The sun streaming through the living room windows, illuminated the tiny hand and nose prints, and hinted of spring on its way. Dust bunnies hopped around the floor searching for dust carrots. The TV sang out the tune of a popular children's show. Coloring books and crayons were scattered across the trunk, spilling onto the floor. The floor was a virtual mine field of toys.
“What are we gonna do?” Hope asked, her two year old shoulders raised in a shrug, her hands stretched out at her side, palms up. Her big brown eyes, looking up at me in askance from her round face. The light brown pig-tails that sprang from each side of her head, bounced as she spoke.
“I don't know, Hope E., what are we going to do?” I said. Born Hope Evangeline Garner, I was with her mother at the pediatricians office, when the nurse came out and called for, “Hope E.” From then on, we would call her Hope E.
“I got a idea!” Hope said as her eyes brightened. Bending down with a snort, she picked up a piggy, and carried it to the little red barn. Opening the barn doors, she placed the piggy in his accustomed spot. Jumping on the band wagon, I scooped up a couple of zoo animals and returned them to the zoo. Hope and I were now singing, “Clean-up, clean-up! Everybody, everywhere! Clean-up, clean-up! Everybody do their share!”
The toys picked up, I brought out a broom, and a little stick vacuum. Using the vacuum, I chased down those dust bunnies, while Hope ran the broom under the couch. I set the vacuum down for a minute, to move a chair. Hope saw her chance and grabbed it.
“Hope E... can gramma please use the vacuum?” I asked.
“No, my Hope E.!” Hope said as she turned on the vacuum and ran it around the room. I had to be content with the broom, I knew from past experience that Hope wouldn't give up without a fight. Soon, I had a nice pile of dirt - that Hope immediately ran through, neglecting to sweep up.
The house clean, Hope decided to go for a march. Joining in with her, I started signing, “The ants go marching one by one, ha rah, ha rah!” By the time we reached the ants marching ten by ten, I was ready to drop. I sat down to catch my breath.
Hope walked over to her birthday balloons, attached to the back of her high chair. Straining she reached her arms up into the air and said, “Uh, uh, can't reach!”
I laughed, “Hope E. grab the ribbons and pull.” Hope grabbed the ribbons. “Pull, Hope E., pull,” I told her. Hope pulled until the balloons were at her eye level. She stood there, just looking at “My Hope E.'s” balloons for about fifteen minutes, occasionally giving them a kiss.
Glancing at the clock, I noticed that nap time had arrived. Scooping Hope up, I rushed her to the bedroom for a diaper change. Then, we snuggled down on the bed, whispering secrets until I started to doze off. Listening to her breathing, I assumed she, too, had succumbed to the lure of the sand man. Easing myself up off the bed, I looked down to see her mischievous eyes looking up at me, a wide smile on her face that said, “Fooled you Me Ma.”