I only go to Michael’s in an emergency; I can’t be trusted.
This time, I put my blinders on to pick out a birthday present for one of Isaiah’s friends. I passed the scrapbook stickers, looked straight ahead as I walked by the colored pencils and didn’t even peak at the already-here-way-to-early Halloween decorations. I was surgical, I found the aisle I needed and tried super hard to focus. Vaguely aware of the fact that the boy had wandered off.
Everyone in the store became aware of it when his gift for projection accompanied, “Mom! Mom! Come here!”
“I’ll be there in a second.” If a second is never, because I’m not gonna just drop everything for the sentence I hear 1 million times a day.
“Mom! Mom! This is the one I want! This is it! Mom! This is it!”
Please. As if that can rip me from this really important decision making; which American Girl knock-off shoes do we want? The fake Uggs? The silver ballet flats? I cannot worry about what the boy has found, that “thing he wants.” Let’s face it, he wants something everywhere we go.
So why did I hear my mouth say yes five minutes later?
I know why I did it. I barely fought it at all. His birthday is around the corner. He let me sell a TON of his toys at garage sale, even more on Ebay. He had been very patient while I pondered fur coat or sweat suit.
When he showed me this Dukes of Hazzard police car, I just said, “Okay.”
I have a weak spot for The Dukes, and he knows it. So I guess this was really my fault. If we hadn’t named our dogs Roscoe P Coltrane and Daisy this probably never would have happened. But I did. And it did.
The problem is I really didn’t look at the box.
I had misplaced the conversation I had with the guy at Hobby Town last year who told me that these models were for real model enthusiasts. These were not for kids. Not even for kids with parents who would help them. Unless those parents were hard-core model car enthusiasts.
We don’t have one of those in residence.
The parent we have in residence asked me “What I was thinking?” when I got home.
Not at all defensive, I said, “I thought it would be nice for you two to have something to do together.”
And when, after two days of frustration, the model was barely a car yet. And the boy would ask the husband every time we left if he “would work on the car a little while we were out?” I realized it was time to stop caring.
So I told the husband to stop caring. I told him not to worry that a corner of the directions went mysteriously missing when it may have gotten cemented to the bottom of a box and ripped off while we tried furtively to fix it before said husband found it.
And I told him not to worry that the boy insisted on glueing the wheels on instead of figuring out the right way to put them on the axle.
And so we stopped worrying. And we let the boy put the model together his way.
That made him pretty darn happy. The boy, not the husband.
And when he decided to use
The Kragle super glue, instead of the non-toxic model cement I bought, I said okay.
And the boy was happy. Once we let go of the reigns that boy worked and worked and worked.
And then it smelled toxic and we opened the windows.
And then he ran up to me while I was cooking dinner and said he had to wash The Kragle off his hands. When I told him it wouldn’t wash off, he covered his fingers in band-aids because – he’s Isaiah.
And then at a crucial moment of dinner preparation he said, “I’m gonna paint it now!” And I said, “Wait for me!” And he said, “Too late!” And my house smelled even more toxic than before. And I ran around opening more windows as fast as I could, hoping dinner wouldn’t burn. And my throat hurt, and the boy started coughing and then he said, “Look mom! Look! Doesn’t it look perfect?”
And then before I could turn around, “Oops! Oh no!”
Yes. You already know don’t you? You’re thinking, “Really Jen? Didn’t you know this would happen.”
Yes my dear friend, I did know something like this would happen. I did. But I made the choice to let him have the fun since the alternative was going to suck for everyone.
And so the boy got model paint all over his favorite pajamas, it even soaked through and has permanently adhered itself to his leg. No amount of soap is going to rid his body of super glue or paint. And since I won’t dip him in a vat of acetone, he’s gonna stay white and crunchy for a while. His only concern is he’s gonna look funny in a bathing suit.
But he sure is proud of his Sheriff Car!
And I’m thinking it’s not such a Mommy Fail after all.