One of the most entertaining parts of my days are my visits with Antonio, whose mother drops him off on her way to work each morning. He follows me around like white on rice, helping me get ready for work, telling me the kinds of stories that can only grow out of a three year old mind, and offering his opinions on the world around him. The thing I love best about him is the number of activities and emotions he can pack into a short time. I am constantly amazed at how quickly he can recover from even the worst mood, emerging with a fresh take on life within moments. (If only I could get over things so quickly!). Take, for instance, our (approximate) schedule this morning:
7:10 Arrival and opening remarks
Usually, if I am still asleep when he gets here, I am awakened by a little voice from the living room shouting "Good moooooooooooooooorning!" Today I am already awake and sitting on the couch when Antonio arrives. Unlike most days, today he is uncharacteristically quiet. I soon find out why...
7:15-7:30 Crying and Cajoling
Antonio is upset because he can't go to school. I don't think he actually wants to attend classes so much as go by the school down the street because of its convenient proximity to the playground. He is not down with the idea that I have no time to take him, because it is raining and I have to go to work. Even my argument that it is too cold and we should put it off until a sunny weekend afternoon falls on deaf, if by then somewhat calmer, ears.
7:30-7:40 Fart-off* (Antonio wins when he emits what he calls an "elephant fart")
*Note: Involves simulated farts only
7:40-7:45 The Feeding of the Bones
Concerned that the dogs are not fat enough, Antonio makes sure that each one gets a bone before settling in for some t.v. watching.
This is mostly just for something to do until Spongebob comes on and he doesn't really watch that closely, because he's dividing his time between the bathroom where I am putting on makeup and the living room. When I am finally finished, he takes my hand to pull me down the hall while pointing and yelling "To the living room!"
8:00-8:05 The Ceremonial Singing of the "Spongebob Squarepants Theme", followed by the Distribution of Imaginary Gum
8:06-8:07 Everyone pretends to take a nap
8:08-8:15 Pillow Fight (starts when Antonio awakens me from my imaginary nap by bonking me on the head with throw pillow from the sofa)
8:16-8:30 Lunch Preparations
Antonio assists me in making lunches - one for me to take to work, one for him to eat with my mom. He adds his contribution by slipping a snack pack of Peanutbutter Ritz crackers into my lunch. I am not sure why, but for the past week he has been bringing them for me from home like little processed love gifts.
Antonio helps me check my mail and repeatedly asks me to type his name, so he can see what it looks like. In his mind, every new time is as delightful as the first. He also intermittently hints that I could, were I so inclined, open the Thomas and Friends website without driving him to tears. Not that there's any pressure. He's just sayin...
Antonio walks me out to the gate, entreating me to buy him a lot of toys (preferably "twos" of each, so both he and my mom have one). As I back out of the driveway, I see him standing on the porch with my mom, waving until I can no longer see him.