My boys must sense my parental skills are waning. Last week, Buster stepped in to help me overcome an impasse with Big Man. Not to be outdone at helping Daddy get some parenting accomplished, Big Man jumped in this time and hefted me over a hurdle with Buster.
Saturday morning Mommy went to work. Big Brother, Buster, Big Man and I deserved a treat, so we drove to the place that once was a donut shop and now is a liquor store that sells donuts. Everybody got to pick out the donut he wanted. Some were vocal and decisive, while others gave mumbly, vague answers. Once I had satisfied myself, and the people in line behind us, that every boy wanted the same donut as his older brother, we were able to move aside and let the remainder of our community have a crack at a nutritious breakfast.
A five-minute car ride, including a 10-minute argument over who got to hold the box, brought us home. I served the donuts, leaving everyone much pleased with his treat, except the boy who wasn’t. There’s always one who can’t handle happy times.
Today’s sourpuss was Buster. “I don’t want this kind of donut,” he pouted. It was the only kind we got, because it’s everybody’s favorite. If I’d gotten him a different kind, he’d have fought his brothers for this one. As recently as six minutes ago, he wanted this kind, but times had changed since then.
“You asked for this one,” I reminded him.
“I don’t want this kind.”
My sweet, fresh donut was beckoning me, but my mouth was employed arguing with a four-year-old. I should have picked up some liquor to help me get past this donut brunch.
He would stare at it, but he wasn’t going to eat it. No matter it was his favorite, he was in an argument now, and he meant to stand his ground.
I too was in an argument, but I meant to eat a donut. This I did, even as Buster scowled at me for ignoring the hardship I’d caused him. It was trending toward an angry morning.
There would have been trouble, if not for Big Man’s caring soul. He knew they were good donuts, because he’d just polished off one himself. He picked up Buster’s donut and gently pressed it to Buster’s lips. Buster clenched his mouth shut. Holding the donut to Buster’s mouth, Big Man used his free thumb to pry down Buster’s bottom lip. Buster tried to hold his lips together, but he could not resist the combined appeal of the donut and his little brother’s sincere desire to see him fed.
Buster relented. He took a little bite. Of course, he liked it; it’s his favorite. He took a bigger bite. Big Man patiently held it for him until he was ready to concede stubbornness and just be happy eating a good donut.
Sometimes only a little brother can save the day.
May they always take care of each other like this.