The Constant Catpanion and the Parenting Fail

I have been absent. I admit it. I have not posted anything in some time. I have not popped on and read anything of late either. My apologies. To those who take the time to read what I post. To those who post, counting on my readership. I am sorry.

It is hard to say why. The easy answer? Busy. But you couldn’t take just 2 minutes to read or write something? The easy answer? NO.

We are still settling in; we have only been in our new place for about four months. It takes time. Apparently. I mean, the boxes were unpacked before the first week passed. But. There are adjustments. There are changes to be made. The “to do” lists grew uncontrollably long…then longer.

Some lists grew out of necessity. Some out of need. Some out of want. And with all that choice choosing can be hard. So. The lists grow. Some exponentially. Some marginally. Some barely at all. But grow they all did. And something had to be done.

So last week (after an appointment cancellation) we marched into Home Depot and exited with enough paint and supplies to finish a few things. Four cans of paint. Four different colours. Excluding trim. Two rooms. That was going to be my task. Hubby and the wee one tackled the last few odds and sods. Changing outlets and switches. Hanging new outdoor fixtures. The last few things that hinted at the old owner. No offense to the gal who used to own our home but her taste was definitely not ours. And no offense to anyone who may like fuzzy and shiny wallpaper but I ripped that crap down one morning in a fit. Only to find an equally off-putting red wall. No matter. I painted my ass off – it’s all gone now!

April is NO Fool

Last Tuesday social media (media in general, really) was all a flutter with funny jokes, pictures and videos of April Fools’ pranks. Admittedly there were some funny moments. Like the gal I know who gave her elder son a bowl of frozen cereal for breakfast. That gave me a giggle.

I have never been a fan of pranks. I hate surprises. Even nice ones. The unexpected moments in life (those I’ve experienced and those yet to come) are good enough for me. Thanks. And, thankfully, those around me respect that. Diabetes or not. I don’t like to be surprised. OR pranked.

That said. April Fools’ Day is not “celebrated” at our house. At least not that way.

The Dudes’ Birthday

We have a cat. Though it could be argued that he is mine.

Over a decade ago, on a hot July day, living alone and lonely, I wandered into the SPCA and adopted my little bundle. I have previously posted about my little kitty (but I’d be damned if I could remember the post and plug the link in here…shoot!). He has saved my life. Several times. Our bond is iron-clad.

Our cat’s name is Terror. The SPCA ladies told me he was a holy terror but I ignored them and proceeded with the adoption. He has been nothing but a gem. A delight. A great friend. And, finally, he has warmed up to both the wee one and the dog. But he will never let you forget that he came first.

Occasionally, when you adopt an animal, they do not know their exact birth date. Sometimes they pick it for you. Sometimes they allow you to make the choice. During the adoption paperwork I was informed that my little kitty was likely born early in April. What day would you like the birthday to be? And I blurted out, the first. Though, at that moment, I was not sure why. Later, after a great amount of pondering, I came to the realization that it was the birth date of a beloved family dog from my teenage years.

No mind. I had my April Fools’ baby. And my constant catpanion.

And last week, he celebrated his 11th birthday. The wee one scrounged up some of his change and requested a ride to the pet store where he purchased a fancy tin of food for Dudie. Bless.

So. While the world is pranking each other or telling silly jokes on April Fools’ Day we are singing Happy Birthday and dishing out the finest cat cuisine in honour of our (my) fabulous feline.

Meow.

Epic FAIL

A few weeks ago I posted Teaching Monster Trucks Manners and expressed our delight about becoming a Monster Jam Family. Our wee one had recently become really interested in Monster Jam. Both the televised events and the toys. Then he saw ads for the LIVE event. And it was over. That was our spring entertainment splurge (last year we saw Toopy & Binoo). It was January. The event was coming in April. We bought tickets. Front row. Go BIG or go home. Right?

And so began the countdown.

Months of acquiring new trucks. Playing Monster Jam videos. Recreating Monster Jam all over the house.

One month down. February. The wee one’s birthday. We found him a monster truck play set. With BIGFOOT! We were the best parents. On top of the world!

March. Second month down. For a little guy he was doing great. Counting down the weeks. The days.

Then April came and it was a matter of a few sleeps now.

Parenting is a tough and muddled thing at times. Full of wonderful experiences. And traumatic ones.

We woke up early yesterday. MONSTER JAM DAY!! The wee one crawled into our bed predawn, clearly excited. We opted to get ready and scoot out to our favourite little breakfast nook for some nosh. The day was beginning beautifully. Weather included. Everyone ate (maybe a bit too much) and we were off – to Monster Jam we go.

The actual event did not begin until 2 o’clock in the afternoon but we learned there is a Pit Party a few hours before, a sort of meet-and-greet for the purpose of taking pictures and obtaining autographs. Of course we were going to try and get tickets for that – and we did. Along with a whole host of others. Very exciting.

We enter, the pre-pit area, and buy up $50 of merchandise right away. Including the all-important ear muffs for the wee one. And then they let us in…

HONNNNNNNNNNNNNNK!!!!

