Sunday, February 10th 2008
First Aid for the Dead, by Caden-4yr

Yes! Did you notice that Caden-3yr is now a Caden-4yr? Big stuff. I asked him what he wanted on his cake – a cake that i would NOT be baking in any kitchen, for any reason, since i would surely screw it up. Good thing, because he wanted a purple cake, with a PHOTO OF HIS FACE in the icing. JUST his face, his hair, and specifically his head – but not his neck or body. Riiiight. So my favorite bakery actually can manage that, so I agreed. Also, the cake has to have an Optimus Prime and sprinkles. I went to the bakery, explained our unconventional dream cake, and handed over a new Optimus Prime guy. He snapped in half. Apparently he was not at his optimum prime, but I shoved him back together and sent him off to do his duty on the big purple cake with a face.

Caden-4yr had strangely thought that turning four meant he would have to drop out of PeeTool (how he pronounces Preschool), and the milestone would also somehow bring about a rather dramatic growth spurt that would instantly take him to adult height. Interesting. I asked him, after he had officially turned four, if he ‘felt’ different. My mom always asked me that, and it was probably just to see me get annoyed and roll my eyes. Because we moms can’t get enough of that. Anyway, he said very seriously, “Yes. I feel different. Four.”

It’s a funny age, this end of the third year, beginning of the fourth. Last week at PeeTool they had studied first aid. One day I found in his backpack a clear plastic baggie with the words “I CARE” written on it. Inside were a few bandaids, cotton balls, and a package of tissues.

“Hey, Caden-4yr? What’s all this?” I asked him.

“Oh. This is for when I need to help people who are sick. Or dead. Because I CARE.”

“Um..? You give someone who is dead a cotton ball?”

“NO! MooOooM!” He shakes his head at me like that was stupid thing to say. “If someone is dead I give them a BANDAID.”

Now doesn’t that make more sense? I know I’m going to feel so much better if Caden-4yr has his I CARE baggie with him the next time we run into a corpse.

I love hearing him talk. It helps that he has that thick, unexplained Austrian accent. I love that about him. But his way of looking at the world is fascinating, even without the accent.

Today he picked up a toy with his toes. Then Ethan-7yr did the same. They looked at me to see if I was impressed. I wasn’t. “I’m the reason you two CAN do that, you know.”

Two blank stares. One blue, one brown.

Ethan-7yr figured it out and said, “YOU can pick stuff up with your toes?!”

“Yep. Pretty good at it, too.” They’re so easy to impress with useless talents. I have few of these, so I enjoyed every second of it. “Soooo, boys. Do you think Dad picks up stuff with his toes?”

Dad is the hero. Dad can do all things in their eyes, and I knew I was in a rare position to take advantage of this difference. A more mature being might have passed on such an opportunity, but I pounced.

They both nodded furiously, as if it were a given that Dad would do something so cool.

“NOooOO! Your dad most defnitely does NOT pick up stuff with his toes.”

Caden-4yr decided instantly that this was my fault. Why do kids DO that?! “Mom! Why did you not TEACH him?”

I thought about it. I don’t think Mike ever wanted my services in that area, to be honest. I don’t think he has ever aspired to be able to pick things up with his toes with the ease and grace that I do. Just not his thing. He tends to bend over and use hands in a very human sort of way. He’s funny like that.

I looked back at Caden-4yr. “I dunno.”

He shook his head in disappointment and scolded, “MOM! We are supposed to love one another.” Which would be hilarious enough all on its own, but it’s notable that Caden-4yr does not pronounce the ‘L’ sound. So it came out that we are supposed to “YUV one another.”

“Um….? And loving one another means teaching others how to pick stuff up with their toes?”

“YES!” He said, shook his head in disgust and walked off.

That conversation had a few seriously unexpected turns in it, but I was determined to get it right with Caden-4yr, even if that meant briefly sharing his bizarre definition of love and his important view of toe dexterity.

I called the boys into the kitchen, laid out a burp cloth, a tube of chapstick, a teenage mutant ninja turtle keychain, a miniature mr. potato head, a roll of blue Hello Kitty tape (mine), a pink pen, and a tiny flashlight. I set the kitchen timer, and picked them all up with my toes and deposited them on the kitchen island in a blazing fast 22 seconds. Caden-4yr had a good run, and completed it in three minutes where there was much giggling. Ethan-7yr finished in 90 seconds, and Seth-2yr tried for a full 30 seconds to wedge a tube of chapstick between his first two chubby little toes to no avail. He high fived and celebrated when congratulated on a good effort. Caden-4yr had the nerve to stop his session and say “WHY are we doing this, Mom?”

“We are LOVING ONE ANOTHER, Caden-4yr! Now pick up that teenage mutant ninja turtle with your toes!”

So he did. And we applauded and high fived, and yuvved him for it. Later I asked Mike why he doesn’t pick stuff up with his toes. He sighed and said, “Well. I guess nobody ever taught me how…”


11 Comments on “First Aid for the Dead, by Caden-4yr”

February 10th, 2008
5:23 am

You all sound like you have as much fun around your house as we do in ours! It’s so fun to have little boys and be the hero once isn’t it? I can pick stuff up with my toes and so can boy #1. Not sure that #2 has ever tried and #3 is too little. I’m impressed with your time though. I’m going to give it a run and see what I can do :o )

February 10th, 2008
9:41 am

Hi, So how does it feel to be the mom of a 4 year old? I loved reading about the toe talents of everyone. Happy Birthday Caden!!! Love, J-mom (AKA rigid toes)

February 10th, 2008
12:04 pm

I love this post. If I could pick it up with my toes, I would.

February 10th, 2008
2:25 pm

A valuable lesson learned through laughter and a good time…….priceless!!!
My little Bella, who will be 4 in March uses y’s in place of L’s too:)) I Yuv it;) My favorite is “Can I sit on your yap” (lap) too funny those 3 almost 4 year olds.

February 10th, 2008
2:38 pm

I’m a toe-picker-upper too, though I don’t think I’m as expert at it as you are.

Your boys should teach Mike to pick things up with his toes. You taught them, now it’s time for them to pass it along. Share the yuv.

February 11th, 2008
2:59 pm

I yuv you for this post.

Hey, don’t forget to yuv one another by teaching the boys how to do the Fonzie thumbs-up with both big toes. This may involve more education about who Fonzie is than about the actual toes-up move.

February 11th, 2008
3:01 pm

This is SO funny, I totally enjoyed reading while LOL!

February 11th, 2008
8:09 pm

I think this post is my favorite of yours. For so many reasons, but mainly because I share another talent with you. I’m a toe handler too. And my kids adore it about me. Rock on, twinkle toes!

Miss Sniz
February 12th, 2008
3:20 am

No one ever taught him how! That is SOOO sad! But I gotta say, such a cute story! My 15 month old nephew has a hand-foot. He feels everything with his foot, he picks up everything with his foot…it is hilarious!

Tiff@Three Peas in a Pod
February 12th, 2008
5:41 pm

I love reading your stories about your kids!! By the way I got the package!! Thank You!!!!!!

March 4th, 2008
2:40 am

Oh my goodness that was hilarious! My husband was asleep in the other room and i was trying to be quiet but i forgot about it when i busted out laughing at the bandaid deal. Kids are so funny! I am gonna have to share that story or forward your blog to a few people! Keep up the funnies!

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