Exactly one week ago I knew it was time to get Oliver to bed when, at the campfire, I exclaimed, “Oh my goodness! You were just holding a frog and now you’re eating roasted marshmellows! We didn’t wash your hands!!”
To which Oliver responded in horrified desperation, “Does that mean I’m going to turn into a frog now? Am I going to be a frog from now on?” With tears he sensed he was in big trouble, that his life, as he knew it, was now over.
Another woman enjoying the evening replied, “No. It might just explain, however, your new unrequited cravings for frog legs.”
Which only made Oliver cry harder.
“Am I going to grow frog legs now? And frog arms?”
There was no calming him down. The day was over, and he was ready for bed. Rationalizing was not working. Explaining adult humor was not going to break down the dramatic emotional over-drive he had shifted into. He had mistakenly believed his fears. He was truly afraid that there was no turning back.
The best I could do was reassure him that when tomorrow would arrive, he’d still be Oliver, with Oliver hands, Oliver arms and little boy legs.
God, I love that kid.