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Getting back in to the swing of things after vacation took me more time than I expected, which is why I didn’t write much last week. Well, that and trying to get back on track with Brendan. 4 year-olds have an uncanny way of exploiting the (typically) temporary-freedoms of vacation when vacation is over, and our son is no exception to the rule. So as much as I hate to admit that we’ve probably given him too many freedoms, we probably have. And now we have to reel him back in–it’s as if he’s become ‘wise in his own eyes’ with the way he was responding and sassing. And a 4 year-old definitely *needs* parental guidance and direction, whether or not they recognize that need. 😮

So in that vein, here are some random thoughts from this past week.

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I got to snuggle little Lucy, Elizabeth’s newest daughter, this week. I got a bit maudlin when she tucked herself under my chin and rested on my chest–that’s exactly what Brendan used to do as a baby. :::sniff::: I’m so ready for another one, and yet my time hasn’t arrived for #2.

Another friend, Jenny, gave us a bit of a scare this past week; she went to the OB’s for the weekly check (those of you who’ve borne babies know that the visits to the doctor’s office become weekly towards the end of a pregnancy). We knew that her oldest son had a whomping case of walking pneumonia and were interceding for him when Jenny’s father-in-law called to update us. His report was that Jenny was dilated to 5cm. 5 centimeters!! I put a quick call in to Max and we talked at very different levels about preparation. There was an undeniable tone of panic in my voice, and yet Max was calm, cool, and collected. He couldn’t understand my urgency, and I couldn’t fully understand his lack of urgency. He said something about Jen being dilated a half-centimeter, and I stopped him to make him repeat it. He said a half-centimeter (.5 cm), and the relieved laughter on our end of the phone surely puzzled him greatly. I explained that his *.5* was interpreted by his dad as *5* and that I was convinced that Jenny was halfway through labouring, not less than one centimeter in the process. !!! The poor guy was quite puzzled and relieved at the same time and went to call his dad immediately to correct the misunderstanding. 😉

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Friday (upcoming) is Mark’s birthday, so we headed to Bed, Bath, & Beyond to look for his main gift. Which we didn’t find. But as we were walking the store, Brendan saw a bin of stuffed animals. And of course (!) out of the entire bin, he saw the *only* monkey in the bin. He has a love-affair with stuffed-monkeys–ever since my Aunt Margo gave him a giant Curious George as an infant.

So I pick up the stuffed monkey only to find that it’s not a traditional monkey, it’s a monkey with speakers over his ears, designed to plug in to an iPod. And since Mark plugs in his Shuffle at work, I thought it might give him decent fidelity and be cute at the same time. Apparently, Brendan thought it would give HIM decent fidelity and be cute at the same time, despite the fact that *he* doesn’t have an iPod. 😮 This started one of the largest fits in the history of my child’s existence. He has NEVER thrown a screaming sobbing fit like this in public. EVER. But it didn’t stop him yesterday–he sobbed, begged, screamed, and sobbed some more. I hated that he was so upset, but I was also incredibly embarassed as the same time. We talked, I held him, threatened him, and talked to him some more–all to no avail.

I finally told him that we could buy it only if he gave it to Daddy for his birthday. While it didn’t quell the tears completely, they subsided to a trickle for a short while. At least until we hit the sidewalk outside the store. And then he buried his head in my side and cried his heart out. As we walked to the car (after he pulled it together), I explained that he was too young for an iPod and this monkey only worked with one–it was not designed for cuddling at night. He immediately asked for a Pod and I told him that when he was 9 or 10, he could have one. And (of course) the corresponding monkey to listen to the Pod. And then I told him that there were times in life when we had to give up something we wanted because we love someone else more than ourselves. That Mark and I do that all the time because he (Brendan) needs or wants something, and that we did it because we love him.

Then I asked him if he loved his Daddy enough to give the monkey to him on his birthday. He snuffled that he DID love Daddy that much, but I just knew that he couldn’t keep a secret from Monday until Friday. 😮

So I called Mark and told him we were across the street and Brendan had one of his birthday presents that wouldn’t last until Friday–he didn’t mind receiving it 4 days early. So we drove to the office and Mark came down to the car. Brendan wouldn’t have made it until Friday–he didn’t even make it until Mark was IN the car to tell him! As Mark approached the car, Brendan said, “It’s an iPod monkey!”

The look on Brendan’s face was simply priceless. He was SO HAPPY to give his Daddy the monkey that he wanted so badly. He simply glowed with joy when Mark gave it to him, and Daddy was happy and grateful for the gift, not being aware of the backstory at all. It was a joy to me after the trauma of the previous hour to see that my kid actually GOT IT. I can’t ask for much more as a mom, even if the lesson is hard-earned. 😉.

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