Don’t you just love the expression, “your only as old as you feel” or “act your age, not your shoe size?” I don’t think I’ve ever acted my age. Even at 36 I don’t feel like I’m 36. I do consider myself to be a mature adult, but I don’t exactly feel old on most days either. I guess it really just depends on my mood, and the fact that I work with small children keeps me young. Sometimes I’m extremely proud of myself by the things that I’ve accomplished on certain days, like, avoiding tantrums (my sons, not mine), going on a mass cleaning spree, writing, accomplishing something great at work, etc. and I feel 36 and mature. Then there are days that I feel like a whinny teenager or toddler, and I just want my mommy or a friend to lean on. Then I feel even younger… and not in a good way. And then there are days that my whole body hurts, I’m in a bad mood, or I need to deal with something that I really don’t want to deal with, and then I feel really old.
You know what I mean?
Well, yesterday, Willy surprised me by acting out in a way that I was sure was age appropriate, but then again, maybe not. When your through reading this, I’d love to hear your stories and/or opinion as well. Seriously… I need some advice.
Yesterday, Willy and I had a doctors appointment with our child psychiatrist for a med check-in. We do this monthly. Willy was playing so nicely on the floor with the toys in the doctors office as we consulted on his progress and a few set backs. As we were getting ready to leave, Willy was finishing cleaning up the mess he made, when he caught sight of a toy that is apparently a new favorite of his. He saw Jessie from “Toy Story 3.” He was SO excited to see her, that he grabbed her and ran over to the doctor to show him what he had found. Then he showed me. He kept jumping up and down and yelling “It’s Jessie, It’s Jessie with such excitement!” Over and over again.
I was excited for him, but sadly I knew exactly where this was going to go… and I SO wasn’t in the mood for what was about to unfold.
I started to explain to my son that finding Jessie was very cool, but that she also needs to stay here at the doctor’s office, because that is where she lives. I also told him that he could not take her home with us. Well, he clearly didn’t like hearing that and began to cry and tantrum. The doctor looked intrigued and asked me if he could try to intervene.
Oh, why the hell not!
So I stood with my back leaning against his office door, with my arms folded against my chest, and smiled at him. “Go ahead” I said, “but it’s not going to get you anywhere.” Trust me… I know my kid.
I just stood there and let the good doctor try to do his job.
He bent down on one knee so he could get down to Willy’s level, and he explained that Jessie needed to stay here and help other kids feel better too. We both knew that Willy understood every word that he had said, but Willy just continued to cry in a crumpled heep on the floor. I finally decided that enough was enough, and I prompted my son to get up. We said our thank you’s to the doctor, and we left, with Willy crying and yelling “Jessie, Jessie” in the most pathetic voice that he could muster.
It really was sad and pathetic.
Through the hallway, in the elevator, in the car, through 5 traffic lights, and all the way to our front door, my son just cried “Jessie, Jessie!” It was like he had lost his best friend or something. He was literally breaking my heart.
After listening to this for twenty five minutes, I finally caved in and asked him if he wanted to watch Toy Story 3 while he ate his dinner. We could have a picnic together. He agreed and he seemed satisfied with just watching the movie and forgetting about leaving the toy at the doctor’s office, and oddly enough, he never mentioned “Jessie” again. Even now.
So, like any good mom, I went to the toy store this afternoon, and I bought him a Toy Story eight figure set, as well as the Toy Story 1 and 2 DVD’s. I was still feeling bad about him feeling like he had abandoned Jessie yesterday, and we clearly won’t give him all of his presents all at once; we’ll just spread out the wealth over time.
So, I guess what I want to know is, was Willy’s tantrum appropriate for a 4 1/2 year old? Am I creating a monster by feeding his new Toy Story addiction? I really don’t have all of the answers, friends, and I’m curious if you experience the same things with your kids or students, or nieces or nephews. Please share with me, I’d love to know.
TGIF my friends.