Alex lay on the floor, crying inconsolably.
“Do you want to play get-you? Why don’t we play get-you?”
A new, hysterical pitch entered Alex’s fit. The boy was overtired. But Grandma was not without resources.
“Maybe we can go outside and jump in the puddles. Doesn’t that sound fun?”
Alex shook his head, his face still pressed against the kitchen floor.
“I think we have one of your Mighty Machines here. The one with the big crane.”
Even this failed to draw Alex from his hysteria.
Not only was Alex tired—he hadn’t slept much the night before, according to his mother—but mother had forgotten to pack his favorite blankie. That was the real problem.
Grandma didn’t like to hear him crying, but she knew it was best to wait him out. She heard her dryer beep, and she got an idea.“Alex, I’m going to go find the best thing in the whole wide world. Do you want to help me?”
“No,” he managed in a broken voice.“That’s all right. I wish you would come with me, though. I want to share the best thing in the whole world with you. Are you sure you don’t want to come?”
He didn’t respond, but his cries were quieting.
“I’ll be in the bathroom if you want to find the best thing in the world, okay?”
He entered a few minutes later, wiping tears from his cheeks. Grandma kept folding clothes. “Hello, Alex. Are you ready to find the best thing in the whole world, now?”
He nodded sadly.
“Come here. I think it’s in here.” She stopped the dryer and opened it, lifting him up so he could see inside. “Do you see it?”
“No,” he said quietly.
“It’s in there. I’ll help you.” She reached in and pulled out a towel. “Feel it.”
She set him on the floor and wrapped the warm towel around him. “Isn’t that wonderful?”
A twinkle entered his eyes. “Grandma,” he said after a moment of thought, “this is the best thing in the whole world!”
“Lay down. I’ll get you another one when that one gets cold.”
After the second towel, he fell asleep, and Grandma watched his peaceful face, confident that she had indeed discovered the best thing in the world.