Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Giggles, squirmies, and Oz

Mr. Husband and I were submerged in little kid land this past weekend as we visited his cousins in Knoxville, TN. I love these cousins because there are two girl cousins and one boy cousin. It is the two girl cousins factor that I dig—girls to chat, laugh, and gossip with. I remember when I first met the two girl cousins more than four years ago—they both waltzed into my in-laws’ home and immediately ascended upon me with question after comment after question. Like I was one of them immediately. They oozed friendliness and kindness. These are good people. The boy cousin is not so bad, either. He’s funny and radiates high spirit. He is always smiling, like his dad. Now, on to the extra good thing about the girl cousins: they like babies.

Each girl cousin has two kids. The oldest is eight-years-old and the youngest is five-weeks-old. There are two four-year-olds stuck in the middle of the oldest and youngest. What did that mean for our weekend? That’s right: giggles. And lots of them. One thing I find most infectious about kids is that everything is funny. Everything is light, bright, and ends in a great-big-head-thrown-back laugh. Mr. Husband and I were fortunate enough to sleep on-sight with the eight-year-old girl and the four-year-old boy wiggling outside our door early on Saturday morning. They were so excited to see the stranger-cousins sleeping in their house. The little boy had heard a rumor that Mr. Husband likes Transformers.

Of course, the fact that we have iPhones and can load hundreds of little kid games onto them quickly for optimum little-kid amusement made us easy heroes right out of the gate. But Mr. Husband had something I simply did not. (Mr. Husband is a five-year-old himself.)

Mr. Husband totally brought it. He arrived with a Transformer’s t-shirt on his back and the canon in his head. The little boy was told these facts (in simplified kid terms), and this made Mr. Husband the absolutely most exciting guest ever. From our cozy guest bed (where the mattress did not sink in the middle from Mr. Husband’s weight—note: we need a new mattress), we could hear squirming and question-asking and “why aren’t they up?” on the other side of the door. When we woke up and let the
burst of little-kid light and energy into the room, we heard a story about what the little boy had said earlier that morning during breakfast.

Little Girl: “Did you know that Guy staying with us has a Transformers t-shirt?”
Little Boy: “I like Transformers, I like that Guy!”
Little Girl: “Jeff likes Transformers.”
Little Boy: “Then, I like that Guy and I like Jeff!”

Awesome. This tidbit of kid conversation shines light into the souls of children: A) children are skilled in the art of logical thinking and can apply forms of the syllogism to any argument, B) children are so eager to be friends and so innocent in their liking that they are most likely the best creatures on earth, and C) children are the best judges of character ever.

Later that morning, we cured the little-wiggling-squirmy-ones by Mr. Husband’s incredibly apt Transformers-playing skills and my ability to jump into Barbie’s world as if I were seven just yesterday. The cousin-parents had a blissful, quiet hour to themselves that morning as both of us were busy cornering our childhoods upstairs. Everyone got a little gift out of that hour.

Later that day, after showers around, we hopped into the minivan, picked up one more girl cousin and rolled off to the American Museum of Science and Energy. Mr. Husband and the little boy cousin made robots while I made puzzles with the little girls. We ran around the museum from exhibit to exhibit learning about energy and Einstein and the Atom bomb. Mr. Husband and I were in happy land with all the sticky fingers and questioning questions. As a super bonus, our driving cousin let us drive the minivan back home from the museum.

There we were: Mr. Husband at the wheel with me riding shotgun with the music from the Wizard of Oz pumping through the speakers. We were in Munchkin Land. It was utterly awesome and so what we want. Thank you adult cousins and little boy and little girls cousins. Thank you.

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