Today I had a parenting wail. Not the kind where you hide in a cupboard eating chocolate praying for a minute’s peace. No, this is that situation where you were so excited at what you thought was a 100% winner but at the last minute the wheels fall off and it’s a fail. There was potential, shit there was almost genius, but you misjudged your audience.
Early last week we received our new car seat. We were in New Zealand so I was quite pleased that my wonderful friend Tammy dragged the big-arse box inside. After Naomi put the Safe ‘n’ Sound Maxi Guard in the car (because I am an incompetent boob with no idea how they work – I had to read the model off the packaging) the box was left behind. Yep – you know where I’m going. It was the perfect little house for our little dude.
Yes I know, it’s been done before and perhaps done to death but I’d never done it.
So with some time up our sleeves Saturday morning after soccer, I broke out the box cutter. I was consumed with excitement. I would be parent of the year in the Little Dude’s eyes (or at least of the day) and he would spend ALL DAY playing in it, able to think of nothing else but the amazing creation his Mama had made.
See – all the trappings of a parenting win.
Now, since my surgery last year, it’s been a little more difficult to get up and down off the ground so all this heavy cardboard house construction took some effort! Anyone who’s renovated or built knows the drill – there’s door considerations, not to mention which handles to go with, window design, window dressing… it’s exhausting. (Hey, I’m a renter, let me live the ownership dream if only for a moment!)
I cut out the door, made some signs, created a chimney. I made a blind out of a scrap piece of paper and stapled some material over string for a curtain which, to be fair is how I’d probably make a curtain in real life! I was chuffed with my efforts.
While all this was going on (about 20 minutes in total) the Little Dude had been out the back eating popcorn asking to come in. He doesn’t watch make over shows so he doesn’t understand the necessity of the big reveal. Plus my feet had gone numb whilst hanging the curtain and it took me literally about 3 minutes to haul my butt off the floor.
As I stood and admired my creation I beamed with pride at my efforts. He’s gonna love it I told myself.
Before starting this little construction project, I had told Little Dude I was making him a toy, so his anticipation was high. I sat on his bed and called him in, phone at the ready to snap a picture of his excited face as he saw the dwelling I toiled away at making with my bare hands.
He thudded down the hallway and he ran into his room and his face lit up. I snapped a photo. THIS is what we want as parents – to experience pure joy from the innocence and simplicity of our kids. PARENTING WIN. But wait for it, wait for it. He started looking around the room, almost panting in excitement accompanied by a dawning disappointment.
“Where is it?” he asked, still smiling.
“You can’t see it?” we asked.
He looked down at his floor and up at the shelves.
“Umm, you cleaned up?” He looked puzzled.
“Over there,” Naomi said pointing directly at the box. The smile started to fade but he tried to hold it in place. He acknowledge the presence of this ‘thing’ but seemed perplexed.
“You said there was a toy,” he said still looking around for something that interested him.
And there’s the fail my friends! We were so close. But then, a glimmer of hope! He opened the door to his little house and the excitement kicked in! He grabbed his teddy’s and went inside.
“Oh my gosh there’s a curtain,” he exclaimed before poking Teddy’s head out the window. “Oh and a blind. This is so amazing,” he said.
“If you want to get your pencils or your texters you can draw on it too,” I told him because – winning! “Now I just have to finish some tidying but you go to town OK?”
I went in to my office to finish sorting some things out and no sooner had my butt hit the seat a little voice piped up behind me.
“Will you play something with me?” Seriously?!
“I just made your little house for you. Why don’t you play with that for a bit?”
“I did for like, five minutes but I’m done.”
And we come crashing down again. Failure snatched from the jaws of a win! See – parenting wail.
He did go back to playing with it and he wrote this lovely little note on the front!
It can be so hard sometimes planning something you think your kids will love only to look like an idiot who got their hopes up for nothing. But it’s worth it for the times you hit it out of the park.
What parenting wails have you had?