<- I do not love how this little bug punk'd me this morning. "I weally don't feel so good, Mom. I fink I should stay home." To be honest, he felt vaguely warm, and I did feel inclined to nip any burgeoning germ in the bud and I'm a responsible type who doesn't want to infect other people's kids (you know there are folks out there who do that!), but about 40 minutes in -after I'd already alerted his teachers and the school nurse that he wasn't well- it was pretty clear that Ol was fine.
Grr. As I'd canceled all I'd previously planned by the time this realization struck, I now need to reschedule everything, and really, I'll say it again: I need a fair amount of quiet time. If you hadn't already surmised, that does not happen when in the company of my children. Unless I attach them to the endlessly filled teat that is the iPad. And yes I know I just got away, but reentry can be a fiery son-of-a-bitch.
Anyway, making lemonade, Ol and I went to Party City for some Halloween supplies. I feel completely meh about Halloween, but he has been pleading with mournful eyes and sweet words for a "vewy scawy house (very scary house)" this year, so I packed a Party City coupon and off to Rockville we went. Bag of bones? Check! Cauldron? Yep! Furry spiders? Got 'em. A green ninja suit for Jack? Thank god we found one. Skull napkins? Of course.
We were also searching for a long black wig to try on for size. You see, although he was choosing between Zombie Skeleton and Wonder Woman for a while, Ol has decided that this Halloween, Wondy he will be.
He said, "You know, Mom, I fink I need a wig." It's an excellent point in terms of more convincingly looking the part, but my heart broke when he said, "Also, then people won't fink it's me and so they won't make fun of me." Yet as we approached the wig section of the store, he saw another customer in the distance and skittered out with a real look of panic on his face. "Mom, we will just order it. Amazon has evewyfing."
People, although his latter point is true, I considered forcing Ol to give me a list of who these judgmental meanies might be so that I could then go beat the tar out of them. To say that my hackles reached a new apex is an understatement. Even if he can't actually name specific people, the fact that he continues to feel anxious (remember Cinderella from last year) about dressing up as a girl crushes and confuses me. How can I tell him not to worry? Not to think that? Some part of his experience has made him feel that there is something wrong with this, and I would do anything to make that not the case. It's rough to not have the answers, a dilemma that grows more frequent and difficult as kids get older and the challenges bigger.
We returned home and placed an order online for both the Wonder Woman costume and a wig. We had to make do with a vampire wig because only its color was just right, but I did have to promise to trim both the bangs and overall length. In the privacy of our home, Oliver nestled into me and beamed with safety and satisfaction. "Fank you, Mom. I can't wait for it to awwive."
A twinge of sadness and worry remains in my chest. It catches at the base of my throat and tonight prompted to me to read all SIX books Ol requested. I wanted to hold him tight, kiss him superfluously, my patience and proximity hopefully instilling in him an even greater sense of how tremendously he is loved and valued exactly for the delightful child he is.