One of my husband’s cousins aka Tita Parrot (from a pretend game she and Sam played) visited our humble home in Chapel Hill last week and stayed for a few days. She and my husband grew up together and as we discovered are similar in a lot of ways, particularly now that they are both parents. Tita Parrot has two little boys of her own, and claims she loves being the “queen” in the family. Similarly my husband (being the only male in our family) loves it that he is the “king” — as both claim that status makes them the subject of everyone else’s affection. Tita Parrot though was quick to point out jokingly that he would not have it as easy as she would, because he was stuck in a house filled with irrational, female hormones. Because she grew up with him, she knew (as well as I have for the last 13 years), that he is definitely not the type who handles irrational hormones and emotions well, and prefers to argue based solely on logic. Tita Parrot could also very well see how different my girls react to “emotionally charged” situations from the way her boys would, and she kept warning her oh-so-very-logical cousin that he is definitely in for it when they get older. In fact, Tita Parrot caught a glimpse of what it might be like for my husband down the line on the last day of her stay.
Remember Frankie the balloonist? Well Sam has not seen him since the carnival party we attended last October. Nonetheless each trip we took to Southpoint since, she’s made it a point to check just in case. There was one time, when we had gone early evening and saw some kids carrying creatively twisted balloons out the door. Her eyes lit up and she let out an excited gasp, “Mr. Frankie’s here!” My husband’s eyes lit up too with a tad bit of tension and a helpless smile, thinking about the $1 he had not planned to spend that day (Admittedly though he was amused that Sam was so quick to spot the balloons walking out the door). But alas when we got to Frankie’s usual spot, he’d already left.
Last weekend as we took Tita Parrot out for some last minute shopping, we saw some kids walking with balloons again. Sam and I walked ahead to Frankie’s usual spot, and she stopped 30ft away, as if she couldn’t believe her eyes. There he was, twisting away. When I think about it now, it seemed like she wasn’t sure if she was only imagining him to be there or if he was real. I had to coax her forward to take her place in line.
She got a dog balloon upon request, and Jamie (it was her birthday that day!) got a flower. Dad let out a double groan, one for each dollar he shelled out. You could see how happy she was, though; in fact I’d never seen Sam hug her balloons that way before.
Closer to the end of the day (with toddler fatigue also setting in), Sam shook her balloon dog and the back part unraveled. It now looked more like a caterpillar or a snake with a big head, and Sam was slightly upset. Dad tried to be the hero of the evening and offered to turn it back into a dog if she went peacefully with me for her bath. She reluctantly handed the dog-snake-worm-caterpillar balloon to her father, and as Sam was about to step away, he started to twist it back into a dog. Then — Pop! went the back part of the balloon. Uh-oh.
Sam’s initial shock from the sound quickly contorted into a frown and she burst into wails of despair. “Oh Nooooo!!!!” Was all you could hear between inconsolable sobs. Dad looked at me helplessly, and then at Tita Parrot (who was trying so hard to supress a giggle), and kept telling Sam to stop crying. She would not and instead (for added drama) ran to me and buried her wet face into my chest. “My doggie’s broken Mamaaaa wahhhhhh!” sobbed the overtired toddler as if it was the end of the world (quite similar to when we lost Pascal actually).
I was eventually able to coax her into her bath and as she went to bed she asked for her broken dog to sleep with her. Daddy hugged her and apologized for the nth time, and she did forgive him, but also got him to promise that they would look for Mr. Frankie again next weekend. Sam ended the evening with a prayer she thought of all by herself: “Papa Jesus, Daddy is sorry he popped my dog. Please fix my broken doggie so that in the morning he will be fixed again.” Awww!
Finally when the adults were alone Tita Parrot teased Dad about the hormones he’d have to live with for the rest of his life (mine included of course!). He could only shake his head and sigh. So much for being the king of the household, ey? 😉