Never The Same Day Twice

Sunday, January 29, 2006

SATURDAY, January 28, 2006 Happy Birthday Crystal!!!

Consider this my Saturday 1/28 post... even though it's happening the next day...

OK, so Saturday. On Saturdays, my lovely boy and I 'do' art... I signed him up for a Gymboree Art class just for the heck of it (50% off because of his gym class enrollment) and we are in what is like our 3rd 'semester'... only the 'semester' is only 6 weeks long... I continue to sign him up because he really does love it. You can tell. He is so ready to get into that little room and get his art on.

The class is made up of about 8-10 little ones, 2-3 years old. They start out with what they call 'free painting'... The teacher has long skinny pieces of paper masking-taped to the walls around the small room and each kid picks one (my boy always picks the same one in the corner---but I'll admit, I steered him to it during the first few classes because I wanted a little breathing room---and now he thinks of it as 'his' I think). Then the teacher goes around and hands each kid a brush, or a roller, or sponges, or whatever. And then next, each kid gets a mini paper cup of paint. They usually end up getting more paint of a different color squirted in there and they get to paint their happy asses off for about 8 minutes.

My boy's free painting usually starts off looking very abstract and classy and I sit beside him and think, ooh, I think this one I can keep and frame... It is so cool. And then as soon as he gets the 2nd color in his cup, instead of adding it to his painting as an accent, or even as just another whole piece of color in his abstract creation, my boy paints over what he's already painted, and then the 3rd color comes, and forget it, by this point the long strip of paper is just one big blog of one color... generally not brown, but still, nothing of any note. But I do make a point of taking the paper down before we leave and bring it home with us, for what purpose I don't know.

After free painting, there is a story, a game perhaps, and then at least 2 or sometimes even 3 crafts. Maybe some more painting, usually some gluing, and at least one craft requires us to put googly eyes on it. All on a theme. Snowflakes, circus, penguins, etc...

We get to go home with the long strip of color, and the different crafts he's made. I put them up around the house. It's as fun as saving his artwork from school, but I don't have to leave him in school to do them, and I get to be with him and watch him do it.

So today we had art and the theme was circus. We came home with a dotted clown's hat and a clown face on a stick that my boy has more than once tonight picked up and come to me singing "Silly Clown, silly clown, turn around, silly clown, silly clown, touch the ground...) SO CUTE!

After art, we went with Daddy to Chuck E Cheese. We went in my car. But before we left, Daddy went to his truck for a minute and when he came back, he handed me a small square box with blue curling ribbon it. A present? I saw that the box was from St. Moritz, a lovely bakery... And the box was filled with... SARAH BERNHARDTS!!!

He got the big box too! Not the small one I get occasioanlly where you get 5... This box had two lovely layers of cookies wrapped in tissue... What was this all about? He said he was in town and he stopped, since he knew I liked them. *WTF?*

(Sarah Bernhardts, by the way, are small cookies...dome shaped, almond-y, that are topped with a truffley-fudgy substance and then dipped in chocolate. So you hold them on the cookie part and you bite into the chocolate, truffley fudgy part. HEAVEN!!! I love Sarah Bernhardts!!! Almond, cookie, truffle perfection. Can't eat just one---but you can't eat more than 2 at one sitting either... And I have a whole BOX of them!! Which I will have to share I suppose...)

I don't know what possessed him to buy the cookies, or why such a big box (it was probably about $15)... I don't want to read too much into it. I mean, C'MON... But if this was, say, June or even August, a lovely box of cookies would have me feeling faintly wistful and ready to pull the wedding album out to peruse... But it's JANUARY. I think he was just trying to be nice.

But regardless, we went to Chuck E Cheese, and instead of retreating into my little capsule of ignoring the teeming crowds of frantic children and ringing games and focus on my stack of catalogs, I decided to change the paradigm... And instead I walked around with Daddy and my boy as they played games. I even played a few. Then we all went to eat our nasty Chuck E Cheese food. And then a few more games.

