"Come on, beauty," Mommy says as she bends down so that Saia can scramble and claw her way up onto her back for a piggyback ride down to bed last night.
"But what about me?" Chago whines.
"Well, bubba, I guess you're stuck with me," I say as I turn around so he can climb aboard.
"But Mom!" he says. "You gotta squat down like Mommy does. All the way down," he says pointing to the carpet.
"No, no, baby, trust me," I say. "I was a cheerleader. This is how we did it. It works great." And I bend my right leg back so that he can use my calf as a step stool as I reach back over my shoulders to pull him up. It's an effortless, seamless, one-step move. Done it a hundred times (a hundred years ago, yeah, but still.)
Saia could've done it in a second. But...
"AGH!!!" he yells at me, and I suddenly feel like Lucy from the Peanuts, depriving him of his brief moment of joy.
"No, hold on, pop, you're almost there. You have to step and pull up at the same time," I say, lunging a little further down now and stretching as far back as I can to reach his little hands.
"Mom!" he says as he slips off for like the 5th time, "Can you just do it the right way now? I just can't do it your way."
"Yes, you can, baby. Try one more time."
"No, Mom," he implores, shaking out his tired little arms. "I'm just not as young as I used to be."