Basket Case

Getting the boys dressed for bed after bath time seems like it should be a sweet act of parenthood, but in actuality it’s often a frustrating chore. (Lucky for me, Chris usually is in charge of this particular parenting duty.) They choose this moment to expel whatever energy they have left from the long, busy day of being them. They squirm and jump and giggle and writhe around as I try to beg and sing and bargain them into submission, all the while thinking longingly about the days when they were infants (which is something I rarely do otherwise). When they were babies they came out of the tub relaxed and sleepy and pliable, and the ritual of rubbing their dewy skin with lavender lotion and tucking them into footed sleepers was like a little reward for both of us.

Those days are long gone.

So a few nights ago during this mad, jumpy chaotic pre-bedtime routine, Kostyn started yelling, “Help!” At first I ignored him, as I was tending to Evan at the moment and knew he wasn’t being hurt by either his brother or me. But he continued, looking out our bedroom door and across the hall into his room, as if calling to someone in particular. But his father was at band practice, and the dog was already at the foot of the bed.

“Help! Help!” he cried, jumping on his knees and flipping onto his bare back.

“What’s wrong?” I finally said.

“He’s saying ‘Help!’” he said, still looking across the hall into his room, which I couldn’t see. He really seems to be looking at something — or someone, I thought, and a tingle went up the back of my neck.

“Who’s saying ‘Help,’” I asked, leaning over Evan to peer out the bedroom door.

“The basket!” Kostyn said. “He say, ‘Help! Help! Get me out of here!’”

It took me a moment. Then I smiled.

“Ohhh, I see. I see his blue eyes and his mouth is wide open. He’s talking to you?” I said. “I’ll bet he’s lonely. Tell him you’ll be in there soon to go to bed, and then he won’t be alone anymore.”

“Yeah!” Kostyn said, and I patted myself on the back for acknowledging his imagination and getting him excited about bedtime in one fell swoop.

“Kostyn’s coming!” he called to his basket friend, lying down without a fuss for me to put on his diaper and pajamas.

It’s still making me smile, days later. Witnessing a child’s imagination unfurl and bloom is one of the greatest gifts of parenthood, don’t you think?


Brian & Stacey said...

Most definitely! :)

Heather said...

Love that kid!

Lyn said...

It actually took me awhile to figure this out...what a riot!