Pretend #sol16

Slice of LifeI hear him behind me, leaning onto the chair that holds his yellow school bus, a small plastic figure of a little girl with Afro puffs and a pink skirt, and a grey dog frozen in an eternal pant.

“Bye, bye,” he says, lifting the girl and carrying her over to another part of the kitchen, continuing his conversation and roping in a tractor and a piece of Tupperware as he sinks down to the floor. His cadence picks up and I hear him talking to his toys. His language is sprinkled with what I assume are phrases he often hears at day care, and I note that many of those phrases are full of affection and loving kindness. His growing menagerie expands to encompass his dolls, his cars, whatever else he decides to bring into his universe to mark the time between arriving home and the time it takes to prepare dinner.

Back to the school bus on the chair. More construction of his imaginary world, more words I cannot make out over the preparation of food or the running water for dishes. I tend to dread the time before dinner is ready, tend to curse my own lack of preparation which forces me to feed E a set of courses rather than one complete meal.

Not tonight, though. He plays, and plays, and plays. He plays through the time it takes me to roast the salmon and tomatoes, to make some black beans, to microwave the rice, and to even slice a few pieces of avocado. For a moment, I marvel and think I might have a chance if there was ever a Top Chef: Mom Edition.

When I finally sit him down to dinner, he complies, casting one wistful look at the bus and the girl and the dog.

They will wait until he returns.


16 thoughts on “Pretend #sol16

  1. This is a wonderful glimpse into your little one and the wonder of play. How exciting – and how wonderful for you as he becomes more independent. Nice slice!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So many delights in this slice. I love the tableau E has created and your recreation of it in this piece. I love that his tableau includes a “a grey dog frozen in an eternal pant.” Regarding about the set of courses rather than a complete meal: you call it a failure, some pay tons of money for chef’s tasting menus that get served in courses; potato-potahto. Just think of it as culinary training for E’s palate to chef’s whim menus at expensive restaurants he’ll take you to one day with money he earns from his hard work. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE Top Chef: Mom edition. You mean, it’s not a thing? You can start your own cooking show.

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  3. I loved reading this, especially considering your way with descriptive words and phrases. Wasn’t childhood a wonderful time? I love picturing how he is playing and his imagination sparking the whole time. You captured the beauty of the moment!

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  4. This is lovely. I can hear the soundtrack of your little one and it feels like I am right there in the kitchen with you. It is so fun to eavesdrop on our little ones and get an insight. I love the line, “I note that many of those phrases are full of affection and loving kindness.” That is such a reassuring feeling for a working mom!

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  5. What a delightful slice! It’s such a pleasure to read about your and E’s life outside of the time K and I get to spend with you. It’s also less isolating, to know what other parents of young children are experiencing — pretty much the exact same trials and tribulations that we face on a daily basis, and similar love!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a delightful slice and glimpse into life with a toddler. I love how you weave in the concept of wanted to be a top chef! For many years, I was grateful for reheating chicken in a pot 3-4 nights a week. The only complain I ever heard was that the neighbor children got to ear Fruit Loops for dinner!

    Liked by 1 person

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