Later this weekend, Derek and I are going out on a date. This is a big deal when you have small children.
Our lovely sitter is coming over to wrangle the kiddos.
Her name is Hannah.*
Our four-year-old son is utterly besotted with her.
I don't mean that the way some parents do, where they witness their child doing something slightly out of character, put the pieces together, and say something like, "I think someone has a little crush on his baby-sitter *wink, wink*," in a way that makes you feel violated just for having heard the comment and causes you to seriously contemplate dousing some Q-tips in bleach and vigorously scrubbing your ears' innards. (Please don't talk about your small children's supposed love lives in provocative tones, Parents. It is beyond creepy.)
You see, Atticus is as lacking in subtlety as he is a good night's sleep. We know he loves Hannah because he says things like, "I love Hannah."
And he doesn't just make this declaration from time to time. She's a daily topic of conversation at our house. Well, if your conversations are all with Atticus.
When it's time to get dressed in the morning, he'll often pull out a shirt and ask, "Do you think Hannah likes this shirt, Mom?"
If we're just staying home that day, I'll say, "I have no idea, Bud." If we're in a hurry, it's more like, "I think she ADORES that shirt, Atticus. Now put it on."
It's a little more complicated if there's a chance he might actually get to see her that day. Then he'll present an array of shirts and ask, "Do you think Hannah's seen this shirt before? What about this one?"
As we go about our day, he'll often stop and ask, "What do you think Hannah's doing right now?" or "Do you think Hannah likes coloring/playing with blocks/destroying all the furniture?"
When we received her family's Christmas card in the mail, featuring a few lovely photos of their family, he stared at the pictures awhile before asking, "Can I take this upstairs to my room, Mom?" To which my reply was, "No. And ew."
He says he's going to marry her, and the other day came up to me and asked, "Mommy, do you know why Atticusses love Hannahs?"
"Because Hannahs are nice."
For as much as he talks about her, he's usually a little tongue-tied once he actually sees her. I recently asked her if he ever actually talks to her once Derek and I leave, and she said, "Not really. He does hug me a lot, though."
Meanwhile, I've tacked a little addendum onto my morning prayers: "Dear God, please don't let my son be a lecher. Dear God, please don't let my son be a lecher. Dear God..."
*Name changed to protect the innocent.