Sometimes You Have To Wait

"I want that diaper."

I've just put him down onto his changing table after his bath. As every night, we flossed and brushed his teeth, then he washed his hands. Immediately after drying them, he ran--still naked--into his room and behind the rocking chair, to sing to himself and play with the strings that tie the seat cushion to the frame. I followed behind, pausing to move his stepstool back against the wall and turn off the bathroom light, then fished him out from behind the chair and set him on the table.

He's pointing at the picture of Elmo on the front of the diaper that's hanging over the edge of the shelf above him. "I want to wear it."

"You want that one?" I ask, and he nods. "But Jason," I say, "that's not a night-time diaper. We only wear those ones during the day." I don't know why I say "we," but he doesn't notice.

"I want it," he insists.

"I know, buddy, but we don't always get what we want." I pull out an overnight diaper and put it on him, then slide on his pajama pants. "Jason, I'm going to tell you something," I say. "Sometimes we want things, but we don't get them." I pull his pajama top over his head and hold the bottom open for him to put his arms in. "And sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do. It's frustrating, I know, but that's just how it is sometimes."

I pick him up. "But, I'll tell you what: it's worth it to wait because then when you do get..."

He throws his arms around me and puts his head on my shoulder. "Awww," I say, smiling. "Are you giving me a hug? That's so nice. I love hugs from Jason. Those are my favorite kind of hug." He leans back and looks at me, in that way that he does that seems like he's searching my face.

I continue. "Jason, when you wait to get the things you want..."

He cuts me off with a kiss. I take the hint. "OK. Night night, buddy," I say.

"Night night!" he replies as I hand him to his mother. She and I both chuckle--turns out, sometimes you don't have to wait to get what you want.