Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mommy's Helper

Sometimes, Merlot's bladder moves faster than I can.  This can be terribly frustrating.

After she finished her lunch yesterday, I walked into the kitchen to grab her leash so I could take her out, and in the thirty seconds it took me to retrieve the leash, she began "doing her business" on the floor by the door.  THIRTY SECONDS!

This is not really her fault--though she knows she's supposed to potty in the yard, she doesn't yet have the bladder control necessary to hold it when it's full.  And as far as she knows, she did everything she could to communicate.  She stood by the gate to the door and waited, as she usually does to signal she needs to go, and I simply wasn't fast enough.  Fortunately, she'll stop mid-stream if I distract her, so she at least finished her "business" in the yard.

Nevertheless, it is frustrating when I'm in the process of doing the very thing she needs only to be thwarted by time and puppyhood.  I had been cleaning the house that morning and had no desire to clean up another mess, let alone one of an excretory nature.  But I entered the house resigned to the new task at hand--only to find Ben on his hands and knees taking care of it already.  With the spray in one hand and a big towel in the other, he kneeled on the floor soaking up and spraying and wiping until it was clean, my little boy acting so selflessly, so responsibly.  I wanted to squeeze him a hundred times.

I gushed my thanks and appreciation and gave him every accolade I could think of in the moment, and then I kneeled next to him to help with the last bit of clean-up.

"I'm almost done, Mommy," he informed me quite seriously.  "I already got the other side."

The wonderful thing about Ben is that his coordination has caught up to his attention to detail, so when he does a job, he does it well.  I don't have to sneak back later when he's elsewhere to go over his work.  He's old enough now to be able to recognize a situation that needs addressing, to take care of it all by himself, and to be a genuine help.  I didn't ask him to clean up Merlot's mess.  He chose to do it himself.  He left his game to grab the towel and cleaner to help his visibly frustrated mommy.

Oh, the encouragement that gives me!  Because there are days when I wonder what in the world I'm doing as a mother, but then I get these little glimpses of what we're sowing, and I am filled with hope and wonder at the crazy gift of family, of sharing life with two people new to the world and learning its workings.  If he can help his mama at four, how will he be helping the world at forty-four?

Hope springs eternal.



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