a date with the car show

Great plans were in store for Little Boy this morning, for today was the day he and Papa had a date planned.  They would be visiting the Detroit Auto Show!  Though only 2 1/2 when he went last year, he vividly remembers wearing his Papa-hat, a little herringbone stitch cap identical to his Papa’s, and the upside-down truck that looked like it had driven right up onto the ceiling.

The catch though is that things don’t always work out as planned.   The age of three has had me smitten and exasperated to equally great degrees, and this morning started out as a doozy.  I do know that many fine adults are remembered as being incredibly challenging at three and draw great comfort from that, as well as the knowledge that my boy has it in him to be charming, engaging, attentive, and other warm fuzzies.  But, I guess like any other child of three, he also possesses the great skill of working the family system.  So, I’m sure in the future I’ll be elaborating on how the strategy suggested by many of ignoring pouting isn’t going to cut it for the long-term here.  I’m knee-deep in books trying to determine my next strategy.  But, I digress!

The short story of the morning’s excitement was that the Littlest had a chance to go on his first date with Papa, just himself, and thoroughly enjoyed orange juice, eggs, and his beloved Papa’s company.  When they returned, the adventure to the car show was given a fresh chance and Little Boy was very excited to report about Lightning McQueens (corvettes) that were yellow and blue, shiny jeeps, and BMWs. 

Upon returning, Little Boy mumbled contentedly while arranging his lincoln log train, “Mom, I can’t wait to see Papa again.”  Oh yeah? I ask…What do you like to do with Papa?  “I can’t wait to go to the car show again with Papa.”

As his peaceful humming became the soundtrack of our moment, his busy little hands purposefully and importantly placing track pieces here and loading up logs there, I was struck by how much goes on inside him that I don’t see.  Followed immediately by the overwhelming feeling of gratefulness for grandparents who choose to spend time with him and love him, even when he has  moments where “cute as a button” is a recollection to remind us to keep at it…that it’s worth it in the end.


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4 responses to “a date with the car show

  1. I detect a hint of frustration in your post today Ginger. Pouting can be the expression of emotions about not being able to control his own space. While parents get to control circumstances and physical space, parents don’t get to control thoughts and emotion, which is his space. He sees how you respond to his ‘cuteness.’ What better way to manipulate than to pout and watch you respond.

    Looking at the pictures leaves me jealous. Wow! A car show in Mo-Town. It doesn’t get any better!

  2. Ford, I sure appreciate your thoughts. This is the basic struggle…they are his thoughts and emotions, but the manifestation of his pouting has gone to a whole new level that impacts everyone negatively…where his self-pity is debilitating or it turns into a wailing session for some minuscule infraction (oatmeal is hot…just like every other day of his life). I am a tad frustrated…so committed to my kids but haven’t yet figured out how to address this one…so back to the books. Thank you for your insights 🙂 It’s a good reminder.

  3. Let’s keep the dialogue open, Bee! I’m so thankful you’re sharing the bumps along the road. You’re a wonderful, caring, thoughtful mom. A and G are very lucky to have you as their mama!! Mom

  4. I was a stay-at-home mom all the years my two boys were little, so I knew everything they did, who they played with, what they ate, how often they pooped. But the day Nels went to all-day kindergarten was one of my worst ever. He got on the bus at 7:30 and didn’t arrive home until almost 4:00 p.m. I was an anxious mom who obviously wanted to know everything about his first day. I asked him what happened at school all day, and I got a devastating reply, the dreaded “Nothing”. But it was a good lesson, and I realized in that moment that my children’s lives were theirs, not mine anymore. Now I view their willingness to share their lives with me as a true gift. I still cherish every day at school around 1:30, when Garth used to stop by and see how Mom was doing, not because he needed anything, but because he cared about me and how my day was going. And I also realize that he did that because I started it first. When you care about your kids, they respond accordingly.

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