Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The “Gordon” Rule: Diary of a Bad Idea



Sunday I got to go to Target all by myself and in my “nobody’s bugging me” bliss, I naturally thought of the kids and picked up one of those little Thomas the Train pieces (The ones about which my husband always says, “We should not even start buying all of that crap!”). I bought “Gordon”, my Little One’s second favorite train (after “Percy”, which I got for him a few weeks ago much to my husband’s chagrin). “Gordon” has a freight car that hooks to him magnetically. It seemed like a good idea. I thought I was being a nice Mom. But not so fast…

Unfortunately I had no way of predicting that that very night I would be woken from a deep, dreaming sleep at 1:30 in the morning by the Little One standing over me (“Gordon” in hand) saying in a loud, wide-awake voice, “Mama! Mama! I need you to help me find the freight car!”

I got up and found the freight car right on his bed (he’d gone to sleep with “Gordon” and the freight car, but “Percy” had been banished to the floor), handed it to him, kissed him and told him it was the middle of the night and he needed to go back to sleep. Life was good in dreamland for about an hour and a half when it sounded like the little one was crying and shouting “Mama! Mama!”

So I jumped out of bed and ran to his room to see what was wrong. And when I got there, he said (in a very bright, happy and wide awake voice), “Mama, Gordon is going through the tunnel… but the freight car’s not going in the tunnel… but Percy is a mad train… he has mad eyebrows… but Gordon’s not mad… Gordon’s a happy train...”

Mama, however, was not a happy train at this juncture.

I know it sounds cute, but at 3:00 in the morning, it really isn’t. Trust me. So through clinched teeth and with the best manners I could muster, I whispered loudly, “Listen! It’s the middle of the night! Mama does not talk about trains in the middle of the night! Go to sleep!”

By Monday night I was sure the novelty had worn off, and the Little One went to sleep with “Gordon”, “Percy,” the freight car, and various other heavy machinery. I was sleeping very soundly at about 3:00 when I heard him crying and I ran in only to hear him say, “Mama I can’t find Gordon.”

I was annoyed and felt several little toys next to him and said, “They’re all right here! Now go to sleep!”

I shuffled back to bed and the second I dozed off, he cried again, and when I got in there he said he couldn’t find Gordon. I couldn’t actually find him either, but I said I would not look for him until morning. “NOW FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GO TO SLEEP!” I begged.

On Tuesday I had to return/exchange some things and the plot thickened when he found a “Bob the Builder” set that had “Scoop” in it. For those not hip to the Bob scene, Scoop is a yellow backhoe. We have a yellow backhoe which the Little One calls “Scoop,” but he finally learned that his was just not up to par because, “it doesn’t have a face on it.”

And he shouted, bawled and stomped because I said we weren’t taking it home. He was screaming at the top of his lungs at Target, and frankly, I was so shocked that I kept having to turn my head away from him to laugh. He screamed non-stop until we got home.

On the bright side, I got to bond with a fellow mommy. The cashier eyed the marshmallow peeps I’d gotten for their Easter baskets, gestured toward my screaming child and asked, “Peeps?”

To which I replied, “No, Scoop.”

“Ah,” she nodded sympathetically, “with my kid it would have been the Peeps.”

Already being embarrassed I didn’t share that I have another kid who would have been screaming about the Peeps, but (praise God) it was a school day.

When we got home I assumed the Little One had tired himself out because he just crumpled on my lap and snuggled silently for a long time. Or rather I thought we were snuggling… I realized he was actually just calculating his next move when he meekly and sweetly looked up and asked, “Mama, can we go to Target and get Scoop today?”

I said (strategically), ” Why don’t we find Gordon?”

To which he (victoriously) exclaimed, “No! I don’t want Gordon! I want Scoop!”

And he’s the easy-to-get-along-with person in our family.

So now I can’t help but wonder if those nutty people who don’t let their kids watch TV might be onto something. What’s worse, I’ve realized that eventually I’m going to have to say those dreaded words to my husband… You were so right about those damn things!
Every time we’ve left the house since Operation Target Trauma, the Little One starts crying anew, “We need to go get Scoop!” So I’ve been reduced to taking up chanting to take my mind off of wanting to toss him out of the moving vehicle. Here’s my mantra: Persistence is a good quality... It will serve him well in life. Persistence is a good quality… It will serve him well in life. As of today everyone’s life and limbs are intact, but “Gordon” is still waking me up at night, so if you read about me in the paper one of these days… this blog is my defense. Umm… Your honor? I tried not to go completely insane. I really really tried. Posted by Picasa

16 comments:

Rachel said...

