I was at a birthday party for a kid in Pumpkin Pie’s class recently. I have been doing this “Parenting Thing” for over 13 years now and while I am no expert, I am certainly experienced because 13 years of
screw-ups, bad judgement, survival participation makes me old experienced. In Sweet Pea’s class, I am the young(ish) mom. In Pickles’, I am middle of the road, but in Pumpkin Pie’s class, I am the Old Mom. By and far the Old Mom.
The party we went to, (did I mention it was at Chuck E Cheese?) made me realize that there are certain things that Pumpkin Pie simply has different than his brothers. There are 5 years between Pickles and Pumpkin Pie and 7 1/2 years between Sweet Pea and Pumpkin Pie. No matter how we try to raise our kids fairly, it doesn’t mean raising them the same. Here are some examples:
1. Pumpkin Pie will never, EVER have a party at Chuck E. Cheese. Of course we all freaking HATE Chuck E. Cheese. (Although the pizza was surprisingly tasty!). However, at my Advanced Maternal Age, I am old enough to realize that because I hate it I will never again pay several hundred dollars to host another birthday party there. Don’t get me wrong, Pumpkin Pie had a great time today. The birthday boy and the birthday parents were all delightful, wonderful hosts who provided pizza AND sandwiches for the parents (I know, right?!) in addition to a hand-crafted beautiful Lego Indiana Jones cake. But that place makes me feel like I am going to have a seizure and Pumpkin Pie will never have a b-day there. Sorry, Pumpkin Pie. I know Pickles had one of his birthday parties there, but you will not. Ever.
2. Pumpkin Pie rarely has clothes I picked out for him. With 2 older brothers and a network of people sending us hand-me-downs, pretty much Mamaw is the only one who buys Pumpkin Pie clothes just for him. I enjoyed choosing clothes based on how adorable Sweet Pea looked in sweaters or how good Pickles looked in olive green. It just doesn’t make sense for Pumpkin Pie. The upside of this is that Pumpkin Pie couldn’t care less! He hates shopping and when he needs clothes, I pull a bin out of a closet and viola! Six new (to him) pairs of pants to choose from! He loves the variety and he loves to see what is coming up when he grows to the next size! He is also helpful at weeding out extraneous clothes as in, Mom, I don’t like stripes. That can go to Munchkin (The Brothers’ youngest cousin). Saves time and storage space!
3. Pumpkin Pie will never have to break-in his parents. Nope. We are already
broken broken-in, alright. We are so broken-in that Husband would say that we look like we were rode hard and put up wet. Sweet Pea taught us that sleep is optional and Pickles taught us that travel is optional. What else is there?
4. Pumpkin Pie will never have a picture of himself screaming on Santa’s lap. Been there, done that. Have the photos. I don’t ever need to do that again and here’s why: I hate the mall, I hate crowds, and while the guy in the Santa suit is not as creepy as the guy in the Easter Bunny suit, he still ranks right up there. I asked Pumpkin Pie when he was old enough to answer if he wanted to see Santa and get a picture of him on Santa’s lap. He looked at me as if I had lost my fool mind and stated plainly, “No.” I took him at his word and we have never bothered. We are both happier humans for it. Pumpkin Pie can shoot Santa an email if he doesn’t trust his gift-choosing judgement.
5. Pumpkin Pie will always have someone eager to read him his stories at night. Don’t get me wrong, Husband and I love to read ourselves, and have always enjoyed reading to the shorties. Having said that, by the time bedtime rolled around when the older boys were Pumpkin Pie’s age, we would flip a coin to see who did books, and who held the couch down. Now, not so much. I think we have gotten to the point where in addition to not being so freaking sleep-deprived, we realize that we don’t have all that many years of snuggling up in bed reading to them. It is a snuggly, relaxed, intimate part of the day. Unless we are totally wiped out or still at work, we aren’t rock/scissors/paper-ing to see who gets to park it in front of the tube. In this respect, Pumpkin Pie is lucky that we are
worn outworn in. We are tired enough and smart enough to grab a nice snuggle whenever we can get it.
6. In the same vein as #2, Pumpkin Pie gets to wear whatever the heck he wants to. As long as he is sort or appropriately dressed for the weather, I don’t really care any more. Im my defense, Sweet Pea couldn’t have cared less what he wore as a little kid, I could have put him in a dress and we would not have even noticed. He probably would have liked the air on his naughty bits. I dressed Sweet Pea in cute sweaters and jeans and socks that matched his outfits! I can’t even imagine such a thing now.
Pickles didn’t care much either, as long as he had sweat pants to wear on Mondays. (Don’t ask, I never found out what that was about.) But Pumpkin Pie, likely in an effort to NOT be like his brothers, has always had very specific ideas about what he is willing to wear. For example, he has certain favorite articles of clothing, and he also prefers costumes. Pumpkin Pie has also declared underpants his enemy and I have to actually check his bum any day I want to be certain he wears them. He has also gone to the grocery store dressed as Darth Vader, Batman, Spiderman, or wearing swimming goggles more often than he has not. Of course I find it adorable. Luckily, I am too worn-in to care what anyone else thinks.