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Chris Huston

Huston

Wednesday, 6:15 a.m.

“Grunpa?”

My wife has left to teach her early morning church class. It is thoroughly dark outside.

“Grunpa?”

“Hmph.”

“Owie.”

Evidently there is a noise originating from about six inches to the right of my formerly sleeping head. I’m struggling to place the source of this sound.

“Hmph?”

“Owie, Grunpa.”

Against my conscious will, my brain starts to compute.

Daughter. Visiting. Granddaughter. Not quite 2 years old.

“Grunpa!”

Voice more insistent. Where’s my daughter. Isn’t this her job?

One eye cracks open.

“Look grunpa. Owie.”

Bandaid. On her finger. No blood.

Sigh.

“Good morning,” I try to say. It comes out like a goat’s bleat.

“Grunpa. Look.”

So I look. There is in fact a small band aid on one of her small fingers that she’s been wearing since last night. She smiles. Resistance is futile.

“Come on up,” I say, and pick her up, flopping her into bed with me. This is, of course, exactly what she wants.

“Look, grunpa!” She is now holding her band-aided finger about a quarter inch from my left eye. Close enough so that when I blink, my eyelashes brush the band aid.

“You have an owie,” I observe with extraordinary intelligence. Since I don’t want to receive a condescending no-kidding-Sherlock-look from an infant, I throw in a tickle for good measure.

And we’re off to the races. She’s under the covers, trying to get away from me, but not trying very hard. I give her a few inches, then reel her back in. She laughs, I growl, she laughs, I let her get a few inches away before bringing her back.

The heater hasn’t been turned up yet, so it’s a little chilly in the bedroom. But under the covers it’s nice and warm. There are pillows and three blankets to flop around in (and on).

It’s a fun and loving place, the kingdom of blankets.

We stretch the party out to about two minutes, which is a long time for a little girl a few weeks short of her second birthday.

“Okay,” she says, in a way that says okay, I’m done with you now. Time to go find another adventure.

But now I’m awake. Where’s the justice in this?

“No,” I say. “Wanna play pattycake?” Pattycake is a favorite.

“No, grunpa.” She’s having fun trying to extricate herself from the warm mush of blankets.

“Well, what do you want to do?”

She stops. Considers. “Brfst.”

“Breakfast?”

“Brfst.” Um, that’s what I said Grunpa. Are you deaf or what?

“So you want breakfast.”

Eye roll.

“Okay, I’m up. Let’s go look for some breakfast.”

But now she has the blankets to herself. She pulls them over her head and giggles.

So I jump on the bed and tickle the moving lump under the blankets. Muffled laughter. Lots of it.

It’s a fun and loving place, the kingdom of blankets.

Good morning, world.

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Chris Huston is semi-retired in the Magic Valley following a 35-year career in broadcast journalism. Connect with him on Facebook, and at chrishuston-modernlife.com.

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