You Made My Heart Feel So Happy

Posted by on Sep 28, 2010 | 0 comments

I think Jack has been possessed by an old soul.  An old, compassionate soul.  An old, compassionate soul who enjoys watersports.

In our old apartment, my children did not have a lot of freedoms.  We lived on Hollywood Boulevard, in a building obviously meant for roommates, not small mischevious boys.  We were on the second floor and had two balconies with no locks (and sliding door anchors were useless as even my cat could knock the screen door off its runners).  The galley kitchen wasn’t safe for adults, let alone children.  We lived in a complex maze of baby gates, locks and creative homemade child-deterrents, all in the name of keeping our kids alive.

Ok, that’s not entirely true.  I’ll admit it, I liked not having children in my kitchen.  Or my bedroom.  Or the bathroom.  I listened to my friends’ horror stories of toddlers in toilets with a knowing nod, secretly confident my children weren’t allowed anywhere near that sort of trouble.  I stashed all of my valuable breakables in my bedroom far out of reach of destructive hands.  I laid knives on the counter as I cooked with wild abandon.

Karma has a way of coming around, and this home is mine.  We have an open kitchen.  We have three, easily accessable bathrooms.  We have no baby gates.  Anywhere. 

I learned quickly after we moved in that the previous sheltering of our children might just come back to bite us in the proverbial hot seat.  The very first morning, Jack and Lennon were up at the crack of dawn, playing in the sprinklers in the backyard.

They had gone down three floors, out two doors, installed the sprinkler and turned it on all by themselves.  At four o’clock am.  They soon learned how to fill their little pool and flood the back yard by themselves, too.  In the warm weather, in the cold weather, in the rain and at night.

Jack’s fascination with the hose finally drove me to remove the handles to both outdoor faucets, bringing his watersports to an end.  Or so I thought.

I should have known the heart wants what it wants, and Jack’s heart wants to be wet.   He now wakes up in the wee hours of the morning to give his trucks and trains baths in the sink.  It takes him a half hour to “wash his hands” after going to the bathroom.  Showers, once a threat, are now an evening treat. 

We’ve had to establish some rules regarding water use in the house, and they don’t just apply to Jack.  Trivial little things like “you do not bathe your toys in the bathroom sink before 6am.”   “We do not flush toys down the toilet.”  And of course, “we do not flood our train table and melt the play-doh.” 

Jack doesn’t always understand when he’s stepped over the line.  The other day I told him he had spent enough time washing his hands, and he ran up and gave me a big hug.

“You made my heart feel so happy. You did, mama.”

 Why, because we moved to a new country?  Because we have a wonderful new home?  Because he now has unfettered access to the sink?

“Thank you, Jack, but please, honey, don’t use all of the brand new soft soap.”

“I love that you made my heart so super happy.”

This kid is good.  He’s soaked from head to toe, clearly violating several of our new rules, yet instead of getting mad, I’m wanting to give him a cookie.

“Oh, sweetie, that’s so nice.  But please, you can’t get all of your clothes wet every time you wash your hands.”

“What colour is your heart, mama? Mine is green. That’s a good colour for a heart.”

I give up.

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