Archive for August, 2009

Lemon Ice Cream


When I first met Sparkle Girl and Doobins, Mr. Doobins wasn’t interested in making art.

Sparkle Girl would draw and draw while he did something else. Ask him whether he would like some paper and crayons, and he would say, “No!”

Then one day, he called for some paper and colored pencils because he wanted to make some art. Ever since, art has been one of the activities that he does regularly.

He was the same way with listening to stories. I would offer to read to both of them, and he would say that he wasn’t interested. One day, he started listening and soon he was chastising Sparkle Girl when she interrupted the story with questions or peculations.

“Keep reading the story,” Doobins would say.

In general, we have discovered that it’s best not to push him about certain things. He will do them when he is ready. We are at that place with learning to ride a bicycle. We have the bicycle ready to go and, from time to time, we ask him whether he is ready to learn.

“Not today,” he will say.

I have no doubt that one day he will announce that today is the day he is going to learn to ride a bike and that he will do it.

This week, out of the blue, he started using the phone.

During work one day, I called home just to check in. When a child answered, I presumed it was Sparkle Girl because she likes to answer the phone and, to the best of my knowledge, Doobins had never answered a phone in his life.

Not far into what I was saying, Mr. Doobins alerted me to the fact that I was talking not to Sparkle Girl but to him.

A day or so later, Garnet called to tell me that he had initiated a phone call, telling her that he needed to call one of his friends with a Lego question.

On Saturday, Sparkle Girl, Doobins and I stopped by Mayberry for ice cream. For a long time, Doobins was a chocolate ice cream man. In recent weeks, chocolate-chip mint ice cream has been his favorite.

When he announced that he was going to order lemon ice cream, I didn’t say anything because I want to encourage him to try new things. But I fretted that he might be disappointed.

He thought the lemon ice cream was great. When Sparkle Girl sampled it, she thought it was great, too.

As they worked on their ice creams at a table outside Mayberry, Mr. Doobins, who knows how to savor his treats, said, “This is a dream come true.”

Sparkle Girl and I laughed.

Mr. Doobins likes getting a laugh. I presume that he was hoping to get one from Garnet as well later when he said to me, “When we see Mommy, tell her what I said.”

“You can tell her yourself,” I said and pulled out the mobile phone.

He got on the phone, filled her in on the background and then said, “And then I said, ‘This is a dream come true.'”

Sparle Girl and I laughed again. We said good-bye to Garnet, and Mr. Doobins got back to serious business of savoring every last lick of his lemon ice cream.

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