Sadly, Daddy bought $5 worth of tokens while ordering the food, and I bought $1 at the same time (unbeknownst to him) and then afterwards, he opened up the free sticker they are giving out and learned we had won $5 worth of tokens!! We=losers for not opening the sticker first! We all could have saved money. (We came home with $4 worth of tokens for next time...Cool!)
We played to our hearts' content and my boy ended up with 99 tickets which he exchanged for 1. yellow stretchy lizard, approx 2 inches long 2. one of the cheapest ass race-cars made in the China-Taiwan environs, approx 1 inch long and 3. one tiny plastic plane that sits on an even tinier green cone... He was excited by this! As only a 3 year old can be. Daddy bought him a green Chuck-E-Cheese balloon, which somehow opened in the car and lost all its helium and Daddy blew it back up to gargantuan size, but it no longer floated and has been left in the car...

After C.E.C, we popped over to Stop&Shop so I could buy milk and bread and then we drove home. And my boy fell asleep. So we brought him in and took off his coat and shoes and he slept in his light-filled room... And Daddy decided he would go, since he was only going to stay a short time anyway and now the boy is sleeping so... Can't hang around! And shortly thereafter he left...

When the boy woke up, the first words out of his mouth were "Where's Daddy?" which broke my heart, and then I had to say Daddy left, and that broke his heart, and his eyes welled up with tears and he started to cry. And I held him and tried to soothe him by saying Daddy is going to come back tomorrow to play with you and offered things we could do that afternoon together and everything I said was met with vigorous shaking of the head... As I held him I kept thinking 'this is my life... this is his life... he will meet disappointment... and we are alone..."

I said, finally, when he would not be soothed, "do you want to talk to Daddy?" and he said yes and stopped crying. Now, I knew calling Daddy would be met with some annoyance from him, and maybe even his accusation of being manipulative... but at that point, I wasn't suggesting calling him to be manipulative, I just wanted my boy to feel OK, and I thought maybe if he heard his Daddy's voice telling him he'd be back tomorrow, he would feel OK. And so we called. And Daddy spoke to my boy and it wasn't working. And then I got on the phone and he started yelling at me. And I tried to explain, but he was mad. I said, all he keeps doing is shaking his head... and he yelled at me saying "what does that mean, is he saying yes or no?!" and I yelled back "I said SHAKING his head, not NODDING his head... He's SHAKING his head NO!" And then he said "Well why don't you go outside with him and play or something? Can't you handle this?" And I got more peeved and I said "He will be fine. He just woke up. I thought he'd feel better if he talked to you. He'll be fine".

And then I hung up. And then he called back and apologized for being snappy. But that he felt bad hearing he was upset. And I said "I didn't call you to make you feel bad. But he needed to talk to you". And he reminded me he'd be over again tomorrow, after 3 or so...

But he didn't suggest that maybe he'd come BACK and spend more time with the boy. In all, he spent about 1/2 an hour at Art (since he met us there as is usual, but was late, as is also usual) and then maybe an hour, maybe an hour and a half at CEC... The driving to and fro... The time spent WITH the boy, engaged one on one with him, was minimal when you do the calculations, which I try not to, so as not to minimize his efforts. But still, had I gotten the call saying that he had woken up heart-broken to find me gone, and for another 24 hours yet, I would have suggested maybe I'll come back then and play for another hour or so. But no. He couldn't suggest THAT. He had PLANS. He was going to play pool with his buddy. And then God knows what. And he's allowed to have plans. Of course he is. (We won't go into the fact that I am not allowed the same... I'm the Mommy remember?) But I find it odd and kind of sad, depressing, that he never called the rest of the day to see how the rest of the day turned out for us. Maybe that is expecting too much. But if I had gotten the call and not suggested coming back, I think I might have called later in the evening and just asked how things were going, what did you end up doing, how long did it take til he settled down? I mean, yeh we all know that tantrums simmer down eventually. But still... Some interest? What if he threw a real fit and I ended up in the emergency room? Or whatever... Nothing so dramatic. I just don't understand why he couldn't have found some stray moment during this evening to call (he has a cell) to check in. Am I expecting too much? Apparently. Though I think that is kind of illustrative of the idea that I had when comforting my boy that we are all alone. Because WE ARE.

