by ANDREW HICKS
Much of the tedium in parenting comes in the little moments. They’ll always need their diapers changed, they’ll always need to be fed, you’ll always have to clean up after them. And so on. But sometimes, those routine activities can produce a satisfaction that spreads across the spectrum of human emotion. I had one such unexpected reaction a couple nights ago.
My wife had bought the kids a set of four plush toys, characters from “Clifford, the Big Red Dog.” These are my 2-and-a-half year old Sarah’s new favorite toys — she calls them her “puppies,” and she makes sure they travel with her to every room in the house. Meanwhile, Silas, the 1 year old, just really likes Clifford. Specifically, he likes to grab Clifford by the neck, crawl on top of him and roll around while chewing on whatever plush protrusion is near his mouth.
Silas was in the middle of his Clifford Love ritual the other night when Sarah decided to take the big red dog away from her brother. We’ve been trying to teach Sarah to share her toys — and have instituted a zero-tolerance policy — but to this point, we’d been met with defiance and old-fashioned ignoring of instructions.