Recently, we went on a vacation. This is after a whole month of pretty much a continuous toddler birthday celebration and grandparent time. I was almost feeling like the book, "Berenstain Bears and Too Much Birthday." All four of my son's grandparents are doting and wonderful (I mean, that's what grandparents are, right?). But over 4 weeks of gifts and "special" things can start becoming not quite so special... Especially when someone wakes up and asks for presents, because don't we all like to get gifts every day?
Normally, I have been proud of my son's ability to go into a toy store or grocery store without expecting to get something. You know what pride does... It gets knocked down. We were in the process of trying to leave a toy store and I think the mix of too much travel, too little sleep and being a little past lunchtime without food culminated in a tantrum. Ironically, right after my son had read the book, "The Grouchies"
Just as I was terrorized to see my son becoming materialistic at the toy store and struggling with him to get him out of the toy store, my son saw it. His tantrum was busted. He saw the ocean. He forgot about the toy he wanted and was focused on the beach.
The beach was pretty far away. We were walking back to our car, and down a long street was the town's beach. My husband said it wasn't in "our plans" to go to the beach. I was determined, if this was the one thing that would break his materialistic tantrum, I was going to do it. If he was willing to forget about toys, presents and me, me, me, we would feed that desire. As we headed over to the beach, my son began to get excited. He wanted his socks and shoes off. No problem, he wanted his shirt off. Ok, I thought, may have to put some sunscreen on, but we can do that. What we then partook in was what I like to think is the absolute joy of childhood. Pure, unadulterated joy, running through the sand, dancing, something akin to a baseball pitching windup and pure smiles. Never once during this episode did he talk about toys, or "I want". It was a gift to witness my son's pure joy in nature and the beach. Maybe my husband and I weren't doing a bad job after all and maybe spontaneity is the cure for adult ailments too...
On a different note: our garden- we now have radishes, which normally I don't like how they taste, but when they come straight out of the garden, that's pretty awesome. My tomato plants just might make it, I actually thought my friend had planted some seedlings from the store, but they are actually the little pathetic seedlings I had planted, so we will see what happens : )