Some of us do better with surprise and change than others. At Deeter's ripe age of 4, he's one of the latter. For example, Valentine's morning he awoke to a heart on his door. He came downstairs, heart in hand, looked at me with a scowl and said, "What is this, Mom?'
I explained to him that it was Valentine's day and that I had left him a little love note. He looked at me, still grasping the infamous heart and said- dead serious-, "Mom….don't you know I hate love?"
He was not okay with something not being on his radar, he was thrown off by this simple change in life.
It's good getting to know your kids and being able to pinpoint these idiosyncrasies- they help prepare you for future predicaments.
And future predicament came.
Deeter's preschool class was having a field trip to go and watch some little play.
I had told him about this previously. He responded with a few questions but not much other emotion.
Well, play day came and homeboy was off his game. This off behavior somehow landed him on the couch in from of Tom and Jerry all nice and cuddly instead of doing his normal morning routine.
Yes, I sometimes reward foul behavior with sympathy.
And not to mention, it was also playing into my ulterior motives.
I thought for surely, when he was deep into Looney Tune land that I'd be able to slip an outfit onto him.
The cartoon would come to an end and before he knew it, he would be dressed and ready for the day with lunch box in hand as we walked to the car.
And let's just say that's kind of-ish how the morning went.
End point being he was happy when I left him at school.
I went home and got ready for the day as I had an engagement at noon.
What kind of engagement, you might ask?
I was the mystery reader in Dallin's 3rd grade class.
The main mystery to me being What the heck was I going to read to a bunch of 3rd graders.
And you also want to know what I was wearing that day?
Fine, I will show you since I was showered, dressed, and admittedly feeling on my A game.
Hey, one day I'm going to want to know what I looked like at 33. Might as well take awkward opportunities to document.
So anyway, it's getting to be time to get going.
I'd settled on the decidedly socially suicidal book of Limu, the Blue Turtle- the same book I read to Dallin's preschool class years ago.
With the book in hand, I made the last minute decision to bring sis with me instead of leaving her at home with the house keeper as I was thinking ahead to a time pickle I might be in if I left her.
That same predicted time pickle had me driving to Deeter's school with my few spare minutes before I needed to be in Dallin's class.
Deeter was supposed to have a play date after school but we weren't even in the mental place to broach that subject before school so I figured I better go assess the situation and see if that was a go or not.
I found the kids on the playground and started talking to Deeter about going home with Isaac. This was just in time to hear him calling Isaac a stupid idiot, or some other equally demeaning name. I called him out on it and tried to redirect and get respect back on track.
But huh uh.
He was on one and not to be derailed.
Another game time decision was made in which I pulled Deeter from school right then and there.
And so there I was, walking into Dallin's class with one kid on my hip, one holding my hand, with my perfect preschool book neatly tucked in my purse.
Not optimal for my annual guest appearance in the son's classroom.
But you know, I put on a smile, I got the Deetz and Kai nice and settled by Dallin and got to chit-chatting with the classmates. We were talking about Hawaii and road trips and other things that brought a smile to all our faces. I killed sufficient time and made a good enough first impression to introduce my childish book without getting boo-ed off the stage.
And I must admit that things were going well. Eyes were glued to the book, hands were being raised with supporting comments- the class was engaged.
The book was building to it's climax as Limu has just found himself in the ocean with many pairs of beady eyes staring at him and was inevitably in quite the predicament.
I went to turn the page to satisfy our curiosity as to what exactly was going on and what in the world Limu would do to resolve the drama.
But speaking of predicament…
I was trying to get that page turned, but wasn't having much luck.
I interupted the flow of the story, looked down to get a visual on why the heck I was having such a hard time getting to the next page.
And instantly a memory hit me.
It was one of me walking into the Wal-Mart on Kauai a couple years ago because I was in need of a second copy of our favorite book: Limu, the Blue Turtle. Our first copy ended abruptly at the climax of the story due to an invasion of syrup, making the last 5 pages meld into one only, completely eliminating the crucial details of both the problem and solution. Hence the need for the second copy.
I must same, it was very untimely to be having this flashback now. When would have been better timing, you ask?
How about an hour ago.
Well, Ms Coffield is a whipper snapper of a teacher and not only quicklyread the panic in the eyes of her Mystery Reader but she also had a ready solution. All those sharp 3rd graders were asked to return to their seat where they would all draft an ending to this story!
They loved it and came up with solutions that were probably much more entertaining that the 4-year-old appropriate ending.
Except for my pride.
And speaking of 4 year olds, after our reading duty was over, the crew and I headed down to The Caf with Dallin where Deeter would have his first ever elementary school lunch experience. And things don't get much cooler that than when you're 4.
So yes, things don't always work out as planned.
Or work out as not planned.
But more often than not, they work out.
And as a PS, I'll have you know that while I was doing Deeter's Valentines Day party a mere 3 hours after being chastised for leaving him a heart, that he prouldly bragged to his classmates that his mom had left him a heart asking him out on a date. And all the while he was wearing a coy smile. Go figure.
Which should have made it so that it came as no surprise when we were passing the venue of his class field trip Sunday and he announced, "Hey! That's where that play was…it was so FUN!"
Hey, two weeks later he's come to terms with his field trip-- YAY!