Smurf is sitting next to me in the home office. Being 5 and fidgety on a chair with wheels, he keeps wheeling himself to and from the desk. He often finds himself suspended across the wide chasm between the chair, on which he kneels, and the desk onto which he holds. I lose patience and bring in one of the chairs from the dining room, which are nice and sturdy and, most importantly, have no wheels. At least I don’t have to constantly look out for him falling nose first onto the hardwood floor.
He is sitting quietly in his chair and coloring the Gangar Evolution Tree coloring page. “Sitting quietly” means that he is singing to himself and sniffling loudly. I am periodically asked to help retrieve a Sharpies marker cap, because everyone knows that kids absolutely cannot write or draw or color with anything that has any chance in hell of being cleaned or washed off.
He hands me a sheet of paper with half a dozen monsters, three on each side. I cut them out so he would tape them to the window by our front door. I apparently cut the arms off one monster, mostly because I had no idea they were the monster’s arms (they we not attached to it, but floating), and also because cutting around them would have seriously maimed the monsters on the other side. After a bout of crying (I didn’t say whose), we decide that he will redraw the arms and we will tape them next to the apparently armless monster. This all caused the hunt for
Red October Scotch tape, which turns out to have been used by Smurf yesterday in an inexplicable connection with him carving a Jack-o-lantern with his dad.
I must have said “Put on your socks” 5 dozen times since this morning. He finally puts them on when I refuse to help him tape the arms onto the monster unless he complies. Parenting — it’s all about exasperated bargaining with a much more energetic and determined opponent.
The newly attached arms are a smashing success.