The little toy camera caught only one tiny bit of Logan’s day. The boy was proud to show John, Amy, and me how fast he could run. That was life in the fast lane.
John still seems to be in tune with small children, but I’m having to dust off my skills. I was never a quick thinker, and I’m trying to get up to speed to outwit Logan. Believe me, his brain runs faster than his legs.
When my alarm sounded, I lay in bed for a few minutes checking messages on the phone. Our special guest woke a half hour before his getting up time, which I interpret as his having had plenty of sleep. He danced very quietly to my bedside, and I spoke to him to let him know I was aware of his presence. John directed him to dress for school. Logan responded that he didn’t have any clean clothes.
“Yes, you do,” said John, “Your dad brought them over yesterday. They are on the counter in the bathroom.”
I was closest, so I went to the door to find Logan sitting on the floor, clutching his orange shirt from the day before. It must have been his favorite shirt. He insisted it was clean in a voice that said he was teasing. I countered that he wore it the day before, having photos to prove it. He laid it on the floor, and I picked it up to look at it. I left him to get dressed, pointing out the clean shirt and shorts. Some of my old parenting skills surfaced, so I carried the orange shirt with me. I always had a hard time trying to stay ahead of my own children. After many years, I found that using humor or being wordless got the quickest and most compliant results. There was no way I was going to turn around and find the contested shirt back on the body. Can you imagine two old people wrestling a five-year-old to the ground and getting the shirt off his back? My bet would be on the boy.
All was quiet for a few moments as I went back to my computer. Of course, my mind was not quick enough. I was holding the orange shirt in my hand, and I squeezed it hard as I heard very quiet little feet coming up behind me. Quick as lightning, Logan’s hand was on it as he teased that he had found it. John came in and tickled Logan. As he picked him up and flipped him, I stood up. While Logan’s eyes were upside down, I shoved the shirt under the duvet. I wish you could have seen the bewildered look that flashed across his face. He KNEW the shirt was in my hand, only it wasn’t there. He looked around the vicinity and figured he had been tricked. In two minutes he was racing out of the bathroom, properly dressed up to the top button on his shirt.
An orange shirt is the icon of life in the slow lane. I don’t think quickly, and I don’t move quickly, but once in a while experience will ensure that I win. As I walked out of the bedroom, I had a thought of losing. What if I forgot I put the shirt in the bed and got tangled in it that night?
I didn’t forget, not while writing about the experience.