Sunday, January 18, 2009


At 6 this morning, I hear the call: “Mama!” My nineteen month old calls from his crib, using one of the only words he articulates well at this point. At first I ignore it. I like it better when I wake before him and have a few minutes to myself. Plus the electric mattress warmer (an ingenious invention), the flannel sheets, and the rhythmic sounds of Dart Guy’s oblivious breathing all combine to make it hard to leave my place in bed. I think about other things that would be nice to wake up to, preferably much later in the morning: bird songs outside the window of an Aspen cottage in the mountains, wave sounds outside an amazing bungalow on a Maui beach, or softly whispering grass of a hillside in Tuscany. Then I sigh and get up because I realize that, while all those things are innately and extremely appealing, they can not surpass the feeling induced from a toddler’s gently appreciative morning hug.
He has well earned his name in the household—Destructo—and goes immediately to work maintaining it this morning before the sun even rises. He sets his sights on the computer desk and chair—two items that he knows are off limits. While I sleepily address the dirty kitchen counters, he squirms his way into the tiny slice of space between the back of the chair and the top drawer, smiling contentedly as he settles himself in that ever-so-treasured position. I decide to ignore him, knowing that is not consistent with the household rules, but not having enough ambition to change it at the moment. I muddle through some dishes while glancing at him occasionally. I pretend he is doing the bills or writing a novel, though it becomes clear that he is systematically dismantling our wireless mouse. When I finish the dishes, the mouse pieces are strewn across the desk—a battery and a cover lay on opposite ends of the spectrum here. I also notice some new green marker scribbles on the floor. This is possibly the same green marker that created a single, perfect line from Destructo’s brow to ear, covered his left foot almost entirely in feathery scribbles, and marked randomly in both palms. I hope I remember to clean him up before church later, as he appears to have been marked for some sort of bizarre slave trading or child labor ritual. I wonder at his macho penchant for demolition, sometimes thinking maybe it is provoked from my drastically increased consumption of animal flesh while I was pregnant with him (I could rarely go a day without a hamburger when he was in the womb). I make him cinnamon toast, which he doesn’t eat, but rather destroys, chucking it into his mouth in one big chunk as though he is not sure that we will feed him again. This morning my 4 year old, Spitfire, is still sleeping over at a friend’s house, or she would be fiercely monitoring his rabid feeding habits, as is her usual practice. She would be sitting at the ready, piercingly, high-pitched voice only a split second away from deployment. Alas, I’m sure she is, at this very minute, sleeping angelically, as though God, himself, has reached down and placed angels wings on her shoulders. She usually saves her “Spitfire” behavior just for us.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE IT!!! I was laughing because I could see everything so clearly! :)