6.30.2015

MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW | THE POWER RANGER ON 7TH AVENUE


MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / is . . . 


. . . rocking matching shoes. 

But only matching shoes. 

Okay. And sometimes clothes. 

BUT ONLY ON ACCIDENT. 

Mostly.


MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / is stepping on plastic Rescue Bots, knowing how to do each voice just right, and realizing one afternoon that not only do you know all the lyrics to all the cartoon theme songs ever written (including every blasted iteration of Power Rangers--seriously there must be at least thirty of them), but you can also pull them up on demand when running errands and things get hairy. 

Motherhood right now is wondering if that kind of catalogue is the reason you can never remember if you paid the cable bill or not. 


The Rescue Bots theme song is really kick ass though. EARN THEIR RESPECT!


MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / is buying an apricot he swears he'll eat, watching him take one tiny bite before coming up with creative ways to wriggle out of finishing it, and then resignedly finishing it for him, because you aren't really hungry, but what else are you going to do with it? 

MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / means sometimes being a human compost bin.


MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / is the occasional massive meltdown, where all you can do is count to ten and clench your fists and wish for strong sedatives. 

(And then let your husband take a picture of it.) 


MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / means a lot of fart jokes. 

And a lot of reminders that he gets only one fart joke a day.


MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / means occasionally having to break your baby's heart.

A few weeks ago, on a Saturday afternoon when the sun was at its warmest and the breezes still cool, we set out to find us some lunch. Huck wanted Vietnamese noodles and I wanted Mexican food. Brandon just wanted to find a place to sit down (redhead in the sun problems), and I think that's what's really great about our part of Brooklyn. You can find all of it and more within three blocks, and then you can congregate in one place where everybody's pretty chill about outside food making its way in, and then there's usually a soccer game on a TV in there somehow?

The waiter at this Mexican food place was wearing a pretty silly vest and his curly blonde hair was pulled back in a ponytail, and also there were suspenders, because, Brooklyn. Upon seeing this dude Huck immediately went weird. Grinning like a loon while trying to keep a straight face, occasionally scurrying under the table, covering his eyes with his hands and peeking through his fingers, your classic four-year-old-having-a-moment type behavior.

Brandon, being Brandon, leaned over and loudly inquired what was up, and then he pulled out that classic dad maneuver where he takes that information and straight up asks the dude, "Hey, you wouldn't happen to be a Power Ranger, would you? My kid thinks you look like one. And can I get a Coke when you have a minute?"

The possible Power Ranger didn't miss a beat. He wriggled his eyebrows and glanced from side to side before saying out the side of his mouth, "Well. I'm not supposed to tell anybody."

And then he winked.

And then Huck died.

I swear it, you have never seeeeeen a happier child. He was thrilled. Stars in his eyes, circling in a spiral of glee for daaaays and days and days. "They're REAL!" He'd everybody he met on the street. "THERE'S A REAL POWER RANGER! ON SEVENTH AVENUE!" We went along with it, because, adorable, but pretty quickly things started getting tricky.

"Well, I know Power Rangers are real . . . but mom, are fairies real?"

"Are you sure Power Rangers are real, buddy? I think he might have been having fun with you when he said that . . ."

"Oh no, dey real. But FAIRIES. "

"Well . . . okay. No, not fairies."

One afternoon Huck marched up with his Power Ranger costume and requested that I make him a real Power Ranger suit. WITH LASERS.

Insert your best distraction techniques [HERE] and pray he forgets about that one.

Another time Huck told he wanted nachos for dinner again, and that "dis time I KNOW I won't be shy, I KNOW I'll ask him, and I KNOW he'll make me a Junior Power Ranger! Because I know dey need me, mom."

