Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Caden thumbs his nose at silly

I saw it coming. SMACK! And down went Caden like a fallen tree. Let the tears begin.

We had been invited to a friend's house for dinner. They were hosting some out-of-state guests with children and thought Caden would like to play with the kids. Which he did. He followed them around from room to room with me right in tow. My friend told me to relax as the kids would be fine and there was nothing they could break in the house. I gave Caden some space and tried to unwind enough to socialize with the adults. One of the guests was an overly-animated New Yorker who talked with all of her body, hands moving continuously. As a child that relies on a lot of sign language, Caden was confused by her movements. She had a sudden booming laugh that scared him and brightly-striped pants that made your eyes water if you stared at them for too long. For all her vivaciousness, Caden seemed to be happy to be in another room away from her.

I saw the kids tear out of a bedroom chasing each other down the hall, Caden bringing up the rear. When I heard the playful screaming I realized that they had reached the end of the hall and were turning around to chase each other back. Caden was still plowing full steam ahead just as the other kids turned and SMACK! One of the older girls leveled my boy flat onto his back. He was scared more than anything but wailing his lungs out for good measure nonetheless. I scooped him up and tried to calm him down when the mother of the girl approached to see that Caden was okay. It was the stripey-pants lady, hands gesturing wildly as she dramatically apologizes. As sweet as she is, I expect that she may end up making things worse.

Caden looks up with his puffy red face soaked with still-streaming tears and takes a solid head-to-toe look at her. I wonder if he might start screaming anew when he raises his thumb to his nose. He begins to then wiggle his hand, pinky outstretched. Stripey-pants lady realizes he is making a sign.

"What did he sign?" she asks me.

"He said..." I consider lying, not sure how this stranger will react with everyone gathered around us listening. Maybe I could say he signed thank you, or pretty. I opt to translate honestly instead. "He said you're silly" I reply while choking down a giggle.

"He said I'm silly?" She seems surprised by his opinion of her and straightens up. He has stopped her in her tracks. Then she surprises me by kneeling down to his eye-level and gently smiling. In a near whisper she says "Yes I am silly!" Through his tears, Caden smiles and I know the drama is over. She hugs him and seems to rejoice in her new label while Caden returns to playing with the other kids. All is right with the world again.


Mommy to those Special Ks said...

That brought tears to my eyes! What a great story!

tekeal said...

i like this story! what's wrong anyway, with being silly? out of the "mouths" of babes...