Underestimating kids…

Peanut is a trooper. Though he is a Tasmanian Devil of energy and freakishness and age-appropriate irrationality, I am often surprised at his moments of calm, reflective, general good naturedness. I shouldn’t be. Add it to the list of reasons I’m a crappy parent, or reasons to send me a free TV. (Seriously. Send me a TV.)

Today we went hiking. We were supposed to be at the dentist, but the dentists here, as in L.A., are charlatan assmunchers who want to build swimming pools in their backyards so they can show you pictures on their iPhones of how ducks have landed in their pool. Jerks. Plus,  their staff called to cancel, saying the dentist had surgery, even though the exam was done and this was just a cleaning, so i crossed them off, aand they called later to say, oops, we’re dumb, game on and I said no way bitches, I’m going hiking. Or, maybe, I said, so sorry but let’s reschedule. One of the two.

So Peanut and I went hiking. Slightly overcast, a little chilly. Quite nice as spring hikes go because we could wear long on long and didn’t need much sunscreen. One minute in it’s drizzling. Ten minutes in it’s pouring. We have sixty more minutes to go because he wants to go to the Little Farm and there ain’t no way I’m going the easy way when I’m 3000 pounds over racing weight and feeling like making up lost (crutches) time. So. Off we go. Thank heavens he picked the stroller over the backpack. ‘Cuz I’d rather slide down a mountain in running shoes caked with five inches of slippery mud than slide down a mountain in study hiking boots with a 30 pound kid strapped to my back.

So he’s talking about the rain and the dogs and keeping a tally of how many people we see versus wildlife. Fine. He’s mentioning that he’d rather be at home. Not gonna happen, but you’re entitled to your opinion. I know the whining will begin, so I offer snacks. He passes on the super awesome tube of carrot appleasauce because he says he wants to save it for when he’s at the farm where there are new piglets. You want your squishy sauce later because it’s more fun to eat when you’re watching piglets?

Yes.

So when the whining begins, 45 minutes into the freezing, sleeting, drenching hike, I ask if he wants his sauce. He frowns at me, like I’m stupid. “No, I’m waiting for the pigs!” Oh. Well, did you know it’s pudding day and I have pudding, too? so you could have sauce now and pudding with the pigs…

Big smile. Huge smile. “No way. I want pudding now and save sauce for farm. Pudding day?!”

Yeah. It’s Tuesday. Everybody knows Tuesday is pudding day. (Or, realistically, everybody who counts their days not as workdays and weekends but as interminable days of sameness and neverendingness and milestonelessness knows Tuesday is pudding day. And Wednesday is movie day. And Thursday is library day. And Friday is chocoolate day. Because if we can get through Friday alive, Mommy can pretend that’s a milestone.)

So I slid/skiied down the trail in running shoes, dragged by the 900 pound jogging stroller, and screaming “Sh*t” every dozen feet as I think we’re gonna plunge off…okay, not off anything, but overturn into a big puddle of mud because I’m not such a terrible parent that I take his stroller, the one time he asks for it, on a  narrow cliff path. But I scream sh*t just because I want to and don’t really want to be soaked and muddy when I meet the new piglets. I also kind of avoid overturning jogging strollers because bruised and broken kids don’t let you go jogging next week.

He polished off the pudding and told me that this was his best pudding ever, EVER, and if it’s ever raining again, he wants to go hiking.

Damn, kid, you’re one in a million. (That means, if you were Chinese, there’d be thousands of you, but as it is, there are only 300 or so like you in this tiny country.)

I totally underestimated you.

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8 thoughts on “Underestimating kids…

  1. Please, pleae, hire yourself out to be Awesome Nature Mommy. I will pay you a bazillion dollars, because Miss D. has decided that this summer, she is gonna FISH. Not on my watch, dammit! I hate Nature…I know that is horrid to say but I don’t do camping or fishing or mud. You are a wonderful mama, one that I am ashamed to say that I’m nothing like. So…name your price, Hiawatha.

  2. Hey, KW! You’ll be disappointed in my nature class, for it is all Berkeley hippie mother earth shenanigans. I will take Miss D hiking in the mud to the lake, dig worms with her (oh, look, none of them is just right, guess we’ll use cheese…), help her bust off pieces of cheese to tie on the string (no hook), and help her dangle her feet in the water all day. But I ain’t killin’ no fish.
    And it’s free, ‘cuz kids can camp and cook and tromp with me gratis, as long as critters go unharmed.

  3. Pudding day? Chocolate day? Such choices, but I think I’ll come to visit on a Tuesday. I haven’t had pudding in a long time.

    And PS: your kid is awesome and you’re rock solid. I wish I had the strength to live without a television.

  4. I heart this story. And now I just want to give Peanut a hug for his awesomeness.

    And then give you a bouquet of wildflowers for tromping around in mud to make Peanut happy.

    And then send you a tv.

    And get some pudding in exchange.

    • Oh, your Inkliness, you got it! We have chocolate, chocolate soy, chocolate vanilla soy swirl, tapioca, rice, and chocolate tapioca. And flan. You choose.
      (I’m not kidding…we keep all those on hand. Tuesday really is pudding day. He only gets one serving each tuesday, but I’m prepared for any situation…)

  5. I love this story! Peanut is super cute. And Evan is doing the “best ever” phase too. I love the thought of having a treat nearly everyday. We need to think of our own treats. Cheesecake Monday. Fried Grease Tuesday. Chocoalte Wednesday. Wine Thursday. Vodka Friday. Champagne Saturdays. Sleep in Sundays. Just a thought.

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