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Enter the Dinosaur

Forty minutes into nap time and Sam and Will are still partying in their beds. Tom is fast asleep, thus ensuring that he will wake up just as the other two finally drop with exaustion. Awesome.

Jack has been quiet since I gave him his drink and settled him under his favorite duckie blanket, but suddenly my ears perk up at the sound of his door opening.

“Jack!” I growl, as I race down the hall — hoping to keep Sam and Will from recruiting another reveler. “What are you doing up?”

“Look what I did to my room!” he crows, making sweeping gesture with his arm as he opens his door wide enough for me to see inside. I stop dead in my tracks. His. Room. Is. Spotless! I’m talking picked clean, not a toy in sight kind of spotless. It looks as if I’ve his grandmother has tidied up instead of a 4-year-old boy. The toy boxes are filled — both his and Tom’s. And he proudly opens his closet door to show where he’s parked the larger cars in their “garage.”

“Jack!” I breathe. “This is amazing! Did you do all this by yourself?”

“Uh-huh!” he grins proudly. “Haven’t I been a very good boy today?”

“You’ve been a wonderful boy!” I grin back. A resounding thud followed by hysterical laughter coming from his brothers’ room reminds me that this is supposed to be nap time.

“Sweetie, I couldn’t be more proud of you,” I say, ” but I really need you to take your nap now –even if it’s just a short one.”

Jack cocks his head, then his eyes widen, “Mom, I’ve got a great idea!”

“What’s that?” I ask suspiciously.

“How about I just have quiet time and read my dinosaur book?”

“Deal!” I blurt out, shoving his book into his hand, plopping him in the middle of his bed and racing back down the hall to discover why the last thud ended in a blood-curdling scream. Naturally, by the time I arrive Sam and Will are fighting over a train and way too wrapped up in that battle to worry whether the thud came from a fallen book or a cracked skull. I put them back to bed for the 10th time and settled down to my laptop for my own quiet time.

I can’t help but wonder what will become of me once Jack (or any of the rest of them, for that matter) learns what it means to have mom over a barrel when it comes to bargaining. I shudder at the thought. But for right now, I’m incredibly thankful that the highest form of currency we have in our house boasts pictures of giant, carnivorous predators instead of dead presidents.

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