How a 4-Year-Old Made Me Cry

3 09 2010

Sunday is Big G’s 5th birthday. I know, I don’t look old enough to have a 5-year-old. I must’ve had him when I was 16 or something!

Big G has been beside himself with excitement. On Wednesday, when we told him his birthday was in four days, he spent five minutes exclaiming, “Holy cow! Holy cow! That’s incredible! Holy cow!” It was hilarious. He wanted a chart, so I made him a little calendar with a countdown to his birthday, which included “Cupcake Day,” “Party Day,” and “Birthday.”

Today is Friday, which means it’s Cupcake Day. You know, the day when mom takes cupcakes to school for all the kids to celebrate Big G’s birthday, because every preschool kid needs more sugar in his or her diet. We made the cupcakes at my mom’s house last night, and decorated them with swirls of sprinkle-topped frosting. Big G? You guessed it–downright giddy.

This morning brought more anticipation. Big G prodded me out the door 15 minutes earlier than usual (so, you know, on time). I was excited, too. I love it when I get caught up in the small moments of motherhood (for example, making cupcakes for my son’s class) and sort of regress to that child-like level of glee.

Two and a half hours later, I picked Big G up from school.

Me: Did you have fun?
Big G: I want a lollipop. (His school sells lollipops to students for a quarter.)
Me: No. You’ve already had a cupcake. Did your friends like the cupcakes?
Big G: I want a lollipop.
Me: We’re going to grandma’s house for lunch. We’re not going back in the school for a lollipop. And you already had a cupcake.
Big G: (crying) I WANT A LOLLIPOP!
Me: Hey, there’s a new book in your school bag! Did you get that from Miss Farrah for your birthday?
Big G: No. Mom, I want a lollipop!
Me: So everyone got a book?
Big G: No. I! WANT! A! LOLLIPOP!

You get the idea. By the time we got to grandma’s house (a whole two minutes away), Big G was in full meltdown mode. Little G and I went inside while Big G stayed in the car, sobbing and kicking and screaming.

He finally came in. I heated up lunch, which neither boy ate.

So I sat there at the table, eating my chicken piccata (thanks, mom) and crying, because I made cupcakes and it didn’t even matter and I was so excited about something that made no difference to my child and I was a failure as a mother and he was an ungrateful little jerk.

Yes, I see the flaw in that logic. I also feel completely pathetic that I cried about cupcakes that, most likely, were enjoyed and appreciated by Big G and his class.

But at that moment? I felt exhausted, overwhelmed, and unappreciated.

Honestly, I’m worried about the party tomorrow. I’m incredibly stressed about the possibility that Big G will melt down in the middle of the party. There won’t be many people there and we’re keeping it really low-key, but I never know where he’ll be on his emotional roller coaster.

The worst part for me is knowing I have no control over any of it. The party might go really well, it might be a complete bomb, or it might fall somewhere in between. Que sera sera, right?

Sigh. Where’s a chill pill when I need it?

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5 responses

4 09 2010
Michelle F

I’m glad I’m not the only one that has momentarily thought of my son as an “ungrateful little jerk”. Only you just thought it and didn’t go scream it at him.

You’re a good mommy. You give us all permission to be human and real and admit that we’ve all cried over cupcakes and the dashed expectation that we all secretly expect our kids to shower us with adult gratitude.

4 09 2010
Stay at Home Babe

Okay, I was about to cry thinking about the unappreciated cupcakes (I think I might be hormonal) and then I read Rachel’s 18 year old lemon cake story. THanks for the laugh, Rachel. Sorry for your under-appreciated cupcakes. That sucks ass. I totally don’t bake, but I would have cried too.

4 09 2010
rachel

ok, here’s an unappreciated mother b-day story. my mom made a lemon cake for my birthday, and i hate lemon cake. so i refused to eat it and had a major attitude and got sent to my room. guess how old i was? 18. awesome.
i wish we could go! i’m sorry!!!!!! isaac now wants a zhu zhu pet, thanks to you guys. maybe i’ll get one for him, and he and big g can fight them.

4 09 2010
danessa

I swear something happens when children start school. Naomi has been a COMPLETE terror this week. Remember, most likely today will be AWESOME. and yesterday, I am sure the kids thought you were a domestic goddess. I think you are amazing for all it is worth! Keep you chin up! (and if all else fails….you can always try drugging the little creature..TOTALLY KIDDING!)
*Danessa

4 09 2010
Molly

Awww hugs honey.

Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure my sibs and I have melted down during every major event. My cousin had a giant meltdown 30 seconds before she was supposed to walk down the aisle at my grandpa’s wedding. heh. Fun times!

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