I have written before about Matt and the kids' habit of having a nightly wrestle. (Actually that post wound up being more about my marriage, but also this other thing.) I never usually see the wrestle directly, but I often witness Laura and Hank dashing through other rooms of the house as part of bizarre errands or challenges. Sometimes they will race into the room where I'm sitting, minding my own business, and kiss me on the cheeks as quickly as possible before running back out singing a song. Stuff like that. I don't know, this is usually the part of the night when I'm ready to ignore them for a while.
Tonight I happened to be in our bedroom putting away laundry, so I got to witness the latest evolution of the wrestle. It's an event called The Cookie Or The Roar. In it, Matt holds out his hands with his fingers spread, having already secretly designated one finger as Cookie and another as Roar. A child ventures forward and points to a finger. If it is the Cookie, "Cookie" is announced, to general gladness. Cookie can be redeemed for a future single vanilla wafer-level cookie, or saved and banked with future Cookies to amass Double Cookie, Triple Cookie, and beyond. This banking of Cookies resulted in Matt bringing each child a whole actual doughnut the other day. They had Quadruple Cookie. I was like, "Oh, sure, Quadruple Cookie, that's a thing." So that's Cookie.
If the child selects Roar, Matt roars. Really loud, or in a really startling way. The children scream in terror. The dog hates this one.
If they select one of the other eight fingers, they have to do a physical challenge. This is what happens most of the time, obviously. And this is what struck me as hilarious. He's got them doing jumping jacks, push ups, sit ups, you name it.
And they love it. THEY LOVE IT. Tonight I saw him tell Hank to redo a set of jumping jacks because he didn't use proper form. So Hank did them again and DID THEM BETTER.
I thought about how it's a good thing for kids to have two parents. I spent all day today with the kids, the three of us. It's the first day of their spring break and we had a lovely relaxed time. We slept late, we lay on the trampoline chatting about when they were babies, we went out for sandwiches at lunch, and we went to the pool. Nothing big, but it was nice. I can do fine with them by myself. They're easy, really, and I can meet their needs and more. But Matt thinks of things I would never think of, he sees them in a slightly different way, and I know they get something different from him.
Watching them tonight, I wondered how long Laura and Hank will like this nightly wrestle/calisthenic jamboree. And not just like it, but beg for more? It has been going on for years, so perhaps it will continue to grow into something new as they grow.
Good night from the Matron family. I hope you get the Cookie.