Yes, I’ve heard.
Before going to bed, Chris fills his backpack with items for the workday. Computer? Check. Planner? Check. Glasses case? Trail mix? Phone? Check. Check. Check. When he hops into the shower each morning at 6:15, Isaac ransacks the bag and puts things away. It’s a daily search and seizure.
I’m not a morning person (never have been, never will be), but I hear this conversation as I’m lying in bed, semi-unconscious:
Isaac (playfully): Shoes off. Sandals on!
Chris: I’m not putting my sandals on, Isaac. It’s cold outside.
Isaac (anxiously): Yogurt away!
Chris: (searching through the bag): Hey, did you take the yogurt out of my bag? The one I put in before I took a shower? What else is missing?
Isaac (crying): Yes! Yogurt away! Yogurt away! Yogurt away!
The kid could be a spokesperson for the Anti-Dairy Coalition.
I’ve mentioned it might be easier to take a week’s worth of yogurt to the office on Sunday. I’ve mentioned packing a lunch and hauling it to the car at 11:00 p.m. while Isaac is sleeping to avoid the morning chaos. That works occasionally, but now that the temps have fallen, nobody wants to eat a lettuce salad that has been frozen in the trunk.
This morning Chris sent me a text. It said, “Isaac took the coffee out of my bag. I didn’t realize it until I got here! Is nothing sacred?”
No, I thought, the only thing sacred is Isaac's anxiety-filled routine. With all of the uncertainty in his world, he wants control. He wants Dad to be home. He wants to make leaving as difficult as possible. He wants to open and shut the garage door as he watches Chris leave for work. Afterwards, he wants to drape his arms around me while I snooze my two alarms for eighteen minutes. He wants me to confirm he’s going to the YMCA on Sunday. He wants the yogurt to stay in the fridge. He wants the coffee where it belongs.
Sure enough, I found an oversized red bag of Starbucks holiday cheer in our pantry. It was purchased for everyone at the office to enjoy. Precisely when it can be enjoyed might be the question . . .