Moonrise on Jupiter

A Glimpse into the Thoughts & Imaginings of Vibeke Hiatt

The Adventures of the Super Kids: The Super Kids Will Help

Do you need to put toys away at the end of the day? The Super Kids will help! Do you need to put laundry into the washing machine? The Super Kids will help! Do you need to fill a cup with water? The Super Kids will help!

If there’s one thing the Super Kids love to do, it’s help. They live for it. Mom may have to ask them to stop fighting over toys, to stop sitting on each other, and to stop playing with things they shouldn’t, but when a task needs to be done, they are there to lend their super powers, ensuring that the task will take a little longer to complete.

Mom comes home from the store, carrying heavy grocery bags full of food. Happy Boy and Sassy Girl run to the door, blocking her way down the stairs and forcing her to set the bags down in the entryway. “We’ll help you!” they exclaim, rifling through the bags to find the items they like the most, then carrying them one by one to the kitchen. Mom sighs and returns to the car for more bags.

In the kitchen, Mom opens the fridge to put the refrigerated items inside. “I’ll help you,” Sassy Girl says, standing at Mom’s elbow and reaching over her to put foods on the shelves in a random fashion. When the task is finished, she takes a few seconds to admire her work, then turns to find another bag to unload. Mom quietly rearranges the items in the fridge, putting them in their usual places.

“Thank you,” Mom says, knowing that Sassy Girl won’t detect her exasperated tone. Mom chases down Friendly Boy, who is walking around the living room with a can of peas.

“May I have some juice?” Happy Boy asks.

“Me, too!” Sassy Girl cries, running into the kitchen.

Mom takes some cups from the cabinet and sets them on the counter.

“I’ll help you,” Happy Boy states, opening the fridge and struggling to pull out the apple juice bottle.

“It’s too heavy,” he says in an accusatory way, as though Mom had told him to get the bottle in the first place.

Mom takes it from his hands and shakes the bottle, then removes the lid. “I’ll help you,” Sassy Girl says. She has already pulled a chair to stand on. She pushes the bottom of the bottle as Mom pours. Mom fights against the pressure, trying not to let the juice come gushing out all over the counter. Friendly Boy happily circles Mom’s legs.

“Thank you,” Mom says, though she doesn’t really mean it.

Laundry day. Mom gathers up the first load of the never-ending laundry and carries it to the laundry room. “I’ll help,” Sassy Girl says, picking up the stepstool and setting it down in front of the washing machine as Mom opens the lid on top.

Mom sets the clothes on the edge of the washer and Sassy Girl heroically pushes them in, often with a flourish. When all of the clothes are inside, Mom evens them out, then Sassy Girl helps close the lid, letting it drop with a bang that makes Mom wince.

“Thank you,” Mom says, her tone different this time, glad that Sassy Girl wants to help with such a mundane task.

The Super Kids have eaten all of the cookies and Mom decides to make more. “I’ll help,” Sassy Girl states, dragging a dining chair to the counter.

“No, I’ll help,” Happy Boy argues, bringing over a chair of his own.

“You can both help,” Mom says, resigned to the fact that it will take twice as long to mix the ingredients.

The three of them stand in the tiny space around the bowl, the Super Kids taking turns adding ingredients like sugar, flour, and baking soda. Mom insists on adding the eggs and vanilla herself. When the mixing is done, the Super Kids are more than happy to help Mom taste the dough.

The end of the day comes and it’s time to get ready for bed. “I need some superheroes to help me put away the toys,” Mom says, putting the storage box for the blocks in the middle of the floor.

“I’ll help you!” Happy Boy exclaims, smashing blocks into the box as though he’s dunking a basketball.

“I’ll help you!” Sassy Girl echoes, tossing blocks into the box from a few feet away.

Friendly Boy alternates between putting blocks in and taking them back out. It’s still unclear whether he is a hero or a villain.

“Thank you,” Mom says when the work is done, surveying the clear floor with a genuine smile.

The Super Kids are tired from a long day of saving the house. Mom tucks them in with a kiss. “Are you going to help me tomorrow?” she asked.

“Yes!” Happy Boy and Sassy Girl exclaim. Friendly Boy jabbers unintelligibly.

Mom smiles. She thinks she can handle that.

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