When the phone rang at 8am on Monday, I knew it was going to be my coffee date. Canceling. Who else would call me at eight o’clock in the morning?
So I found myself at home, unexpectedly. And I posed the fateful ‘what do you want to do’ question to my oldest.
‘I want to make flowers,’ he told me. And I had no idea what he meant. What kind of flowers? What kind of materials? Etc.
Basically he’d been snooping in my craft bucket and found the glue sticks for my glue gun. And he wanted to use them for something. Anything.
‘Well, we could cut flowers out of felt,’ I suggested. ‘And glue them onto something. Do you want to do that?’ I’m a total master at improvising, really.
And enthusiasm was feigned. And all four of us went to the basement to retrieve the necessary supplies. And we went back upstairs so I could find some flower templates on the computer. And I cut paper and fabric while the blondies looked on adoringly. And the baby sat in his bumbo seat playing with who knows what.
And all of a sudden I was alone. (Except for the baby still stuck in his seat.)
The next thing I knew, the two older boys reappeared. Having gone downstairs to retrieve games and toys. To play with them upstairs. While I sat and worked on the craft they’d wanted to do.
I was annoyed. I felt a tirade coming on. One filled with parental cliches like ‘finish what you start’ and ‘don’t say you want to do something if you don’t.’ I don’t even know what I said, really. But I remember ‘suggesting’ to my oldest that he remain at the table until his craft was finished. (By moi.) It took all of five minutes, but he was as annoyed as I, if for different reasons.
‘I really need to check on my brother,’ he told me. ‘I need to make sure he’s safe.’ The Hen had escaped my wrath since he hadn’t actually asked to do a craft at all. He’d run off to the basement where he could be heard playing with toys, all by himself. Perfectly ‘safe’.
I finished the ‘awesome’ craft. And the Gort ran away before I could officially release him.
We were eating dinner several hours later when I asked him my standard at-the-dinner-table question: ‘what was your favorite part of today?’
‘Making those flowers,’ he replied.