A Toddler and a Snail

May 22, 2020

I had a phone call from a toddler this morning.

He wanted to show me this snail he had found on the rhubarb in his garden. He was running on alle awe cylinders – this was hot news just in. A wonder manifested. He would take good care of it. In fact, treat it as his new pet, but leave it outside and go check on it now and then.

I like to tease toddlers a bit, sort of poke them with a stick of logic – and they love it. 

“You aren’t going to eat it?” I asked.
“No,” he said. “That would be cruel.”
“But you had snails once, I remember.”
“Yes, but that was some other snails.”
Aha, I said – makes sense.

This snail was his buddy.

Then he went on:
“I spent the night at Grandma’s – I got to stay up until 9. That was awesome.”
“Wow – cool” I said. “That sounds great. Did you sleep long, then?”

Long pause…? 

“No, I was up at 6. My mother says I’m always up early, so I think I am a morning person.”
“Aha, maybe that’s why your parents tuck you in at around 7:30.”
“Ya, could be,” he said. “I also think they need some alone time.”
“Ya, we all do,” I replied.

“When are you coming to visit me?” he then asked. “I miss you and I love you.”
“I miss you, too, and I love you, but right now I cannot travel.”
“The virus?” he asked.
“Yes, – the virus – no planes are flying.”
“In my Kindergarten, we can’t hug,” he then said.
“That’s good,” he said. “The girls want to hug and kiss me all the time. It’s annoying.”
“Yes, it can be – it’s okay, kid. You’ll dig it when you’re older.”
“Cool,” he replied. “I will tell them to wait until then.”
“Good idea.”

“I have to whisper you a secret,” he said.
“Ok, I´ll put the phone closer to my ear, then.”
“I saw Mum and Dad kissing – they kiss all the time.”
“Ahh,” I whispered back. “They are in love.”
“Yes – But it’s gross.”
“Do they kiss you?”
“Yes, they do.”
“That’s because they love you.”
“I know they love me and I love them and I love you.”

“Okay, I´ll give you a big kiss on your cheek when I see you again.”
“And I will give you one, too,” he said. “Where do you think I shall put the snail?”
“Maybe put it back on the rhubarb – that’s where it lives and where its friends are.”
“Ahh,” he said. “Good idea. I will do that. But how will I recognize it?”
“Well, you can paint its snail house or mark it – then you will know.”
“You are so smart,” he said.
“Dunno, kid. That is what I would do.”
“Okay, bye,” he said, and hung up.

Ten minutes later, he called again.
“See, I marked it with a blue color and the snail is back at the rhubarb. Now I can find it. Do you want me to take a picture and have my mother send it to you?”
“Sure, that would be nice. I can also find it then when I stop by.”

“Okay” he said, and then, “I have to go now. Bye, I love you.”
Leaving me to say, “I love you, too” – into a call that had been disconnected.

My heart went boom and I felt blessed that I was important enough to him to make the call or have his mother do it for him.

Moral being: If you are important to a toddler’s busy mind, I think it’s safe to say – that’s enough reason for being here this day in time and space. I don’t need anything else today.

I´ll take a walk, look for snails, and color their houses.

Toddlers are stealth mystics.

Have fun.

© 2020 Soren Dreier

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