I suggested 101 different things that my boy and I could do that afternoon. Some of them were fairly different, since it is Winter but warm today... I tried walking on the beach, going to the park, going to see the ducks at the waterfall "we've never done that yet" and many many other ideas that would have been free and gotten us fresh air.. But every idea was met with the vigorous shaking of the head. But then finally he said he wanted to go BOWLING. But he called it 'rolling'... and so OFF WE WENT.

I told him we were going to have a 'date'. We were going to go bowling and then we were going to go to the restaurant at the beach and have dinner together and watch the sunset. And he was quiet and pleased.

So the two of us went bowling. I spent $8 to rent the ugly shoes (note to self: buy your own bowling shoes, since your shoe size doesn't change every six months, and you will save yourself money in the future). Then we were assigned a lane at the other end of the world, right next to three tables set up for birthday parties. But remember, it was just us two. Do you know how fast you can ball 10 frames when you are taking turns with one game? I had originally planned to buy two games, one for each, which would have cost us $10. But I screwed up on the computer set up and ended up with just one frame up there with my boy's name. And I thought: Hey! What a concept! I can get away with one game for $5. And that's what we did. He bowled (roll ball at the slowest possible speed imaginable down lane) and then I bowled and we went thru 10 frames in 1/2 an hour. And then I said, do you want to bowl anymore, hoping he'd say no, but he said yes. So I hit the "New Game" button and thought screw it, I expected $10, so I'll spend $10. And I let him bowl and then after he bowled the one ball he said he was ready to leave!

So I rolled the second ball and then I hit the button that said "ERASE FRAME". And I thought, I DARE them to charge me another $5!! I have a three year old here!

When I got to the cashier to return the ugly shoes, she charged me only $5, yippee!

(By the way, my boy's little feet look so cute in those ugly shoes!)

Then we drove to the beach, and we ate at the diner. I had a broccoli and cheddar omelet and he had one pancake and a side of bacon. And we shared a milkshake and watched the sky turn pink out the windows... And he struck up a conversation (or what could be called one) with the 2.5 year old boy across the aisle. This boy was not conversant in the least, just full of crazy gestures and getting really close to my boy, nearly close enough to kiss. My boy, on the other hand, kept trying to engage the child in speech. "Little Boy, what are you doing?" "Little Boy, do you remember Santa came? I put a carrot for the reindeer".

It was very cute.

Driving home, he asked me if he could watch the Backyardigans downstairs when we got home and I said absolutely. So I set him up with juice in front of Tivo and I took a shower in the bathroom down there. And then I put his PJs on and we came back upstairs and we lay down in bed and read 2 books and said our prayers, and then I shut the light and said let's go to sleep. This was approx 7:35 pm... But we SLEPT. Lovely sweet sleep. Quiet. No one called us on the phone... And I woke at 1:30 a.m... My boy was upside down in bad curled up in the middle... inches away from rolling off. I righted him up, back onto his pillow, thanked Fate for waking me up just then, and then got up. Realized I had a wicked stomach ache. Made tea. Did two sketches. Signed onto Web to read blogs. One (Finslippy) had me laughing out loud. Which waked up my boy, who sat bolt upright and said he was going to have a party for the Boobahs. At MY house. Today. Very definitive. I decided to engage him in the fantasy and asked him questions. Are all the Boobahs going to come? What will we eat? He said Cake. And mushrooms. (Mushrooms? We've never eaten a mushroom in our lives!). Cake and mushrooms and cupcakes. And juice. That sounds good, he said. I said it sounded like an excellent plan.

Then I tried to get him to go back to sleep (after changing his diaper) by laying back down with him and letting him hold my hair. But he was having none of it. And that's when I realized it was 6 a.m. and not a bad time to get awakened. So I asked him if he wanted to watch a show and of course he said yes.

So now he is sitting beside me watching Bear in the Big Blue House.

God, I love this child. He can drive me to insanity.. but that is the nature of the toddler. Still, he is my greatest joy. And without him, my life would be shit.


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