LOL - I can so identify with this! And as my son is at my side asking me for the fifth time in the last hour if he can have some candy, I've decided to adopt your mantra. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Golly, I thought the one's who let commercials raise their kids were the nutty ones! Thanks for straightening me out!

MommyWithAttitude said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Sounds like you already did. If it's any consolation, though, our kids watch zero TV, but that stuff still gets in...Thomas is big in our house, as is Bob the Builder. We just avoid the TV because of what we've read regarding increased incidence of ADD, as well as the fact that much of children's programming is nothing but a program-length commercial. Believe me, I wouldn't begin to tell you what to do with your own kids (I hate it when others do that to me, too), but I do object to being called 'nutty', as would anyone, I suppose.

MommyWithAttitude said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Vanessa said...

Hey there! I just stumbled upon your blog. As the mother of a 1 year old, I can only imagine this is how my life is going to be like very soon! I started a blog recently, www.mamavoice.com. Not as fabulous and irreverant as yours, but I hope to get there someday. In the meantime, I'll keep reading yours!

Anonymous said...

You're right, I'm humor impaired. Or maybe ya just ain't funny...
Now plop them youngsters in front of Mr. Babysitter, and get back to your real life, ok?!
Just joking!

Anjali said...

Staci, this was too funny and very timely for us. Last week we put Mira to bed with her two Dora the Explorer Garden gloves, and an hour later, she woke screaming because she couldn't find them. The next day, after she'd forgotten about them, I hid them.

And my kids are as "character" obsessed as any children, so the no-TV thing doesn't work at all in that respect! Damn those brilliant marketers!

Lisa said...

*LMAO* Okay,seriously I have that EXACT same mantra. My boys are like that about just about everything!!! :) I feel your pain!

Lisa said...

Oh and just another comment after reading the rest of the comments. I find your blog extraordinarily humorous. I don't let my kids watch t.v. either. The occassional show at grandma's and movies at our house...but for that Anonymous person who has NO sense of humour....it DOESN'T matter if your kids watch t.v. commercials or not, other kids influence your children, the dang grocery store influences your children. That's what marketing is: those people KNOW how best to make your children want their item. Commercials or no commercials.

Cityslicker Mom said...

Lol! Are you sure you're not talking about my boys?? My boys are all.about. Thomas the train. and it doesnt wear off like most of the toys they have. Thomas has staying power. They are also into Roley and Scoop too! I know how you feel!!

Jenn said...

My kids watch lots of TV - but it's commercial free. My son is obsessed with hose nozzles and sleeps with those though, and for us, I'm awakened in the middle of the night by someone who can't find his blankie, or his leapster or who thinks that a tea party is a good idea right now.
I have a very hard time trying to get them to sleep past 6:30 in the morning, and to not run about the house pretending to be Buzz Lightyear.
I've spoken those exact same words "Persistance - it will serve him well when he's older, it's a good quality" and also the "your honor, I plead insanity - look at them, look what they've done" ones too................
It hasn't killed me yet, therefore I must be getting stronger. Is this preparation for the teenage years? I'm worried.

ninepounddictator said...

Ok, I thought of a plus for you....(It's not very good, but hey, I'm trying...)

At least your house isn't over run with Dora...I swear, every room on every floor, I'm tripping over Dora...

I'm talking Dora toys, DVDs, toy houses...even friggen socks (Do they make Bob the builder socks and underwear? Probably...)

I'd take anything Bob right now...

And P.S. I'd never heard of Peep and Scoop...funny.

Mocha said...

Staci

I'm so glad you found me because now I've found you! You're wonderfully hilarious in your writing about your family.

But I'm grateful (and sorry to admit this) that I don't have to find such toys during the middle of the night anymore. I've got a whole other slew of toys to HIDE.

Now, I've gotta know. Where did you find me? I see the Rebecka here and know I've commented on her site, but just today my friend Cheryl emailed saying, "Hey, you gotta check out this blog!" and it was yours!

Spooky.

In a good way.

MommyWithAttitude said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Belinda said...

How funny! When I blogged about this very trait yesterday (or the day before?) I called it "determination." Hey, one euphemism's as good as the next, right?

It will serve her well in life...

But she's gotta stop making that face. Seriously.