Most of my at-home evenings look the same. They involve my husband relaxing upstairs, watching his favourite sports team lose (Toronto Raptors, Toronto Maple Leafs, Canada’s Rugby Team) and me pfaffing on my laptop in our library, sometimes writing, sometimes tweeting, sometimes chatting with Kelly from Dances with Chaos.
The second part of this routine involves William. He’s always been a night owl compared to his sister. Once she’s asleep, William creeps past her bed, commando crawls past the room where my husband is yelling at the TV, and tip toes downstairs. I know because I’ve spied on him.
To complete the third part of our nightly ritual, William steals a piece of fruit from the bowl. He usually eats it on the landing, then comes to visit me.
“Mom,” he says, edging forward, “can I have a li’l cuddle?”
I shut my laptop and place it on the floor. “Come here,” I say, feigning disappointment, but secretly welcoming the start of the fourth part of my nightly routine, the mother-son extended cuddle mix.
William climbs onto my lap, then shifts endlessly. At first, I think he’s trying to get comfortable, like a sunbather wriggling on his towel in an attempt to get the sand to mold to his body.
But that’s not it.
“What are you doing?” I ask.
“Nothing,” William answers, offering the plea of guilty six-year-olds the world over.
I watch him reach behind his back, adjust the waistband of his pajamas, and pull out a piece of fruit.
I say this:
Apparently, this is the funniest punch line ever if you’re a boy in Grade One.
Laughter ensues, William wriggles some more, and he crunches the apple like he’s found Eden.