Then one night he requested that I buy him a spirit animal, and that's when I knew the jig was up. Because . . . I mean, Amazon doesn't stock spirit animals. What does a spirit animal even look like?? (A pink rhino floating in a glass ball, obviously.) It broke my heart to do it, to definitively pop this tiny little bubble in his ever fading bubble bath of childhood. How special of a time is it when he can wholeheartedly believe such magical, exciting things! And how can I keep him in it longer? I wondered again if we were wrong to let him believe as long as we did. I didn't want him to feel betrayed, or that I'd been lying to him. That fine line between nurturing a kid's imagination and setting him up for disappointment is so fine I sometimes don't know if I've imagined it or not. Sometimes I'm pretty certain I'm taking this stuff too seriously; other times I'm not so sure.

I broke it to him as gently and as patiently as I could, hopefully preserving that crucial tie where my word connects to his trust. It's hard. That trust is my entire parenting collateral.  It's what I rely on when I tell him he can't have a new toy today, but later when he's earned enough allowance, and I promise him I'll help him earn it. That trust is how I get him to try the broccoli, or the chicken with the weird sauce, even if it looks gross. It's how I can tell him it's not spicy and he'll respond, 'Ok!' and dig right in. It's how I get him to wear a sweater when he thinks it's not cold out, it's how I convince him to get into bed when he swears he's not tired. I have to be able to follow through on my word, I want him to know that I'm always on his team. With me and Huck, it's that he knows I'm paying attention to him, I think. It's that I won't brush him off, so he knows I'm not just saying 'no' for the fun of it or because I don't understand how important something is to him.

Later that night I watched as Huck grappled with this newfound knowledge of life, this harsh glare of the real world intruding on his Eden. I was so proud of him for taking it like a champ, but it was also a little melancholy, like adding a tiny weight of maturity to his precious baby shoulders that I wasn't ready for him to have. Hell, I'm still hoping for the rewind button to show up some day so I can get more Huck baby time before it's all over. Maturity, no bueno! Anyway, what's the rush!?

Meanwhile totally out of nowhere Huck groans, "Aw man, does that mean my enemies aren't real, either?!"

It took a full week to fully convince him. But in the end, he finally believed me. Trust fully intact, so far as I can tell.

Now to work on the merits of having his nails trimmed. I got my work cut out for me there. ;)

16 comments :

  1. Love this post! These moments are the ones to cherish! Mine are growing so fast before my eyes!
    The Pepper Express

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  2. *oh geez. what a swell read! and as i'm several (many, really) years ahead of you with the boy growing? --the fart jokes never die off, irrelevant of 'maturity.'
    *i loved " . . hopefully preserving that crucial tie where my word connects to his trust."
    *and lastly, short boy nails is the best thing a mother can do for a child (at least in the top 10?). so you are aces there!

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  3. You are such an amazing mama to that sweet Huck of yours!

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  4. I love the magic and hope he has a little of it in him, forever. We all do :)

    Megan || Oh Hey! blog

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  5. Oh, this is so beautiful!

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  6. Husband and I are over here just dying over Huck's Power Rangers excitement. Too cute! I'm glad he seems to have taken it well.

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  7. oh my this even had me a tad teary (emotional) in work. I am still at the stage with my son Reece (3) where I can totally get away with the make believe stuff, I am not so sure I will be ready to brake his little bubble. I would say you done a wonderful job though:) Huck is just the cutest xxx

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  8. Where is the mama say shirt from? It's great

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  9. Where is the mama says shirt from? its great!

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  10. So does this mean no Santa Clause either?

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  11. That's such a sweet and heartbreaking story.

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  12. I am not a mother yet, but can only hope that I handle such situations with the gentle, caring love that you portray.

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  13. Hey girl. Vermont Chris here. Since I feel like we are now good friends, I needed to come catch up on your blog--I just have no time to read stuff anymore but I will check up on yours from time to time to see how my friend is doing. Ahhh yes, The never ending Power Ranger themes and episodes. So freakin' many and my kid loves them all. Had I know Huck's passion for the Rangers, I would have insisted he come play with my kids and get the outfits (yes, I bought some) and the swords and the could have spirited their animals together. Oh Power Rangers...take care girl.

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  14. Hey you!

    quick question...did you make Huck's "Mama said there would be days like this" t-shirt?

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