Friday, January 27, 2006

Five Years Ago Today at This Time, I Had My First Hit of Demerol

Yesterday I took the kiddo for a haircut. The first thing he said to the stylist: "Today I got my first growing cramps." He'd had a little pain in his leg; I'd told him it was sometimes called a growing pain, and his dad told him it was a cramp, so he blended the two and came up with "growing cramps." He told me, "I was pretty excited when I got that growing pain, you know." The little booger is getting excited about growing up, although on the way to his haircut, he asked me about teeth and we got on the topic of one's baby teeth falling out and one's adult teeth growing in. He was a little put off by this idea, so I had to explain that nobody loses all of his teeth at the same time, and it doesn't hurt. "When does it happen?" he asked apprehensively. I told him probably around age six, seven or eight, but it's a little different for each kid. "Eight sounds good," he decided. Then I played up the Tooth Fairy. I wonder if his dad will be into it.

A little girl getting her hair cut was crying her eyes out as she sat on her mother's lap. "I hear a crybaby," the kiddo said. Thanks to SpongeBob, he's been learning all sorts of words -- not all of them kind. I admonished him and explained that some kids are just afraid of getting their hair cut, but not him -- he's turning five! He went back to playing his Game Boy and squirming around.

This morning he discovered a "nightstand present." Basically I ripped off a friend's family tradition of leaving a small gift on the nightstand for the kids' birthdays. Last year I left a little music box in a clear case; when cranked, it plays "We're Off to See the Wizard." (I also left a cool Hotwheels car.) The kiddo loved it, and he still remembers it. This year's nightstand present was a SpongeBob sticker book and a chocolate bar -- two of his favorite things.

I love doing this type of thing -- Santa, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, nightstand presents. He doesn't get that sort of magic at his dad's house, or at least not as much, although he certainly gets gifts. I guess I have fond memories of this sort of thing from my own childhood and want to pass that joy along to my son. (I still have a note that my dad helped me write to the Tooth Fairy, explaining that I really did lose my tooth, but had accidentally swallowed it.) I have no idea whether my son's dad's parents even did the Tooth Fairy thing. Hmm.

Anyway, my boy is five tomorrow. This feels like a milestone. I still hold him like a baby sometimes when we're joking around, and his long legs hang way over my arm like they're not even part of his body. He asks to be carried upstairs to bed sometimes, and I do it, even though he weighs about 46 pounds. He pats me on the head when we're on the floor and he's explaining how his video games work, and I imagine he'll be taller than I am someday. He goofs around in the car, telling me on the way to his haircut, "My birthday is tomorrow...(singing) tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow, you're only a daaay awaaay..." and cracks me up. He makes sure I watch when he dances to the theme from "Friends," and believes me when I tell him that "Sex & the City" is actually called "Saxophone City." He's a card, that kid.

I can't believe my baby is five.