Whenever my wife has to work a morning shift, I go in to work late so I can take the boys to school. I don’t look forward to these mornings for many reasons. For one thing, I am using up my vacation time on something that is anything but a vacation. Also, none of the men in our household are famous for being morning people. The most infamous non-morning person is Big Brother.
It can be quite a struggle to get this sleepy 2nd grader out of bed and into his morning routine. But the last time this duty fell to me, he woke up by himself at the same time I did. This was a pleasant surprise, and it was only the beginning of his pleasantness.
As I was showering, a young voice was directed at me from beyond the shower curtain. “Daddy?”
“I think I’ve done all my responsibilities. I got dressed and brushed my teeth. I made my bed and I got out the ingredients for toast.”
Dressing, brushing his teeth, and making his bed are all elements of the morning routine expected of him, but, to my knowledge, he has not been asked to help make toast. That he made his bed without being reminded was a good start, but getting out the ingredients for toast proved he was reaching above and beyond. He was spreading helpfulness around like sweet frosting on the cake of good behavior.
It was obvious which cake he was trying to frost. Since he woke up early, he figured why not try to get some screen time in before school. And what better way to get permission to play than to act like you’ve earned it?
“So, can I play on the Kindle?” he asked.
Just the fact that I didn’t have to drag him out of bed made it worth letting him play, but I wasn’t going to act like a total pushover. “Did you turn off your fan?” Everyone loves the white noise at night.
His answer was to leave the bathroom. Ten seconds later, he was back. “I turned off the fan. So can I play?”
“Okay. But just until your toast is ready.”
“I’m not making the toast,” he clarified. “I just got out the ingredients to make it, except the butter. I couldn’t find any butter.”
So, in other words, he got out the bread. But he couldn’t just say he got out the bread. It sounds much more impressive when you get out the ingredients to make toast, all of them except for one.
Usually, I prefer an economy of words, but I’m glad he chose to get out the ingredients for toast, minus the butter, rather than just getting out the bread. It tickled me, which probably made me more likely to let him play on the Kindle.
But then I bet he had taken all that into consideration already.
Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s hoping you find all the ingredients for your Turkey Day toast.