We had not put the ear muffs on – it was the Pit Party. No engines. But. That honk came from a truck called Krazy Train. It was a diesel engine whistle. And we were right in front of it when it went off…and that was the end of Monster Jam for us. We just didn’t realize it yet.

The wee guy FREAKED OUT. Big time. So we found a small spot. Calmed down. Put on the ear muffs.

Having regrouped we wandered around. Waited in line. Snapped some pictures. Got some autographs. We were having fun despite the little guy’s constant request to go home…

We spent more money on the way out of the pit. A t-shirt. Was it a ploy to encourage him to stay for the actual event? Maybe. But mostly we were shook too. It is really hard to see your child in duress. To see them horrified when they should be enjoying themselves.

So we walked around downtown a bit. It was a gorgeous day outside. Popped in to a fast food joint to grab the little guy lunch of his choosing. Continued the discussion regarding our next move: home or Monster Jam? Him: home. Us: Monster Jam. Not that we wanted to force him to do something he didn’t want to. We wanted him to try. We didn’t want him to quit, to give-up without even entering the stadium.

In the restaurant we encountered several other attendees. In our small section there were a couple of guys with their little boys, who were super pumped up to go to Monster Jam; they had been to previous events, earlier in the year and years prior. The little boys were trying to convince ours that there was nothing to be afraid of, it was lots of fun. When we left we were sure we had it in the bag. Fear gone. The excitement had returned.

Another line-up awaited us. Like lemmings we flocked to the edge. Tickets in hand. They open the doors an hour before. There are pre-show events. Nice. They were going to ease us into the experience. Hopeful, we grabbed some snacks (and more souvenirs!), put on the ear muffs and sat in our seats. The pre-show was good. Funny. A few quad races. The wee one was enjoying himself. He hadn’t asked to go home in some time. Things were looking up.

And so were we. There was a GIANT minute-long countdown on the screen in the rafters. The audience in unison began counting backwards from 60. The closer we all got to zero the look on my child’s face changed…and then the first truck came out. And my beautiful boy turned in to Edvard Munch’s The Scream. So we left.

He tried. Like we asked him to. And we were so proud that he did. It was a long climb up from that front row. Many, many looks of pity were passed on the up. We reached the exit. Tickets scanned. The lady who scanned them was kind, asking if we needed any help. We kindly declined. Explained the situation (he was terrified) and she applauded the fact that we respected our child. Thank you. We left the building. He was still freaking. The poor thing didn’t even begin to calm down until we reached the parking lot. But not completely until we were home. Where we tucked him in and put on Frosty Returns.

PARENTING FAIL. Of EPIC proportions.

Or was it?

A Few Lessons Learned

The hubby and I were rattled by what happened yesterday. No parent ever wants to see their child in discomfort, upset or scared. But we managed the situation as best as we could. Comforted him. Engaged in a discussion about it. The wee one woke up chipper this morning. He is still talking a blue-streak about freaking out at Monster Jam and is re-evaluating his career choice (he had wanted to be a mechanic, a monster truck mechanic – he was going to work for Dennis Anderson one day).

Today is a new day. And life is busy. Even when it doesn’t feel that way.

There will always be a list. Somewhere. Growing.

There will be another birthday for someone. Or pet.

There will (likely) be more parenting fails. Oh gawd!

For now…

Back to the crunch. Back to the million miles of trim I have ignored for the last few days.

6 thoughts on “The Constant Catpanion and the Parenting Fail

  1. If he’s talking about it now, he’ll be OK. I remember when our youngest (he was about 3) toddled out of bed after we’d crashed and were watching “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” after a particularly exhausting day. He watched for a while before we knew he was standing back there in the hall, his little mind blown by the idea that adults could be taken over by aliens. There was a long stretch after that where he wouldn’t use a pillow, because he thought they were pods and he would be eaten at night. And then he looked at us suspiciously for a while, thinking we might be pod people who just looked like mom and dad. We had to earn his trust back. That’s a blow to your parental ego, believe me. 🙂

    But childhood isn’t for the weak. I wouldn’t want to go through it again. Everyone’s bigger and seems to know everything. It’s hard not to feel stupid and incompetent when you’re clumsy and small.

    But he’s now a grad student in philosophy and winning awards. I wonder just how much of that early exposure to a scary idea got him ready for Heiddeger and Kant. They’re pretty scary, too, but nothing like an alien invasion of your pillow.

    • Thank you so much for this; the parental ego took a massive blow yesterday. Especially during the ride home. He kept asking why we wanted to scare him and we explained we wanted him to try the experience…
      And I agree (and welcome the perspective) that childhood can be a daunting time.
      Glad your wee one emerged seemingly unscathed, though I personally find Kant and Heiddeger a bit scary (harkens back to my good ole university days!).
      And again, thank you 🙂

      • Sometimes you can just never know what will spook them, either. Some kids get freaked by the same thing another kid just shakes off. Easy for me to say now, but 90 percent of what we obsessed about with ours turned out to be temporary. They weren’t scarred for life. It’s that other 10% that kept me awake at night. 🙂

      • True. That’s a good point. My mum-in-law said the same thing (she’s a librarian and said kids freak out over the shape of a book, etc). And I can totally appreciate that 10% keeping you up at night! 🙂

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