After weeks of planning and anticipation, this past Saturday night was the big date night! I had gone shopping for what we would need for special activities. And it was an overnight date night so I needed to be prepared for a couple of meals because we probably wouldn’t be leaving the house much.
The big day arrived and I was ready for him. The girls were at their dad’s. I had the house to myself and he arrived.
Bring on the 4-year-old! You may remember my nephew from back when he and his mom lived with me for a couple of months while their house was being finished. Read here and here. My nephew, Matt and I had a date to do Halloween crafts and have a sleepover so his parents could have 24 hours of grown up time. They had a big date night, too. Probably without the tacky glue and glitter but you never know with those two.
Matt was very excited and started doing something I had never seen him do before and I looked questioningly at my sister….. “He just learned to hop on one foot.” Ahhh.
Matt has a different hopping style wherein the one leg that is not touching the ground is held out in front as opposed to being bent back at the knee. Matt is very enthusiastic about his hopping and looked a lot like a small, guitarless Chuck Berry. (great song and about 1:30 he starts the Matt hopping.)
I had gone to Michael’s craft store a week or so earlier to be ready to get to the crafting. I’m not much of a crafter but I had plans, big plans. We were going to glitter pumpkins, dip pretzels in chocolate and sprinkles, and make 3-layer Rice Krispie treats. I asked Matt what he wanted to do first and he said glitter the pumpkins. I got out the little pumpkins and put them on a foil-covered cookie sheet, got out the glue and the orange and black glitter.
“uhhh, I want green.” Green what? “green glitter, it’s my favorite color.” Oh well I got orange and black because it’s for Halloween. Noticeable disappointment on the part of little Chuck Berry. Tacky glue is too hard for a 4-year-old to squeeze out of the tube. So I ask him what he wants to put on the pumpkins and I will do the glue and he can do the glitter. Um, a smile face! on top of the pumpkin! OK!What else should I draw on the pumpkins? Matt is now just looking around for some idea…how about that bug on the window? Alright, I’ll draw a spider. And a spider web? No only one thing per pumpkin. What else should I draw? A puddle? huh, ok. Aunt Maggie, I’m gonna go play downstairs. Alrighty.
Matt goes downstairs and finds the PlayDoh. Aunt Maggie, his little voice comes wafting up the stairs. Yes? Can you help me with the PlayDoh? Where are you playing PlayDoh? On the rug. Oh good. We get the PlayDoh going on a table and I go finish the pumpkin glittering and get ready to dip the pretzels.
“Matt, do you want to melt the chocolate for the pretzel decoration?”
“Certainly, we can!” is his reply. I love talking to 4-year-olds.
And we melt chocolate in different colors, yes I forgot to buy green. Loser.
Matt spends most of the time weighing things on the kitchen scale, which gets treacherous when he’s loading up a tall stainless pepper mill, he weighs garlic, salt and pepper shakers, an apple, the china salt and pepper set from my grandmother’s luncheon dishes…gah! whoa buddy. He reads all the magnets on the refrigerator “Freak Out and Eat Cake”, “My garden kicks…” nevermind.
Matt do you want to draw a picture for Aunt Katie? Why? So she can put it on her refrigerator, see how I have all those pictures on the refrigerator? Spend 3 minutes looking for the refrigerator. I have a large black refrigerator, I don’t know what he was looking for.
Back to the PlayDoh and some Curious George on Netflix.
I finish the pretzels:
Much time has passed and I call Matt up and ask what he wants for dinner. “I’m going to have dinner with my mom and dad.” Uh. Oh.
Um, no sweetie you’re not, we’re going to have dinner and you are spending the night. WAAAAHHHH!!! The upset lasts a total of about 20-30 minutes, includes fake crying, loud discussion of how he will “never love my house” and how mad he is at me. Two trips down the hall to cry it out. And finally a red-faced hiccuping statement of how he has adjusted his attitude and does want to make Rice Krispie treats. (In his defense, I found out later that his parents hadn’t told him he was spending the night but assumed he knew.)
I know that Matt loves to count things so I give him a bowl and tell him we need 20 marshmallows for the Rice Krispie treats. He is all over this and counts them out, in Spanish. Then he dumps them into the kitchen scale which is a little scale so they go all over the floor and we pick up what the dog doesn’t eat. Throw them away and start over.
All goes well for the rest of the evening. We have dinner. Matt gets in his jams and picks books to read. Oh hey, he picks Dr. Seuss’ ABC’s! I love that. And he proceeds to read it, “Big A, Little a, what begins with A? Aunt (he says ‘auhnt’) Annie’s alligator AaA” Hmm… Matt do you have this book at home? No. And then I realize, holy crap this kid reads everything. The magnets on the fridge. The brand name on the TV. His going to bed books. He’s 4 1/2 and he reads everything. I read a Halloween book and then he reads “If You Give a Pig a Pancake.”
Matt gives world class snuggles or nuggles as he calls them. We lie down and have some pillow talk before he goes to bed. There is some monster concern but I let him know that my house is a Monster Free Zone, as is the entire city of Portland. Sadly, I cannot say the same for the town he lives in.
Matt and his dad addressed the Closet Monster problem the next day and then Matt added more for extra security.
Finally, on Sunday Matt and I are taking some treats over to Deren’s daughter and I am going to meet Deren’s ex for the first time. I tell him that she lives at 46th and Oak. He is a little human GPS and asks what route we are taking, approves it and proceeds to count the blocks. We get to 39th and I ask him how many more blocks. Without hesitation, he says “seven”. Ohhh, too bad but you are only 4 so I won’t hold it against you. No honey, it’s three more blocks and I turn on 42nd. “Aunt Maggie, it’s on 46th.” Well, I’ll be dipped in shit if he isn’t right. He’s 4. I wouldn’t know how to find my way out of my driveway without him.
Darling 4-year-olds are also great ice breakers when meeting your fiancé’s ex-wife for the first time. She is very nice and all is well.
Matt has agreed that spending the night at my house isn’t so bad, so we are going to do it again in November.