When did I forget how to observe... how to pause and consider what's going on around me. Perhaps I haven't forgotten - just learned how to be selective, out of necessity. I do, for example, try to take the time every day to stop and consider moments with the kids that I know will be gone so quickly.
But Chloe, she's a different story. She sees everything and remembers everything, or so it seems.
I'm usually the one who gets up first in the morning so that Julie can catch up on her sleep. Chloe has this little clock made in Switzerland that we got her so that she can tell the time - or at least when it's time to get up. At precisely 6:10 am, a sleeping bunny on the clock wakes up and makes his way to school, sporting a cute little backpack.
The $80 purchase has been like manna from heaven, or the Alps anyway. Before the clock, Chloe used to wake up every morning at around 5:30. We didn't want to start our days before 6, so we'd have to listen to her scream and cry for half an hour or more. It was hell. And who could blame her, really, she had no way of knowing what time it was or when she could get up. It must have been frustrating.
So now every morning, at around 6:10, I'm awakened to my daughter enthusiastically yelling, in her high-pitched voice, "Bunny awake. Bunny awake Daddy. The bunny's awake. It's time to get up." I get out of bed as quickly as possible and make my way to her room so she'll stop yelling and hopefully not wake Emily up. When I get there, it takes every ounce of energy to put on an enthusiastic face and tell her how happy I am that it's time to get up. We make our way to the kitchen and I try to wake myself up as I'm feeding her oatmeal and making myself coffee. Chloe likes a sippy cup full of milk, and oatmeal with milk and maple syrup on it.
One morning not long ago, we started this routine, as per usual, when I realized we were almost out of milk. I told Chloe that there would be a little bit for her oatmeal and a little bit for her sippy cup. I also quietly saved a little bit in the jug for my coffee. She said o.k., started eating breakfast and I went about making coffee. As I was about to pour myself a cup, she said to me, "more oatmeal, Daddy. Little bit of milk for my oatmeal, not for Daddy's coffee."
I was stunned. This, of course, was not the first time I'd kept a little bit of milk back for my coffee. The kid goes through milk like an SUV goes through gas. She decided that this time, she was getting the last of the milk.
Needless to say, I drank my coffee black.