Little darling, please don’t cry


Here’s the song reference.

We lingered a little late at Nonno and Deedaw’s on Thursday night, which resulted in all of the tiny people being up way past their normal bedtimes.  Logically, one might assume this would lead to all of them sleeping late yesterday morning, but this was not the case; at just a few minutes past seven o’clock, Beanie stumbled down the hallway, swiping sleepers out of her eyes with her forearms and glowering at poor Bo, who was trying to rest his ancient bones in the middle of that same hallway.  After giving her hugs and kisses, Manie and I looked at her poor, weary face, and suggested she go back to bed.  For once, she didn’t argue, and, stepping carefullly over Bo, proceeded back to her room.  We heard her bed springs creak softly, looked at each other, and smiled, as it appeared we had achieved that rarest of successes — getting a tired four-year old to concede fatigue and get a little more sleep.

About two minutes later, we heard a shriek, followed by the steady, keening wail that characterizes either a banshee convention or Beanie having been disturbed by Bugaboo.  As our house is not known as a gathering place for banshees, we assumed the latter case.  While the wail was still in progress, Bugaboo wandered innocently into the kitchen, blinking in the brighter light.

Manie greeted her first.  “Good morning, Bugaboo.  I love you.  Why is Beanie crying?”

“I don’t know.  Maybe she’s upset that we’re not going to the fair today.”

For the record, the State Fair was in September.  I rubbed my own eyes as Beanie stormed into the kitchen, still wailing, knocked a couple of magnetic letters off of the fridge when she shoulder-blocked it en route to her chair, stumbled over the letters — which caused the pitch of the wail to rise even higher for a few seconds — and finally ascended onto the seat of her chair.  The wailing continued unabated.  Bugaboo attempted to be helpful.  “Beanie, you need to stop that racket right now.  You’re making my head hurt.”

The volume of Beanie’s response nearly blasted us all out of the kitchen.  “BUGABOO DOESN’T LOVE ME ANY MORE!”

That happens to be the single most infuriating Beanieism — when someone takes an action of which she disapproves, she accuses them of not loving her any more.  You should hear her when I tell her that if toys are not picked up, they will be thrown away.  I remonstrated with her.  “Now, Beanie, you know that’s not true, and it’s an ugly thing to say besides.  What did  Bugaboo do that would make you say that?”

“I WAS TRYING TO SLEEP AND SHE STOLE MY BLANKET AND MY PILLOW!”

Bugaboo defended herself.  “Did not!  You knocked them out of your bed yourself! Mommy, can I have some milk, please?”

I was pretty proud of Bugaboo for responding mildly and having the composure to ask politely for a drink.  The scenario our eldest described was pretty plausible, as Beanie’s entry into her bed tends to be fairly bouncy, and it’s not uncommon for blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals to land on the floor, so I gave her a hug and handed her a cup of milk, which she carried into the living room for consumption while investigating the contents of the bookshelves and the toy box.  I also snapped a picture of Beanie, who is such a camera ham that, often, the sight of a camera is all that’s needed to snap her out of a crying jag.  It was, alas, ineffective yesterday morning.

I don't do mornings

Having thus settled Bugaboo’s morning need, I turned my attention back to Beanie.  Manie, bless him, had been trying to convince her to go back to bed again, or at least stop crying.  She had already declined offers of food, milk, hugs, stories, crafts, songs, jokes, and being carried back to her bed and properly re-tucked with her blankets and pillows, all to no avail, and the time for Manie to leave for work was approaching.  It upsets me greatly when the last sound he hears from our house in the morning is a crying small person, so I sat down next to Beanie and tried to calm her.  “Beanie, honey, can you take a deep breath for me?”

Finally, a break in the droning wail, as she paused to draw three deep, shuddering, breaths.

“That’s better.  I’m sorry you’re upset.  It makes me very sad when you’re crying and I don’t know what do to help.  Would a little bit of juice help?”

“Y-y-y-yes.”

That was all I needed to hear.  I raced down the steps to retrieve some juice from the downstairs refrigerator, ran back up the stairs, and managed to put a cup of it in front of her before she started crying again.  Timing is essential with Beanie in the morning; as I believe I’ve mentioned before, she does not awaken in a jolly mood, generally, but quick delivery of whatever will brighten her morning tends to ameliorate the general misery that a rough Beanie morning can cause in our household.

She slurped her juice, blinking her wet eyelashes wretchedly as she watched Manie retrieve his lunch bag.  “Daddy, is today one of your stay days?”

Manie, somewhat warily, replied, “No, honey, today is Friday, and I have to go to work.”

“Is tomorrow one of your stay days?”

“Yes.  Tomorrow is Saturday, and that’s one of my stay days.”

“Okay.  I don’t want you to go to work today.”

“I’d rather stay here with you guys.  I’ll miss you all day.”

“I’ll miss you, too, Daddy.  Don’t forget to kiss me.”

Manie kissed her, then hugged her, then kissed her again.  “Please be good for Mommy today.”  He shot me a sympathetic look before kissing me goodbye.  “And please take a nap when she tells you to.  I love you.”

“Okay, Daddy.  I love you.”

Today’s prayer:  Lord, thank You for giving all of us the gift of another day, for allowing all of us to wake up and savor this world You created.  Thank You for Your four little blessings, with their strong lungs and agile limbs.  Please grant me the grace of a grateful heart when they greet the day You have made with something other than rejoicing, and let that grace be a lesson for them in how to be cheerful during such small trials as are so often part of our mornings.  Lord, if we can learn to have joyful hearts in small adversities, it will be easier for us to find the blessings in the larger ones.  Lead us to see Your face and the opportunities You give us to comfort one another, to build each other up, in each person and each day. Thank You for the grace to greet inexplicable tears with soft words instead of harsh ones.

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