So this afternoon was another crazy day in paradise! I was lucky enough to get escorted to Wal-Mart by two handsome dates, Hank and his daddy. Bill hadn’t been with us in a while, so I laughed as he got another chance to experience the adventure of shopping with Hank. Which meant consuming half of a not-yet-purchased tub of Lil’ Crunchies in the front of the cart, (doled out two at a time from Mama), and shouting “NUM-NUM! NUM-NUM!” whenever he ran out.
We passed another mama pushing a cart with a toddler sitting down in it, and a similarly aged little boy in the front with his little bare legs dangling, just like Hank. Only there was a major difference between them. That little boy was quietly, peacefully, munching on a snack of his own, but he was holding the bag himself. All by himself. He was in complete control of his grocery store snack, and he was nailing it! Not a crumb was hitting the floor, he wasn’t trying to shove three crackers into his mouth all at once, he wasn’t throwing them at his mama or his sister, or into the cart, and he certainly wasn’t screaming. In fact, he wasn’t making a peep. Just munching on his little bag of crackers, one by one, while his mama shopped leisurely.
Am I missing something? If I gave Hank the whole tub of crunchies, (which we have tried, so I am not just hypothesizing) the entire aisle of Wal-Mart would be coated with cheddar cheese powder and crunched up Gerber goodness. I started to wonder if perhaps our child is a little more of a handful than I may have realized.
“Did you see that baby in the cart eating his snack so quietly?” I asked Bill on the way home. “Holding his own bag?”
“Yep. I saw him,” was all he had to say.
Well, I got another dose of Hank help as I was trying to put the groceries away. Bill was shuttling grocery bags to the top of the stairs and setting them over the baby gate, and I was unpacking and putting them away. Well, that was the goal anyways!
Crunch. Crunch. CRUNCH.
What is that?
“Oh, Hank!” Hank found the brand new party-sized bag of Wavy Lays and decided he needed to see what kind of sound it would make if he pounded on it a few times. Sorry boys, your chips may be a little more, well. . .Hank-sized now. Sure glad we gave him that hammer and nails set to play with!
I guess that’s why we call him Hammerin’ Hank! I pulled him away from the Wavy Lays and put the limp bag remains in the pantry. As soon as I turned around for another grocery bag, he had beaten me back to them yet again.
Oh perfect, he found a fruit squeezy pouch! He loves those. Maybe that will keep him out of trouble for a bit so I can put these away.
“Num-Num!” he said and handed it to me, so I unscrewed the top and gave it back to him. Relieved, I went back to my unpacking and got exactly one bag put away before I noticed that Hank was mysteriously quiet, so I went around the island to look for him.
There he was – squeeze pouch in hand, just a-squeezing away, and sucking. . .only the problem was, he had turned it upside down! So, purple fruit puree oozed down his clothes, onto his bare feet, the floor, and the rug. When he spotted me, and the look of shock on my face, he cracked up! And Hank cracking up while standing on his new, wobbly legs means only one thing, falling over. So he fell right into the purple puddle.
“Don’t judge, Daddy, when you see that your son is now purple,” I said to Bill, who just happened to be walking in with the last bags. “We had a little mishap!” He just laughed.
I love that man.
I got Hank cleaned up and plunked him in front of my last resort – the spice rack. My back-up baby-sitter. This will work, I thought to myself as I put away a few more bags and watched him shake-a-shake-a-shake all around the kitchen with a lovely sounding jar of minced onion.
Wow, I am almost done! Why didn’t I just give him that to begin with?
I turned around to throw the empty bags in the bin and I almost fell over when I saw my son, and my kitchen. That’s why. Apparently I had forgotten about his new-found ability to open spice jars with his teeth – like the ground cloves! Little white minced onion flakes were sprinkled across the entire kitchen floor, and all under the dining room table. It looked like it had just snowed.
“Honey? Can you grab the broom?” I hollered back to Bill in the laundry room.
Well, that wonderful man came out with the broom and dustpan, shook his head knowingly, and laughed while he swept up the mess for me. Without saying a word. And I held Hank because it is impossible to sweep a room if Hank is in it. (He insists on riding the broom.)
God, I really, really love that man.
And that helpful little boy who looks just like him.