Friday, March 7, 2014

Clearing the Deck

Have you ever wanted to go into your boss’s office, get into a great big argument and then sweep everything off his desk in one angry motion?  Wouldn’t it be great to do that?  I think it would be cathartic in some way, to use your arm to “clear the desk”. 

During this month, Jonah lived that dream every day.  In fact, Jonah’s major occupation throughout the day was to make sure that we had nothing on any of our tabletops.  From the coffee table books to the pictures on our side table, Jonah’s mission in life was to keep them free of clutter. 

Here’s how he did it.  He waited until I had three books stacked in front of me on the coffee table, a fourteen-inch stack of papers (organized alphabetically) on the side table, and a steaming cup of coffee beside me before he struck.  (If he couldn’t wreck my train of thought, how fun would it truly have been?)  Anyway, he crawled along the floor, ninja-like, and waited for his opportunity to pounce. 

Usually, he would sit on the floor, playing with a truck or creating a Rockwellian scene that can only be captured by our nation’s finest artists.  In addition, Jonah had a weapon that many babies have, but few use to cause mayhem:  it is cuteness. With a heart full of sweetness and a diaper full of other things, he created a diversion by being cute.   So, he waited until I looked up from a book and think “Aw, isn’t that cute?”  Before he began. 

Picture the scene:  I began contemplating my supreme fortune at having such a cute child, wondering what other, less-than-cute children did to cope with life.  Yes, I was downright arrogant in my estimation that my son is an adorable creature and, at the same time, I was also empathetic to those people who were forced to raise ogres and act like they’re cute.  After my reverie, I went back to reading, forgetting I had such a child. 

Then, Jonah struck.  He moved quickly to the coffee table, where he took his chubby little arm and scattered the books I stacked there.  While I went over to the disheveled pile of books, Jonah spun around, performed a double back flip with a twist (he’s a ninja, remember?) and landed on his feet with his hands firmly planted on the sides of the table.  He would giggle loudly as he scattered the papers and watched them float to the floor. 

At this point, everything moved in slow motion.  As the papers fell around me like snow flurries, I realized that Jonah was looking at my steaming cup full of coffee. 

I turned around.  His little hand reached for the cup.  My larger hand reached for the cup, barely getting it before he could grab for it.   As I snatched it away, however, I slung coffee all over the books, the papers, and me.  There we stood:  coffee-soaked books and papers all over the floor as Jonah smiled triumphantly at the newly-cleared tables. 

It was his duty in life, nay his holy mission, to keep everything off the tables.  He’s done a great job.

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