Monkey believes I am, and I care more about his opinion than yours. This little “misunderstanding” on my part caused him to lose all composure. He laughed so hard I was extremely grateful he was wearing a pull-up. He fell over. He tried to explain to me what he meant, inbetween giggles and gasps. I put on a contemplative expression and nodded at everything he said and responded to every attempt to clarify with, “Okay… MONKEYPANTS!” And I thought I was easily amused. After he stopped falling over so much I of course started just pushing him over at odd intervals for the fun of it. (Point to ponder: I do not allow jumping on the bed, but I am perfectly okay with knocking my children flat to the mattress for my own amusement. Hmmmmm.)

After a while we settled down, and who should come bounding along but the Chickadee. She was awake (obviously) and cheery, which was nice even if a little unsettling. The Monkey recounted the hilarity of how silly Mama is that she doesn’t know what it means to call someone when they’re away, which the Chickadee graciously responded to with giggles and compliments to her brother for trying to set me straight (rather than her new favorite I’m-a-cool-kindergartener-and-you’re-a-small-creature little-brother-soul-crushing response of “So what? You’re boring”). Then, of course, I had to knock her down on the bed for a while, because otherwise it wouldn’t be fair.

They dressed. They brushed teeth. I brushed their hair. They ate breakfast. I packed lunches. I announced that anyone who said I was the best Mama in the world would get a rice krispy treat in their lunchbox, and they both did (the Monkey immediately and whole-heartedly, the Chickadee after several other declarations such as “You’re the best shower curtain in the world”… I have no idea where she learned to be such a smartass), and they might have meant it. No one cried. There was no bickering. No one spilled their milk. They put their dishes in the sink without me asking. They played together nicely in the car. We arrived at school early.

Is it a full moon?


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