Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Christopher Robin's Repertoir

During my months of feeling ill, Christopher Robin acquired several new skills:

1. He learned how to empty the dishwasher. Yes he did. Three years old. He up and decided one morning that he wanted to empty the dishwasher, and since I had no motivation or desire to do it myself, I gave him permission, and watched him a little skeptically from my reclining position on the couch. I expected he'd put some of the easier dishes away and leave the rest for me. But he eagerly dragged a barstool to the counter, loaded our heavy dinner plates onto the counter, climbed up, and put them where they belonged in the high cupboard. He reached down from his perch on the counter to take our glasses, one by one, from the top rack of the dishwasher and put them ("Carefully! carefully, buddy!") in the high cupboard as well. He had to ask me where a few miscillaneous items belonged, but most of the job he did entirely without aid. I was amazed. And thrilled. He emptied the dishwasher for me in that manner many a morning I did not feel inclined to do it myself. The thrill has worn off now, and the chore is mine once again, but since I'm feeling better, I'm okay with that. Still, in a year or two I know I can assign the job to him and know he's fully capable of doing it himself.

2. He learned to help his little brother down from his high chair. Peanut Butter has a dangerous habit of climbing out of his high chair and hanging off the side when he's finished eating. From that position he fusses loudly for me to help him the rest of the way down. It was a habit I tried very hard to break him of, but I was not consistent enough, or firm enough, or something, because he never gave it up, and now it's a regular habit. Soon he'll graduate to a shorter, safer high chair that doesn't pretend to keep him in one spot, but is open for him to climb in and out of on his own. Anyway, a couple of days my nausea, which usually just made me feel lousy and unmotivated, knocked me off my feet so powerfully that I couldn't even drag myself around. One morning we got home from a visit to our library and I collapsed in a chair feeling dizzy and faint and horribly sick. I must've put Peanut Butter in the high chair for a snack before I collapsed, because I remember him deciding he was done, and I lay in the chair unable to move. "Christopher Robin, can you help Peanut Butter down?" I asked him desperately. He thought for a minute, then ran over to one of our kitchen chairs, pushed it under Peanut Butter's dangling feet, and Peanut Butter climbed down on his own. Yes. I have a smart one. Since then he has often helped Peanut Butter down from his high chair in that same way. Also, as an aside to all the concerned adults reading this blog, I did call for help on those occasions. One time My Hero came home from work early to help, and another time my mom came and took the boys to her house for the rest of the day and all the next and let me just sleep, sleep, sleep.

3. He learned how to be sympathetic. My months of nausea kicked off with a family flu season right before Christmas. Christopher Robin hasn't been one to vomit much, but he did several times with this one, and so did Peanut Butter, then My Hero, and finally, early Christmas morning, I woke up with the dreaded virus. So Christopher Robin was familiar with the vomiting over the toilet process when I was dealing with morning sickness all through January, and he would stand beside me as I threw up and pat my back and say, "Oh, sweetheart..." in a dear, sweet voice. It truly was a comfort. And neither boy seemed to mind the grossness or the smell...they'd watch with curiosity whenever I allowed them to.
Can good come from a time of misery and dullness? Yes. Yes, it can.


Laura said...

What a helpful little boy! And how great that you are able to look back on that horrible time and find good in it! Glad you feel so much better now.

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