I had an overdue appointment with my pal the snow blower yesterday afternoon, so I guiltily left the kids in the family room alone together, directing Bean to come to the garage door and flag me down if she or Peabody needed anything. I sat on the stoop outside that door, and being a realist, I figured I'd no sooner get both boots laced up before I heard her little footsteps approaching.
But I finished the whole job with nary a panicked cry to pull me into Major Crisis Resolution Mode.
I went back inside (prepared for the worst, because silence is never a good sign in a Mama's world) and found Bean calmly folding the laundry she'd voluntarily pulled out of the dryer, stuffed into a basket and dragged over to rest beside her brother, who was happily surveying the goings-on over the edge of his saucer.
As I sat warming up and watching my daughter "fold," she got up from her work and came to me, wrapping a little blanket around my shoulders, then vigorously rubbing my back and arms.