Friday, July 12, 2013

Surprises and A Well Child

Charles likes surprises in theory.  He sort of thinks all surprises should be toys, but I’m trying to “help” my kids understand that a treat can be a movie, or a candy, or ice cream, or breakfast for dinner, or a special person coming to visit, or an unscheduled trip to the park, and that surprises mean that I don’t tell them much ahead of time.


My mom says that I used to have to know exactly what was going on every day.  I needed a schedule to feel secure.  I sometimes see this with Charles as he gets older: when we do something that was not, in his mind, “scheduled,” he can become a little upset, constantly asking “why” and looking for reassurance about the rest of the day’s schedule.  More often than a surprise activity, though, is when we have to cancel something I had scheduled and prepared him for.  Then he flips out. 


I love surprises, so I’m trying to show Charles that surprises are good things, that some of the fun in life is anticipating a surprise or getting a totally unanticipated surprise.  Yesterday, I received a surprise gift in the mail:


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Rad necklace, huh?  I’ll get into chunky jewelry yet, you’ll see.


So I told the boys that I had a surprise for them yesterday afternoon.  When Leland pulled up in his new car, I yelled, “Surprise!” and told the boys they could help Uncle Leland wash his car.  Charles didn’t end up helping much, but he does think that having Uncle Leland come over for an hour or so is a wonderful treat.


Jamie helped:


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That’s peanut butter dripped down the side of Jamie’s pants because while I was outside talking to a neighbor, the boys had a surprise for me: it was 5 pm and they were hungry, so they decided to eat peanut butter straight from the jar with giant soup spoons.  Luckily for the dog, they got peanut butter everywhere (later that night, I found that Buster had drug out the rag I had used to wipe up the majority of the peanut butter from the laundry room and was compulsively sucking on it).  This led to a surprise for Tony: dinner was postponed until 7 pm (since the boys had filled their tummies at 5) and he got to eat with us last night, instead of alone when he got home at 7.  Pretty good outcome, I guess.  I didn’t get mad, I just sighed and went with it.  No use yelling at your kids over spilled peanut butter, not when it’s nice outside and there are sports cars to wash.


It all might have been avoided had I given the boys their usual post-school snack, but instead, they ate applesauce pouches in the car on our way to the doctor’s office for Jamie’s two-year well-child checkup.  And what a well child he is, too.  Charles refused to get on the scale, so no official findings for him, but Jamie weighs 27 pounds and is 35 inches tall.  That’s one inch shorter and 6 pounds lighter than Charles at age 2.  Before we left, Jamie threw a nice little tantrum over getting his clothes put back on, so the doctor got to see the full range of his health.  The doctor kindly offered to help me wrestle clothing back on the little bug, and while Jamie was kicking the doctor, I shifted position while holding Jamie’s bucking torso and managed to head-butt the doctor.  Never a dull moment when the Cook family is around.


Margarita Primavera said...

Love the necklace!
And it's nice to know that our dogs are not the only ones that are peanut butter obsessed!

Liz said...

I heard somewhere that you kids will be double their height at age 2. So by my math, Jamie will be 5'10" and Charles an even 6'. Not bad!!! :)

Sarah said...

At least the doctor didn't need stitches afterward...