We paid them in cash for these poses, or, as Audrey calls all money, "allowance." To observe the day, how 'bout an installment of our "Overhead" column?
Calvin: [growing frustrated while trying to move a foot stool] Eeees STUCKING!
Calvin: [racing after Audrey at school drop-off ] Audie, wait ah me! Audie wait! Audie wait!
Audrey: [sitting in passenger seat of car while I put on her shoes] I can't sit up here, right, Mom? This is a seat for someone with a BIG bum. I have a very little bum.
And here's one that set me back, not because it was cute or impish but because it was so shockingly clear. She said this the day after we played a game called "Silver Polishing Workshop," in which we cleaned all of my tarnished jewelry. I cleaned and rinsed, she buffed with a dry cloth. Now, before anyone calls this exploitative or brings up child labor law, you should know that Audrey LOVES my jewelry and getting to handle it like this for real was a big deal to her. She did such a good job that I actually bedecked myself in some of that jewelry the next day-- which I almost never do-- and thanked her for making it all sparkle.
"You're welcome," she said. "Thank you for letting me polish your jewelry with you. I really like it when you let me help you with stuff like that."
Friends, it doesn't get any clearer than that. That was almost spooky. The door of her young soul stood open for just a moment and I could see right in. Or Terry Brazelton had taken possession of my child for a moment, I'm not sure which. Either way, I felt that I was being handed something of great importance-- something I did not want to fumble. She likes helping me. Sitting at the kitchen table with a pile of cheap silver-plated earrings and my company is her idea of a great time. It will not always be so. May I be smart enough to love this while it lasts.