My mother, bless her tolerance for chaos, went home today after spending a week with us while Iz soccer tournamented, Mali was a hip hop Snow White dwarf in her school play, and we accompanied Leo and his class to a local Winter Wonderland festival. I don't know if Seymour and I would have survived the week without a third parent. We certainly wouldn't have had any clean dishes. My gratitude, it is boundless. Without boundaries. You ever want to see me do backflips, come over and help out in our kitchen.
My mom was also helpful with the never-ending food prepping -- Iz is vegetarian and Leo and Mali have divergent takes on super-pickiness, so unless we're having cheese pizza there are always at least two tracks for every meal. And lately those tracks were accelerated, given all the activities (Mali had play practice every single night until 9:30, then three performances; Iz has soccer practice 3x/week plus tournamenting; Leo had several sessions with Therapist V). So sometimes we got a bit rushed and inattentive. Which Leo doesn't put up with, if it imperils his meal. Doesn't put up with, at all.
Example: Last night we went to my cousin's house for dinner. Which was to be ribs. Which Leo will eat when hell freezes over. So before we left, my mom offered to make Leo a PB&J sandwich to take with us. But Leo wouldn't let her get on with it -- he kept running back into the kitchen, getting in between her and the counter and telling her "Peanut Butter!" and we kept shooing him out, asking him to let us finish the sandwich so we could get out the door. Except after the third or so pass -- during which time no sandwich got made -- I realized that my mom had accidentally taken out the almond butter instead of the peanut butter -- and Leo does not eat crappy-tasting almond butter unless he absolutely has to.
It's not Leo who was operating at a communication disadvantage last night.
We apologized to Leo and went on our way, and had a lovely evening. But it was a good reminder for both me and my mom to really listen
to Leo when he's trying to communicate, even when we're in a hurry. Because he's usually the one who's right.