Ok, the “fresh out of the dryer” part is a lie. They would’ve been “fresh out of the dryer” had I removed them from said dryer 3 days prior. However, I opted to instead periodically run the machine every 6 hours to get the wrinkles out, intent on the idea of removing them at that point but never actually getting around to it for a trifecta of days. So there. I admit it.
Oh, and I also lied about being joyous while hanging them in his closet. I friggen’ hate laundry so there is nothing “joyous” in my nature when I’m doing it. But I digress …
At some point during his play Mace began trying to stick all of his dinosaurs in a green bucket he had, saying that he wanted to be like Harry and his Bucket Full of Dinosaurs. So cute I thought as I continued putting away clothes (with, I’ll repeat, not an ounce of joyousness). He struggled with this for a while, muttering things like “Almost got it” and “Ok, this guy’ll go here” until he was satisfied with his arrangement.
“There, mom! That’ll do it! Now I can be like Harry!” he said, pumping his fists in excitement.
|No one in our house knows the name of that dinosaur on the ground and frankly, no one cares|
“Great job, buddy! You’re right, you’re just like Harry” I agreed as I exited the room to go back to the laundry. “Be right back!”
Grabbing another pile of clothes “fresh from the dryer” and ambling my way back, I rounded the corner into his bedroom and beheld this sight *image has been ever-so-slightly-yet-quite-skillfully altered from the original* :
A teeny, tiny bucket.
|Yes, that's right. He thought it was safe to jump into something not much larger than the book on his nightstand|
Into which Mace was (jubilantly, I might add. Some might say “joyously”) jumping feet-first.
|This picture is tinted red to show that it is actually a Bucket Full of Death|
Rest assured this was not some wimpy little push off the bed, either. This was a full-fledged, just-give-‘er leap of faith into a bucket the size of his head, done with the confidence of a 3 year old knowing he would then be sucked into a dinosaur-bucket-vortex which would deposit him safely on the other side into a land of fun and frivolity. Thank you, Harry and his Bucket Full of Dinosaurs for your realistic plotlines.
Using that speed-of-light power every mother has (reserved for safety situations and incidents of babies-grabbing-dishes-off-the-table) I somehow managed to cross the span of the room in one step and catch Mace safely in my arms before he plummeted to his untimely dea … ok, owie. But it would’ve been a big owie.
Did my precious child then turn to me in thanks for saving his life?
Instead he looked up, eyes filling with tears and cried “Mommm! Why did you catch me? I was going into Dinosaur Land!”. And then the tears slid down his cheeks as he stared at me, saddened and hurt. “Mom, I want to go to Dinosaur Land. Harry gets there by jumping into his bucket. I wanna go there, too”.
I struggled with what to tell him as thoughts of my own childhood spun through my head. I recalled distant-yet-memorable moments of dream-crushing from my own parents, never done with the intent to hurt but rather to educate.
“No sweetheart, the Easter Bunny isn’t real”
"Sorry, but you’ll never actually be able to fly. You don’t have wings”
"No, odds are the tv cameras won’t see you in a crowd of 30 000 at a hockey game. No, not even with that small 8 x 11 inch sign. You should’ve made it much, much bigger”
"No, we’re not actually “royalty in hiding” and no you’re not secretly a princess”
You know. Typical kiddie stuff.
As my son looked up into my eyes I struggled with what to tell him, weighing the consequences of dreams versus reality. Do I knowingly crush his idea of magically arriving in Dinosaur Land, ignoring the obvious safety issues of jumping off furniture into a tiny bucket? Or do I ‘fess up and explain that its just a television show?
Today, I’m saddened to say that reality won. And I kind of feel like a sad sack of crap for telling him so.
Peeps, my boy was disappointed. Like really, really disappointed that he would never get to go to Dinosaur Land.
So let me ask: What do you do when faced with similar situations?