we're gathering for a meeting in the fireside room, and he wanders in. i call him over, introduce him to the girls.
"bethany, cheryl, this is coen."
indeed, he is.
he's one of those kids with glasses and more energy than their body - or their mom - knows what to do with. but there's a trick to making him sit still, and i know it.
"coen, count to a thousand."
his mind snaps to attention. there is a task at hand, and he is going to perform. he is austere.
"ok. one, two, fthree, fo', five, sis, seben, eight--" SNORT "--nine, tin, leben, twelb..."
"ok, coen, you gotta leave now, we're gonna have a meeting."
coen pays no attention. there is a task at hand, and he is going to perform. he is austere.
"twinny-two, twinny-fthree--" SNORT "--twinny-fo', twinny-five..."
dallas picks him up, sets him outside the door, shuts it.
we begin. there's a knock at the door.
dallas opens it.
"fiffy-sis, fiffy-seben, fiffy-eight--"
"ok, coen. you just stand there and keep counting, ok?"
he nods without missing a beat. "fiffy-seben, fiffy-eight, fiffy--" SNORT "--nine..."
this kid has a lot of phlegm.
back to the meeting. we cover some ground. mostly jeremy talking on and on about how someone took his coffee today at work and gave it to someone else.
oh boo hoo. i resist the urge to one-up him for a moment, but then point out that last year, bernard gave my whole lunch to dallas, who ate it, while i starved.
i get more sympathy than jeremy. great. i love sympathy.
there's a knock at the door.
"where are you at, coen?"
"one-hunnerd and fthiry-fthree, one-hunnerd and frthiry-fo..."
the point is, coen will count to 1000 if you ask him. anytime, anywhere, and i think that would make for a real nifty babysitting gig.
at 5 minutes per 100 numbers, that's 50 minutes of not really having to do anything.
and when he's done?
"coen, count to 2000."
what a great kid.