Our 6:30am alarm has not rung yet when I hear a pitter-patter of feet crescendo into our bedroom. Ethan and Kyra giggle as they climb under our covers and arrange themselves on each side of me. They compete to plant the most kisses on my cheeks. Pudgy arms grab my face and ears. Their bodies pressed like cellophane against mine.
Kyra says, “I love you, Mommee.”
Ethan says, “No, I love you Mommee.”
I manage a groan, since I had a productive writing session last night and only got two hours of sleep. But my face is stretched in bliss. What a wonderful way to wake up in this love sandwich, as my husband called it.
After they warm their toes and fingers in my bed, Kyra asks Ethan if he wants some Go-Gurt and the two of them race off to the kitchen. I listen for their return, to pull me out of bed and get them milk or tear open their Go-Gurts or referee a fight, but its day four of Kyra’s Spring Break and my Kindergartener has decided she’s going to give Mommy a break.
I hear her talk gently to Ethan the way I might talk to him, “Jei Jei (Older sister in Chinese) will open for you. Okay, don’t make a mess. Now, let’s go watch some T.V.”
So far, each day progresses in this fashion where Kyra pretends that I’m not home and she is Ethan’s babysitter or teacher. Sometimes, she pokes her head into my office just to inform me that they are travelling the world. They both have a suitcase in their hands and I ask her where they are right now. And she tells me Australia. Sometimes, she has miraculously tamed my son into house chores. They put the silverware away, pick up the toys scattered in the living room, clear off the dining table, tidy up their rooms.
Ethan is, fortunately, completely in love with his sister. He will do anything that she asks. Well, most of the time. With her home, he no longer sits in my lap or cries if I don’t give him 100% of my attention. Of course, they do fight at least a few times a day. But overnight it seems, Kyra has matured. She tells him “sorry” or asks him to say “sorry” to her. She takes great pride in being able to solve problems without needing to trouble me.
This phenomenon occurs even on days that we head into town. In the car, she tells Ethan to play the quiet game. “Okay, whoever is quiet until we get home, gets to play with Mommee’s phone.” If I get sleepy and have to pull to the side of the road, she starts to sing a song. It goes something like this:
Mommee, you are the best. The best. The best.
You are the best in the whole wide world.
I love you. I love you. I love you.
I love you more than anything in the whole wide world.
You are amazing.
You are beautiful.
You are terrific.
You make me soooo happy.
Then, she says, “Okay, Mommee. When you’re tired, I am going to sing you this song. Is it working? Are you awake? Can you drive home now?”
It’s every parent’s dream, right? That one day your kids can take care of you or at least make your life easier? I just had no idea that this dream might come true when my child reached five instead of sixteen!
I don’t think it’s due to any magical parenting skills here, so is this a natural thing that occurs when kids turn five? Has this happened to you?