I set the table for breakfast yesterday morning and I got the spoons wrong again. I laid out a small spoon for Dee and a big soup spoon for Rob.
“Honey,” Rob called from the dining room as I headed back to get the oatmeal. “Can you bring me a small spoon.”
“Oh, it’s the small spoon for oatmeal, isn’t it?” I said as I headed back with oatmeal and proper spoon.
“Yep, it’s small spoon for ice cream and oatmeal and big spoons for cereal and soup,” Rob said as I dished up breakfast to Dee.
“You’d think I would know that after all this time,” I said.
And yet, it hasn’t been all that long. Two years and small change of married life and just a smidge more as a couple. It just feels like we’ve been together since the dawn of existence, and it’s moments like this which remind me that I am a johnny-come-lately to Rob’s life.
The spoons thing isn’t a big deal. Dee has an obsession with a particular spoon that she would eat with exclusively if I felt like catering to her. I don’t. The big spoon/little spoon thing is something that Rob learned as a child and it stuck tenaciously. We all carry our families’ odd quirks or specific ways of doing things with us as we make our way in the world. If we are lucky, we don’t completely warp our own children with them.
Dee watches Rob like paparazzi stalking the Jolie-Pitts. Very little escapes her notice and she imitates him and adopts his preferences.
Over the weekend she was at a sleep-over and took a nasty tumble on the new sidewalks in front of her friend’s home. She barked the hell out of her knee, ankle and the back of her thigh. Nearly as I can tell, she almost went end over end. Friend’s mother cleaned and dressed the wound with the appropriate Hanna Montana band-aids but as Dee is the kind of child to let bandages wear off, neither Rob nor I checked the extent of the wounds. She said she was fine and we took her at her word.
Tuesday evening, Rob peeled them off her after her bath and discovered weeping, pus-pocked wounds. That and a nasty case of pool-induced conjunctivitis kept Dee away from swim lessons on Wednesday and might scuttle this round of lessons. Rob expertly cleaned, disinfected and dressed Dee’s knee. When I went to clean it off the next afternoon and reapply polysporin this is what I heard,
“That’s not how Rob does it, Mom. Just listen to me and I will tell you what he does.”
Right. What he does is right and you do … not right.
Right now she loves that little spoon, but I can see the soup spoons on the horizon.