Wednesday, June 11, 2008


On Friday morning Andrew was grumpy. I didn't know yet that he had the flu, I thought he was just over tired from the night before, and by 8:30 or 9 in the morning I was losing patience with his whining and complaining. He is the sort of kid who must communicate his every emotion to us all. If he is happy, we must all be happy. If he is out of sort (which is more usually the case) he will work hard to make everyone else in the household grumpy too. Usually when this happens I find myself berating him for being grumpy, which makes him even grumpier and sets us on a downward spiral thoughout the day. Instead, I've decided to try to teach him ways to get out of his grump so we can all go on with our day.

First I sent him and Aaron outside. Usually this is effective because they find something to do besides pester and scream at each other and they both play happily for twenty minutes or so while I drink my morning coffee or get everything ready for the day in peace. This didn't work. In a desperate attempt to distract him from the fact that Aaron was shovelling dirt on to the deck ("Aaron, stop it! The dirt doesn't go there! Mommy, stop Aaron! What is he doing? Aaron, not ont he deck!" -- at which point Andrew runs up onto the deck and starts wrestling the shovel away from Aaron who has been happily ignoring him. Then Aaron starts crying and screaming because his shovel has been taken away for no good reason that he can see. They both desend upon me, clinging to either end of the shovel, wailing and shreiking at the injustice of the situation.)

Anyway, in an attempt to distract Andrew, I noticed that there was a bee among the apple blossoms. Bees are in his "B" children's encyclopedia, so I said, "Hey, look, a bee!" We all went over to the apple tree, shovel forgotten, in search of bees.

I thought perhaps we would find a bee. Maybe if we were lucky there would be two bees. But as we descended under the canopy of the apple tree, we were enveloped in the scent of white blossoms and the sound of humming bees. They were all over the tree, their little bottom legs weight down with globs of pollen as they rushed to gather as much as they could before the wind or rain took the flowers away. At first I was a little nervous, holding Aaron close and keeping a hand on Andrew's head. But the bees paid us no mind. To them we were simply background noise in their day's work. They buzzed around our head, in and out of blossoms, without even noticing our presence. I got close enough to see every detail of their little bodies. It was magical.

Then, of course, I ran off, got the camera, and came back to take pictures, while Andrew shrieked, "Mommy, stop playing with the camera. Put me in the tree. Take me out of the tree. Get me some juice. Don't get stung, mommy! Put down the camera!" and Aaron stood with a little smile on his face (he's so into smiling for the camera right now) and said "cheesa" a few times before wandering away in search of shovels.

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