Monday, August 10, 2009


THE ART OF BEING A CHILD

Out of the blue Rojo had been asking to be taken to The Children's Museum, a WONDERFUL place designed for the preschool set. He often got dragged to the original location when Woohoo was much younger, it was one of her favorite places. We even had her 5th birthday party there (see photo above). Don't remember him ever loving it though, most of my memories involve trying to keep him in his back pack and handing snacks, pacifiers and bottles backwards, in a feeble attempt to keep him happy enough for Woohoo to finish doing her thing.

I think once when I was trading day care with another mom who had a kid in Woohoo's kindergarten class, so we could each volunteer in the room, I took both Rojo and my friend's little boy to the new, bigger and better, location. They were three. Ten years ago.

So, classic Rojo, he pulls out a 10-year memory I have no knowledge of him having, and wants to expand on it.

"Mom, I want to go to that place with the grocery store. I want to go to that place with the cash registers. I want to go and guess how much the food is. I want to make the sound beep when the food goes on it. I want to be the doctor. I want to be the ambulance driver..."

"The Children's Museum?" I asked, finally seeing the picture he was drawing for me.

Not answering, he kept up with all his big plans. "And Jenn will take me, and we will bring Brandon and Sam, and we will play with the cash registers and the grocery store and the ambulance..."

Well, The Wonder That is Jenn would do that, she totally would do that, but I knew Brandon and Sam were far too old for The Children's Museum and that plan would not work.

So I begged Woohoo.

And she, being caught in a moment of feeling magnanimous, agreed.

So that's how on Thursday I walked into The Children's Museum with my 13 and 15-year-old, and was asked politely by the woman at the desk, "Have you been here before?"

I decided it wasn't worth the long answer, so I just said, "Yes, we're here for old times' sake."

Oh, we got the looks. We got the "This is for little kids looks." The "Don't let your big kid wreck this for my little kid," look. It's okay. I remember being the mom of the little kid. I remember the protectiveness. I remember the fear. I remember the self-centeredness.

One little girl in particular couldn't stop staring. Finally she walked up to me after watching Woohoo carefully return all the plastic apples and potatoes back to their place in the "grocery store" after Rojo had rung them up.

"Is she someone's babysitter?" the little girl asked.

"Yes." I said, staring her down.

Wooohoo heard the exchange and challenged me. "I'm not getting into it with a three-year-old," I said.

And besides, Woohoo was someone's babysitter. Mine.

We ignored 90% of the museum in favor of returning over and over to the medical and grocery store sections. When he was sated we went to the snack bar and he got Nacho Cheese Doritos and water. Bliss upon bliss.

Holding my hand and skipping (literally - who knew the kid could skip?) in the parking lot as we wandered around looking for our car, he said, "Whew! I'm tired! I had a busy day! I was a grocery person! I was a cooking person! I was an ambulance driver! I was a doctor!"

"Yes, you WERE!" I overly enthused, trying to make up for my discomfort.

But inside I was thinking, Best of all, you were a child.

13 comments:

Jerri said...

Rojo skips!

Many other 13-year-olds snarl and mope and brood. Rojo skips.

pixiemama said...

Wow. I can feel you. Even if it feels YEARS too late, Rojo certainly has the sense of wanting to do it - wanting to try different things on for size - wanting to know. So cool.

jess wilson said...

this is pure love, carrie.

this is what we do.

yes - pure, staggeringly beautiful, heart filling LOVE.

Full Soul Ahead! said...

You are a kick ass mom.

Love.

Drama Mama said...

THANK GOD! My life was not spinning properly on its axis without my Rojo fix.

Honestly. I can imagine your discomfort - but the utter joy?

And love me that Woohoo for hanging in there with him.

P.S. oh, and by the way? The famiy pic? A for Adorable!

courtneywrites said...

I love this post, for so many reasons.

Wanda said...

Wonderful. I made my first trip to the Children's Museum as an adult...no children along...just two adults.

You rock. Love the family photo.

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

I love that you did this. And Woohoo - what an amazing sib. I always say that siblings are the unsung heroes of special needs families.

Anonymous said...

That is such a great family picture ever seen. So So Beautiful.

Deb Shucka said...

The purity of his joy takes my breath away. Your willingness to feed his soul does, too. I love your encounter with the three year old. Would like to have seen the eye to eye there.

kario said...

I love that he knows exactly what he needs and wants.

I love that you trust that he knows that.

I love that you nurture that.

And, most of all, I love that Woohoo went along for the ride. She did a good thing, she did.

So did you.

Love you all to PIECES!

Ask Me Anything said...

That sounds like Sophie Heaven. The grocery store was always her favorite. Still is. Our CM has just moved in to an absolutely gorgeous Historical Building--and she keeps asking, "when Ben gets out of the hospital, do you think he'd like to go to the CM". Yes, I think he would.

Nancy said...

I love this so much. I have goose bumps...for Rojo's joy, for your incredible mothering, and for Woo Hoo. She rocks!