Interstellar Adventures

November 7, 2006

He’ll make your teeth hurt

Filed under: Elle & Zed — by InterstellarLass @ 9:19 am

Children will tug at your heartstrings. And at the moments when you least expect them.

Scene 1: Zed calls me when he gets home from school. Promptly on the dot every day. Sometimes I’m headed to a meeting or something, so he leaves a voice mail. Last week I got a message:

Him: “Mom, I need to talk to you. It’s really important, so call me back, OK?”.
Uh oh. What this time? So I call him back. 
Him: “Hi mom. I was hoping we could fit something in on Memaw’s birthday.”
Here it is. He’s been invited to a friend’s house to play.
Him: “Can I play Happy Birthday to Memaw on my clarinet?”
Choke.
Me: “Of course you can. That’s so sweet!”

He’d approached his band director and gotten the notes for the tune. He’d also been practicing at home, and when I got home that day, I asked him to play it for me. It was good!

Birthday night rolls around. Zed hides his clarinet under his chair. My mom was at the other end of the table, talking to some of her friends, so I told Zed to get his clarinet together because we were about to have cake. With the candles on the cake, he stood up. My mom saw the clarinet and started to get all weepy. A few squeaks and a few restarts later (it’s hard to maintain one’s embouchure when one is nervous and giggling), we managed to get the Happy Birthday tune out. The restaurant erupted in applause. Zed sat down, relieved and slightly embarassed.

Even cuter is when a kid from another table came over. It was his girlfriend’s birthday. Would Zed come play for her? And another table wanted a performance as well. Zed ended up making $12 in tips! I should drop him off at random restaurants from now on and let him earn his keep. I jest. Sort of.

Scene 2: Elle sucks her fingers. Her ring and middle fingers on her right hand. At about 4 weeks of age, her fingers magically found their way into her mouth, and have rarely been out since then. I’m trying to get her to stop. Saturday I told her that if she didn’t put her fingers in her mouth all night long, she’d get a dollar from me. I told Nick and Zed to be on the lookout too. All eyes would be watching her.

The night went on, and she did very well. Even when she was waiting on her corny dog to be remade (the first one was cold) and we were all eating, fingers were absent from her mouth.

Then, on the way home, she laid her head in Zed’s lap. On sleepy-instinct, her fingers went in her mouth, and Zed caught her. Then Elle started to cry.

Me: “Well baby, tomorrow is another day. You did really good tonight, but rules are rules. The deal was no fingers. You can try again tomorrow, and if you don’t put your fingers in your mouth, I’ll give you a dollar tomorrow.”
Elle continues to cry. She tried so hard. My heart is breaking from her disappointment.
Zed: “Yeah, and if you don’t suck your fingers tomorrow, I’ll give you a dollar too. I know you can do it.”
My heart breaks again from pride.

Fast forward to Sunday night. Elle had put herself to bed already, before 8 o’clock. That’s one of the great things about her. When she gets tired, she goes to bed. Doesn’t matter what time it is. Zed comes wandering out of his room.

Zed: “Did you guys see Elle put her fingers in her mouth today? I didn’t. So I guess we each owe her a dollar.”

Yep, so sweet, he’ll make your teeth hurt.

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