I know that lately I've been writing a lot more about Eric than Ryan. It's really not intentional. I mean, aside from the fact that Ryan has turned into a big fat tweener, complete with attitude, eye rolling, and a sarcastic THANKS as a retort to every thing I say (doesn't seem to matter if THANKS even works--that's what I get. As in "Ryan, can you please put your shoes away?" "THANKS!" See what I mean?).
But Eric, well Eric is an enigma. I've said that before and I'm sure I'll say it again. Eric is a complex creature. This here is one side of Eric. All snuggled up with Grandma. Eric loves Grandma, loves to snuggle--especially in his cozy pjs, with a blanket and an armload of Webkinz. Eric loves kitties, and baby animals, and Alvin and the Chipmunks....
Eric is also the kid who has always loved hot flowing lava. And flesh eating dinosaurs. Eric can whine like you have never heard before. And then can turn on a dime and respond to you in his biggest big-kid voice. Eric is a lazy bum who does nothing productive. Ever. And excels in school without even trying. It has taken me half of the school year to figure out that my first grader is reading at a 3rd grade level, because he refuses to read to me. He's been tired. And for fun, Eric likes to add 2-digit numbers in his head. It's a fun little game we like to call "wait--mommy needs a calculator."
This is the kid we took shoe shopping yesterday. We were at Fred Meyer with a bunch of coupons and it was a good opportunity to buy the boys some much needed tennis shoes. Ryan found his right away and, miracle upon miracles, was perfectly happy.
Eric wanted red. And velcro. And he wears a size 2. And this was a combination not found at Fred Meyer yesterday. So he whined. And flailed on the floor. And complained about every single solitary pair of shoes we had him try on. At one point we had him trying on a pair that was a size bigger and he walked around whining "they're too small." "Eric, those are a size 3." "Then they're too big..." This is a stubborn child. I know all of you think your kids are stubborn, and as a rule, I think most kids are, but Eric majors in stubborn. Eric can make a career out of being stubborn.
We tried. We really did. But we couldn't find the shoes Eric wanted. We're not cobblers and we don't work for Fred Meyer, so our resources were limited. Which was completely unacceptable in Eric's eyes.
With the sale price and the in-store coupon, those Nikes were honestly, truly $7.50. So we put them in the cart. While Eric is lying in the aisle at Fred Meyer carrying on about how it's just not fair and he wants red shoes and he hates laces and it's not fair and he hates the perfectly good shoes we picked out and he wants red and then, like a beam of light straight from heaven with the angels singing the Hallelujah chorus, these Converse high tops gawd-awful dragon shoes suddenly started to glow. The lights dimmed, the store became quiet, and it was just Eric and these shoes. He let out a little gasp. Then he picked himself up, wiped his nose with his sleeve, put on his biggest big-kid voice, and announced that those were his new shoes. He was confident. He was standing a little taller. He was already planning all of the times he could wear these shoes that, don'tcha know it go with everything. These were the shoes he had been looking for. These were the shoes of his dreams. And I said what any good mother would say in this circumstance. I said there is no way in hell I am buying Sybil these shoes are you kidding me? as Eric had already selected a size 2 and was putting them in the cart.
Mike looked at the sale sign, did a little quick math, and pointed out that these shoes were going to cost a total of $5.00. Which is $4.50 more than they are worth. I looked that little psycho straight in the eye and told him that he was not allowed to wear them on gym days and was not allowed to wear them to soccer and that he would proudly wear the perfectly good Nikes we picked out on those other days. And Eric puffed out his little chest, said OK! and went off to pick out valentines.
I'm meeting my new movie/knitting friend for coffee tomorrow. My mom is leery. I looked at her and said "but you met Joy at a garage sale, looking through a total stranger's crap." "Yeah" she said "but that was different." This is the same woman who called me on the phone today to discuss dinner and gave me a long detailed explanation of how to wash the lettuce. Did I mention I'm 41? I think I'll be fine at tomorrow's playdate.