The winter doldrums had officially set in. The skies were cloudy and moods were on the edge of gloomy. Winter had not yet left us and Spring wasn’t yet in sight. I loved this kind of day.
Steve was at his desk, paying bills. Depending on the amount of the heating bill, he would come out and turn down the thermostat 2 or 3 degrees. This would be followed by directions for all of us to wear sweaters if necessary.
Stevie Junior was working at the kitchenette on a new model airplane. The stickers were small and sticky with the glue and from time to time, I heard a sigh followed by a declaration that he “couldn’t do this” which I ignored as he continued to work.
Daisy was standing on a stool next to me helping me bake cookies. The oven was already preheated and even when the thermostat would be lowered, we would still be warm. Daisy was placing small spoonfuls of dough on the sheet pans. There was really nothing better than freshly baked cookies. When I realized that this was bill paying day, I decided to bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. They were foolproof and a favorite of Steve’s. Daisy was stealing raisins from the batter and I pretended not to notice.
I realized that my silent manipulation skill was in use. Stevie wasn’t really incapable of putting together his model; he had completed dozens before this one. In fact, I would say that he was becoming an expert. And the planes were a great conversation starter for big Steve and little Stevie.
Daisy was just testing the water and indulging her need to get away with something, an important part of her development. There were still lots of raisins in the batter. Not being scolded for every wrong turn helps her to learn when to break the rules.
And Steve just needed to be reminded that his role as a provider was super important and that he had some control over how the money he earned was spent.
Right on cue, Steve came out of the den and lowered the thermostat. He came into the kitchen and made his declaration about our use of sweaters. He also grabbed a freshly baked cookie. I poured a glass of milk and handed it to him with a kiss. He complimented Daisy on her delicious cookies and sat down with Stevie Junior to admire his most recent creation. Steve was happy to explain the flags and props to Stevie, who was happy to have the attention from his dad.
The days may be gloomy outside, but inside our home it is warm and wonderful. It just takes a little help from me to keep it that way.