The child is not yet two and his verbal communication skills are limited, but everyone knows that he is the boss of the family.
His two older brothers know it. His mom knows it. His dad knows it. His grandpa knows it and I, his grandma, know it now, if I ever had any doubts before.
I had received an SOS call to babysit, so after juggling this, that and a weekend work schedule, I arrived right on time at my destination, somewhat bleary eyed and confused, but otherwise alert and ready.
“Bye, mom,” said my daughter, the teacher, who headed out the door as soon as I arrived with one eye on the clock, cell phone, lunch and purse in hand. Her oldest child, a slightly bigger blonde, blue eyed version of his brothers, lagged behind her, appearing to be in about the same early morning trance as his grandma.
The two little pajama clad boys left at home were super happy to see me and I them, so at the beginning we simply did lots of hugging, quite enjoying our mutual admiration society consisting of each other.
As always, stepping out of my world into their world was like breathing in a breath of fresh air all mixed up with wild flowers growing in reckless abandon and puppies with imploring brown eyes and floppy ears who lick people’s faces furiously.
My two-year-old boss took my hand and pointed to the downstairs.
I followed without question, only pausing to grab my coffee cup.
We played with the trains and the trucks. We danced to rock ‘n roll tunes that were not old fashioned, but still catchy. We ran around with these foam pool-floating devices pretending we were some kind of super heroes. (I must admit I took a quick coffee break at that time being all worn out from the dancing).
That was when the two-year-old boss took my hand and pulled me into the family’s theatre room. His blue eyes were solemn and his little mouth had a look of authority about it.
I obeyed the look.
He grabbed his favorite stuffy, a soft blanket and sank his little self into a miniature leather armchair, looking for all the world like the man of the house.
His older brother curled up on the couch.
They were ready.
What they were ready for was quite obvious. They wanted me to turn on the huge television that took up half the wall so they could watch some kind of kids show that they expected me to magically make appear.
I took the remote and pressed several buttons hopefully.
“You have to point it at that thing,” said the older child pointing to a big black box in the corner of the room.” His brother said nothing, simply waited.
I pointed and pushed as directed.
The screen lit up, but only with a whole bunch of little icons that meant nothing to me.
“Why don’t you call my dad?” the older boy said patiently.
“Okay,” I said humbly.
Their dad laughed through the entire lesson on how to work the remote, even though I sternly reminded him I was the mother-in-law, a figure to be reckoned with.
His two-year-old son simply listened.
As I said before he knows and almost everyone else knows who really is the boss of the family.
And now I know it, too!
Treena Mielke is the editor of the Rimbey Review and writes a regular column for The Pipestone Flyer.