Sunday, April 27, 2008

How Sweet They Are

The day started out badly. Thing 1, who'd had a fever yesterday, threw up at the breakfast table. Thing 2 began making incessant demands while I was cleaning up after Thing 1. I had to rouse Dad during his usual Sunday morning sleep-in (we switch off: I get to sleep in Saturday, he gets Sunday) to help. It did not look like a promising day.

So we divided and conquered. Dad stayed home with Thing 1, administering TLC and cartoons. Late Blooming Mom hit the road with Thing 2, first to an awesome music class at Toddle Tunes in Westwood (you guys are great, btw), where Thing 2 got to try her hand at maracas, wave drums, and the violin, then to the mall -- not my fave place, but perfect on an unseasonably hot L.A. day. There, Thing 2 enjoyed her favorite lunch of late: Sbarro pizza and a banana-strawberry smoothie. This was followed by a couple of rides on a coin-operated merry-go-round; then the purchase of water shoes for summer (in pink, natch -- her favorite color). Thing 2 was insistent that we return at a later date to get water shoes for Thing 1. Then, when I suggested we go to the toy store in the mall to pick up something to cheer up Thing 1, she enthusiastically agreed. I let her play with the open toys while browsing the store, then picked out a gift she'll share with Thing 1, and miracle of miracles, we left the toy store without a fight.

Basking in my undivided attention, Thing 2 couldn't have been nicer all morning. The capper came when we got back to the car. When I buckled her into her car seat, Thing 2 insisted on giving me a kiss. And not just anywhere. Last night, while cooking dinner, I'd burned my chin when some hot oil spattered. So now, she insisted on kissing me "where it's burned," so I would "feel better."

I just about melted right on the spot.

When I got home, Thing 1 was already napping, but Daddy reported a similar account of his morning. Thing 1, though sick, perked up quickly once he realized he was getting a parent all to himself all morning. And just like Thing 2, he was as sweet as pie.

"We made a silk purse of a sow's ear today," Dad said. I had to agree. Something about not having to compete for attention had turned our siblings from impossibly demanding and petulant into huggy, kissy creatures capable of a spontaneous "I love you" and of thinking of each other too.

I suspect there will be a lot more one-to-one parenting on our weekends. Good for them, good for us. Good for the heart.

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