I had the pleasure of spending last Saturday with my brother, my sister-in-law, Clara and baby Matthieu. Clara was her regular, high-spirited self but she had a noticeably runny nose which I caught her resorting to self-help to fix as two-year-olds are prone to do whether or not they have been given a tissue. As we were at lunch I had both ample motive and opportunity to address this lovingly and clearly so I looked at her in her beautiful little face and explained that under no circumstances did I want to see her pick her nose and wipe it on her sleeve or herself again. Three or four minutes later I saw Clara’s finger dash across the corner of my plate out of the corner of my eye. Not understanding what that could have been about as my brother was seated between the two of us, I asked her in earnest what in the world she put on my plate. It was only when she didn’t want to answer me that I realized what it was, so I asked her again. Softly she responded, “boogies.” I wasn’t mad. In fact, I was actually thrilled. (I was also done with my food – thankfully, I was done with it previously to this incident). I told Clara what I did not want to happen and she heard me and found a way, heaven help her, to do what I wanted. Even though the result was perhaps not what I thought I wanted she loves me enough to give me what I asked from her. There’s a lesson here about knowing what you what, about thinking you know what you want, and about articulating clearly but I’ll let you figure out as much or as little as you would like to or need to and use it accordingly.
Now, enough about boogers. For a total change of pace, a photo of baby Matthieu and I: