This morning, after I showered, I found Allie quietly coloring in her bedroom. I was about to rush downstairs to run an iron over my shirt when I caught a glimpse of her through the doorway. She was sitting on the floor leaning over the coloring book, unaware of my presence. I had heard some arguing earlier, when I was in the bathroom, over who was cuddling where in my bed and I knew that it had not ended in her favor.
I suspected she was having a tough morning so I crouched down next to her and said, "It's hard when you have to share everything." She nodded her head in agreement and leaned against my legs. This seems to be a common theme in our home these days.
Last Friday, Anna told me (in her voice that we call "The Voice") that we were going to have alone time over the weekend. Saturday afternoon, Rich announced that he was going for a run and wanted to know if anyone wanted to join him. Allie did. Rich had just managed to locate and extract the single jogger from the mass of bikes, wagons and outdoor toys in the garage when Em decided that she wanted to go with him too.
While Allie and Em found their sneakers and pulled on jackets, Anna remained at her spot in front of the couch, shuffling flash cards and appearing to be oblivious to the goings on around her. Both Rich and I asked her separately if she wanted to go and both times, she said no. Two seconds after the garage door clicked shut, she turned to me and said, "Good. Now we can have alone time," before transforming into a completely different child.
I had a few yards of Winnie the Pooh fabric spread across the rug and moments before Rich had brought up leaving for a run, Anna had picked up one of the ends and flung it around like it was a play parachute. I had been attempting to line up pattern pieces when she did so. Now she calmly and politely asked if she could help and after I smoothed out the fabric, I placed the pin cushion on the floor in front of her. She methodically pulled pins from the cushion and handed them to me one by one. After I cut the pattern pieces, I returned the pins to her, one by one, and she very carefully placed them back into the cushion.
For thirty minutes, the house was unusually quiet. It was just the two of us. No competing for attention or space. And then I heard the familiar sounds of little sneakers stomping on the stairs in the garage. Anna heard their muffled talking and began running to the door, excitedly yelling to me that sissies were back home. And then she added, "Good. Now we can fight over toys. Yippee."
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