I added olive tapenade, red pepper, and baby spinach to the saucepan. I forgot the parsley. I nearly jumped out of my skin when I turned around to retrieve it because my turn-around was coupled with a little girl’s voice calling “Mommy?”
I yelped. “What’s going on?” I asked — petrified.
Isabelle giggled. “I can’t sleep.”
I looked at the clock, which read 7:39 p.m. Nine minutes past her bedtime, but seeing as she’s been off from school for the past week, it was way earlier than she’d been going to bed. Therefore, even though she has school tomorrow morning, I invited her to hang out with us while I prepared dinner. She agreed.
At first, she was loud. I invited her to join us for quiet conversation at the dinner table. She declined.
Then, she was wild. She started hanging off the side of the couch. I asked her to stop.
Next, she was non-compliant. Not only did she continue to hang upside down off the side of the couch, but she stopped listening to directions. I felt myself growing frustrated for not having marched her back up to her bedroom, so I started to ignore the negative attention-seeking behavior and kept on eating.
Eventually, Ari finished dinner (since he had to hug “Bunna,” a stuffed bunny Lynne recently gave him). That’s when things got entertaining. Isabelle brought Bunna over and the three of them sat on the kitchen floor (Don’t ask me why. We do have proper seating in our home!) together. Then, they began playing “chase” — and laughing hysterically — around the kitchen table and island while Marc and I continued eating our dinner. I looked at Marc. We smiled knowingly at each other. No words were spoken. They didn’t need to be. We knew what each other was thinking. We are lucky to have these kids… living in this house… chasing each other… causing a raucous.
The racket waned momentarily. Next, Isabelle was helping Ari jump off of a Huggies wipes box that had yet to be brought upstairs from the grocery store. She was holding onto his hands encouraging him to take a jump. Once that grew old, the kids took a play motorcycle ride through the great room as we attempted to clean up. I glanced between my husband and my children. It’s easy to feel frustrated when kids life doesn’t go as planned. However, Isabelle’s later bedtime allowed me to observe my children’s pure love for one another. It also reminded me of how grateful I am for these people with whom I am fortunate to spend my days.