Juggling the baby, a spatula, and fielding random questions about snakes represents just another day in the life here at the Llama household. This morning I was cubing up stale bread for croutons, turning the same stale bread into french toast for breakfast, cutting up bananas for baby b.’s breakfast, and answering a random assortment of questions when Twin B. chimed in with, “When will my French toast be ready?” Not in that polite, I’m-just-wondering tone, but with an edge of demanding, a where’s-my-breakfast kind of tone.
“Be patient,” I answered. “Mama’s doing a lot of things at the same time. You need to wait patiently for your breakfast.” I resisted the urge to add, “Hey. Some Mom’s don’t even make breakfast. Heck, you could already be at daycare eating a baggie of cheerios, so buck up buddy.” But I didn’t.
Twin A., who tends to be careful and observant, said, “Yeah, Mom’s doing three things at the same time. She’s making our breakfast, making something for supper, and keeping her eye on the baby.”
I’m impressed. The kid nailed it. And he gave me an important reminder: when you don’t think they’re paying attention to the details, they are. They’re learning from us whether we think we’re teaching them or not. And, I believe, the biggest lessons are not in the big things, but the little things. How we treat the plumber who shows up thirty minutes early; finishing the promised and much anticipated game of UNO and letting the answering machine take care of the ringing phone; and responding with kindness and respect to a child’s question—even when we’re doing three things at the same time.