My son is precocious. Whether or not he’s exceptionally precocious or not, I can’t say, because I don’t see how other kids act when they’re one-on-one with their parents or the people in their lives that they trust the most. But I do know that more than one person has commented to me about the things that he says, the questions that he asks, and the way that he’s perfectly at ease conversing with anyone.
At the very least, there are some hints that his soul is older than his 7-year-old body.
I forget this sometimes, though.
This morning, we were getting ready to leave for school and work. I had told him several times to get his lunch out of the fridge and put it in his backpack, but he was intent on crafting a robot head out of a cardboard box right there and then. I explained that he needed to do that later because a) we needed to leave and b) he wouldn’t have time to play with it right now anyway. While I brushed my hair, I repeated, “Get your lunch, please. Get your lunch. Dude, seriously, go get your lunch right now.”
This happens a lot. We’ll ask him to do something or to stop doing something (“Put the cat down. He’s going to scratch you. Put the cat down. PUT THE CAT DOWN! I don’t know why you’re crying, I JUST told you he was going to scratch you,”) and he’ll flat out ignore us. It’s maddening. It makes me stutter.
So, this morning, he kind of smirked in my direction and continued working on the robot head until finally, I yelled, “YO! GO GET YOUR LUNCH RIGHT NOW!” He finally responded and seemed rather shocked at my outburst. I think it was especially loud. I felt bad…really bad…as I do every time I yell, and he seemed hurt. I didn’t feel obligated to comfort him, though. He knew why I yelled. I do wish that I was more cool-headed and that we got the same results by merely saying, “Please.”
I guess it’s just one of those things, though. Harmony is often the casualty of the modern workday.
Anyway, we got down to his bus stop in plenty of time. The last two days that I’ve taken the bus into work, it’s worked out that his bus comes a few minutes before mine and our bus stops are within spitting distance of each other. So, I’ve been getting to work right on time (even if it does take an hour).
Today though, my bus was a few minutes early and it happened to show up right as the baby’s bus did. I pushed the baby onto the bus and started struggling with the seat belt. He is perfectly capable of buckling himself, but I like to make sure that he’s nice and tightly strapped in with those large, unwieldy van belts.
You know how when you tug on a seat belt too hard it locks? Well, that’s what happened in my rush. So I’m standing there all, “*thunka thunka thunk* Argh!” when I hear MY bus pulling up to the light. The baby sees this, then looks at me and says, “I’ll get it, Mum. Go ahead. I don’t want you to miss your bus.”
I gave him a quick kiss and ran off his bus and started after mine as it pulled into traffic. “HEY! HEEEYYY! WAIT!” I yelled. It was no use, though. The bus sped up and there was no way I was going to catch up to it. “Fuck!” I yelled after it, especially since I was going to have to wait another 30 minutes for the next one.
But I stood at the stop and waited and thought about him. Even though it often seems like he’s hellbent on giving me a hard time, and even though I yelled at him just a few minutes prior, he knew that it was important for me to make that bus and did what he could to make that happen. It was one of the nicest things anyone’s ever done for me.