Tuesday, June 21, 2011


My 2-year-old son Charlie and I have a pet bug aptly named Bug. He's invisible.

He has impeccable timing, often appearing on the cusp of a hysterical meltdown and deftly diffusing the situation.

My mother found Bug one day as we were shopping together with Charlie. He was mid-meltdown, screaming, tears flowing, trying vigorously to climb out of the big red shopping cart and attracting all sorts of attention (and not the good kind).

Mom, cool and calm as a cucumber, reached into her pocket and seemed to retrieve something small. She held it tightly in her hand and said, "Charlie, do you want to hold my Bug?" Charlie, completely caught off guard, abandoned his tantrum to see what his grandmother held in her hand. Mom opened her hand and put the invisible insect into Charlie's tiny palm and quickly closed it up. "Now don't lose my Bug," she said.

Charlie opened his hand to look inside and mom shouted, "Oh no! He flew away! Better catch him, quick!" Charlie let out a big belly laugh and quickly grabbed at the air in front of him and caught the invisible Bug. This game continued until we checked out. The whole way home from the store Charlie clutched his fist tight, so as not to lose his new pet Bug.

Now, whenever I need to stop a tantrum in its tracks when we're running errands, I pull Bug out of my pocket and give him to Charlie. And I thank God for blessing me with such a beautifully creative, imaginative and silly mother, who so kindly gave us Bug.

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