I’ve got two anecdotes, neither worthy of an entire post, and both in danger of being forgotten if I don’t record them while they’re still in my memory. One’s sweet, one’s surreal; both are short–perfect for the weekend!
I went with Connor to a friend’s birthday party last weekend. We’re officially at the stage–and in a neighborhood/income bracket–when parents hold their kids’ parties away from home. The Cold War of Escalating Birthday Parties is in effect. This one was at a suburban community center that houses a mini waterpark. There’s only one waterslide, but it’s got lights on the inside of the tube, and you get to choose the music that blasts inside while you swirl your way down (needless to say, The Star Wars theme was most popular with this group).
Places like this, and bowling alleys, and skating rinks are high-stimulus environments, and sometimes the combination of excitement from the celebration and the sensory overload can overwhelm Connor and leave him vulnerable to sudden bursts of unexpected emotion and/or behavior. I’ve made it a practice to go along and hang in the background, lend a hand to the parents if needed, and just be there in case he needs help finding his balance again. It helps that I read to his class and chaperone their field trips, so I’m known as one of the “fun moms” and my presence is generally considered an asset by the other kids.
On the way into the building, I told Connor that I would be trying my hardest to stay out of his way and let him handle things on his own, but that if he felt like he was moving out of “the green zone” (green=good), I would be there as a safe place he could come to decompress. He looked at me funny, and said, “You’re a safe place? You mean, you’re a building?” I started to make a self-deprecating joke about being as big as a building, but he cut me off as he continued. “You know, you kind of are a building,” he said. “You’re a library! I mean, you read tons of books, and you read to me and Dad and Griffin, and you know tons of stuff about everything, so yeah…you’re a library.”
I was completely gobsmacked. I looked down at him and said, a little choked up, “You know, that may be the single best compliment I have ever received from everyone ever, kid.” Then I decided to lighten the mood. “You know how else I’m like a library? I’m always telling you to BE QUIET!” He laughed, then ran ahead to join his friends.
Footnote: The Darling Husband’s response to this story, when we got home later, was this: “Oh, I would’ve said you’re like a library because you inexplicably close up some nights at 7.” Har har, Funny Guy.
From the sublime to the ridiculous, here’s what woke me up this morning. Griffin always shares his dreams with me in the morning cuddle time, and since I’d been allowed (and actually managed to sleep in), he snuggled his way under my arm when the DH gave the go-ahead. I asked what he’d dreamt, and this was our exchange.
Griffin: I dreamed about Clifford. Polka dots.
Me: What about polka dots? He had polka dots?
Me: Huh, polka dots. What did he do with his polka dots?
Griffin: He went to the hopsital*!
Me: What did they do at the hospital about the polka dots?
Griffin (said like I’m the biggest idiot in the world): Moooooom. YOU know.
Me (utterly confused): No. No, I don’t.
*spelling reflects his pronunciation. Yes, we’re still at the “hopsital” and “pasketti” stage.