Moments before Shabbos, my two year old informed me he was running away. I remember my younger brother threatening the same and my mother always reminding him to pack his toothbrush. That line somehow always seemed to make him stay.
I’m hazy on where Aryeh picked up the terminology, but he did have it planned out.
Where are you running to? I asked him.
To my car. He told me.
And what will you do in the car?
I’m going to drive.
To Bubby Werner’s house.
I didn’t want to mention his poor driving skills.
So I just told him, that’s pretty far.
But apparently he had worked that out too.
I’ll take stuff, he told me.
He packed the way I do, first laying everything out in preparation.
He got his toy lawnmower, his baseball bat, a book, a brush, a couple pieces of lego, a stuffed worm, some pacifiers, our bumbo baby seat, and a pillow from our couch.
Unsure whether he was confiscating his brother’s bumbo or taking his brother along, I asked him what the chair was for.
For me to sit in, he responded.
And what about the pillow?
For sleeping, said my two year old who has never slept with a pillow before.
I then noticed the pacifiers he had chosen were his brothers, not his own. Another confiscation?
This time I got direct.
Is anyone going with you?
Yes, he said. Laakov. (his muddled version of his baby brother’s name we are all trying not to adopt)
Yes. He said. Mommy. And Totty.
I felt a little better. At least if he was running away, it wasn’t from us.
I asked him to help me clean up his stuff before bedtime, but he declined. We can’t clean it, he told me. I need my stuff for Bubby’s.
I cleaned it on my own and there was no mention of running away the next morning.
But if he does mention it again, maybe I’ll remind him to take his toothbrush.