I’m not sure why I thought I could pull one over on Edgar. Perhaps it’s because he’s only three. Maybe it’s due to the fact that he has never presented himself as the “detail man” his brother clearly is. But no matter. At around 5:15 PM tonight–right before dinner–I thought I could keep my hungry and very tired little boy happy for the fifteen minutes it would take me to prepare tonight’s feast by trying to pass off “Edward” as “Thomas.”
The residents of the Island of Sodor–as most know–are largely the trains and their big boss, Sir Topham Hatt. The trains are numbered and are of various colors; and most caretakers of the under-five set know that Percy is green, Toby is brown, and Thomas, Gordon, and Edward are blue. Gordon is always recognizable because he is a beast of train–one of if not the longest of them all. But Thomas and Edward? Seriously, they’re indistinguishable at first glance–at least to me, and, I thought, Edgar.
Edgar was playing with Annie and Clarabel, Thomas’ coaches, who had made their way downstairs earlier in the day. He needed Thomas, and I needed to buy myself fifteen minutes. I ran up to the train table, which is housed in the boys’ bedroom, and grabbed the first small blue train I could see. As I walked downstairs, I flipped the train over to read the name. “EDWARD.”
I thought, “Uh-oh.” I knew if Oscar saw what I was trying to do, I’d be caught. I resolved to hand it off to Edgar without Oscar seeing.
Me: “Here you go, Edgar.”
Edgar: “Thank you, Mommy.”
Awww . . .
Then . . .
Edgar: (in a high-pitched scream coupled with tears) This isn’t Thomas! It’s Edward! I. Need. Thomas. NOT EDWARD!”
Oscar: (his radar now on) “Mommy, that’s Edward. What’s going on?”
The thing is . . . I never would have tried this with Oscar–even a year ago. Edgar, the easy-going soul he is, has never been a stickler for details–not that he doesn’t notice details, merely that he has never worked himself up to such a state if something isn’t exactly right. I figured that even if he did notice I brought the wrong train, it wouldn’t matter to him. I was wrong. It did. And once again I am reminded of the dangers of assuming. Children are constantly changing–learning, evolving, becoming. And though I often don’t get the memo until after the fact, I best pay attention!
I can’t guarantee, of course, that I will always be able to provide exactly what it is my children need at any given moment, but I am now committed to at least coming clean.