Archive for June, 2010

Cherry on Top

glass of soda with cherrySunday night I was reading a magazine in our living room when Clay came in and handed me a cup. His way of saying, “Please get me something to drink.” A good soldier, I followed him back to the kitchen and got him in front of the keyboard.

“What do you want to drink?”


“What flavor?”

“Black cherry.”

I poured about a third of a can into his cup and sent him on his way. (We’ve learned to fill his cup a little at a time because of his penchant for dumping liquids.) I went back to my magazine. Read the rest of this entry »




Battling the Leathernecks

Clay swimmingWe took Clay swimming on Father’s Day, and nearly wound up in a brawl. Let me explain.

Clay, his older brother, my wife and I spent the day at my parent’s house, one of the few homes we visit that calms the little guy. The open floor plan and lack of clutter seems to work for him. He’ll circle through the living room, kitchen and dining area, check out the den, then retreat to the quiet of their finished basement, where he spends most of his time. You always need that escape room. After a few hours of him wandering while we stuffed our faces and caught up with my family, Clay’s usual steady line of patter turned agitated. The keyboard was retrieved. Read the rest of this entry »


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Hot Lips

french fry statueMost nights during the week I cook french fries in the oven for Clay. He likes to eat by 5:30, while the rest of the family isn’t home and ready to eat until about an hour later. To keep us all sane, Clay eats a light dinner—french fries and a hot dog or chicken nuggets—at 5:30, then joins us for the full dinner at 6:30. Two dinners? you ask, one eyebrow arching slightly. Yes, two dinners. The little guy is always on the move, burning fuel like a Chevy Suburban. Even when he is eating, he rarely sits down. Two dinners works out just fine, thank you very much.

I used to put the fries in the oven and go off to get some work done on my laptop for 20 minutes. Can’t do that anymore. Clay does not do the waiting thing well. He opens the oven every three minutes to see if the fries are done, yet. I’ve caught him once or twice eating still-frozen fries he swiped off the edge of the pan. Now I stand guard, usually sitting on the counter next to the oven reading the newspaper or a magazine. At long last, the timer dings, and I pull the fries out. This is where the serious wrestling begins. Read the rest of this entry »



That Smile

School busI started working from home about three months ago, which means I’m generally the one standing at the end of the driveway when Clay’s bus pulls up across the street around 3:20 each afternoon. Nearly every day, he bursts off that little yellow bus and crosses toward me in a series of small leaps and skips, a broad smile lighting up his face. He holds his backpack in his left hand for me to take, runs his hand along my shirt to feel the texture, then bounds up the driveway, down the path and in the backdoor in the same hop, skip and jump fashion. My heart fills up just watching him.

Five minutes later, Read the rest of this entry »


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Happy Feet

Foot with happy faceWe made it up the steps to our local high school and into the lobby when Clay pulled up short. We could hear the music pounding in the cafeteria. Some sort of techno beat. Clay let out an agitated bark and bolted down the hall in the other direction. It was Friday night, and the school was deserted except for the dance.

Clay managed to push through a set of swinging doors and run most of the way down a long hallway lined with lockers before we caught up with him. He was stamping his feet, crying and pacing like a caged tiger sensing meal time.

We nudged him into a quiet stairwell and whipped out the keyboard. Read the rest of this entry »