I picked up my 3 year old from pre-school and brought him home. I could tell he was tired when I came on the school grounds to get him. It was 1 o’clock and he is in that phase of life where they are in-between naps. He usually runs to me and says “Daddy!” when I come home (I can’t tell you how great that sound is), but this time he just looked at me, put on his grumpy face, and then looked down at the ground.
I stood there patiently, spread my arms wide, and smiled. I hoped that he would break free, let go of his grumpiness, and come running into my arms. But he didn’t. He saw me, looking all goofy with my arms wide and a big smile on my face, and let out a half-smile himself. But then he decided to put his grumpy face back on and look down again.
I gave him some time, but eventually I knew we had to leave the school. So I walked over to him, picked him up, gave him a kiss, and signed him out of pre-school. After we got to the car, he said, “Daddy, I would like to watch a movie and have a bottle.” He was tired. “Ok,” I said, and started to strap him in. “Daaddy,” he whined, “I said I would like to have a bottle and watch a movie.” “And I said ok,” I replied. A 3rd time he said it, and a 3rd time I assured him.
After this he realized that, when we got home, he was going to get a bottle and watch a movie. So he laid back in his car seat and was quiet on the way home.
When we got home, I told his mother that I was going to put him down for a movie. She said, “OK, but wash his hands first.” I was still carrying him, so I turned on the faucet and tried to lean him over to wash his hands. “I’m scared” he said, and he resisted. “I got you buddy, look I’m holding you with 2 hands, and I promise I won’t let you go.” I proceeded to put soap on his right hand.
With soap on one hand and me holding him, he overcame his fears enough to put his right hand in the water. “Wait” he said, he pulled his sleeves up so they wouldn’t get wet, and then he washed his right hand clean. “Now this one” he said, holding up his left hand. “Yep, now that one,” I replied. But as he was in my right arm, I now had to turn him in order to get his left arm into the water. He let me. I grabbed him with both hands, held him in front of me, and he put his hands under the flowing faucet.
Then I put him down and dried off his hands. All clean. I made his bottle, picked him up, and started to carry him upstairs. His mother was upstairs, saw him, asked him about his day, and then said to me, “Be sure to take his clothes off if you’re going to put him in our bed, sometimes he comes home from school with sand all in his clothes.” And so he and I disrobed him down to his underwear. I put him on our bed, gave him a bottle of milk, and he enjoyed the show.