Hello. My name is Cristin, and I’m addicted to my child’s happiness.
We had a great day. A really great day.
I got him on the bus without the moments of tension in his tone–without the regular rubbing of the forehead. We debated in the car on the way to the grocery store from the bus stop at the end of his school day. He didn’t want to go. He never wants to go. Anywhere.
He wanted to be left at home alone while I picked up a few needed items. He always wants to be left alone. Except when he wants a play date. He rarely has a play date.
Once we got there and once I got him in to the store, he was happy. He took off with a kid-sized cart only to return a little while later with three bags of chips, some salami, and 2 tubes of refrigerator cinnamon rolls. And a smile on his face.
We negotiated one tube of cinnamon rolls, and the chips–because the only vegetables he eats are in salsa form on the back of a corn chip. These were organic and thats the only way I’d have it. His diet is so limited, I’m very picky about the quality of food he puts in his body.
He ate the sample! He tried pub cheese melted with salsa and chorizo. There’s a handful of things I can think of that he objects to in that dish. He tried it. He didn’t like it, but he tried it. With a shoulder shrug and a grin. I skipped to the check out line.
We sat at our big kitchen table and did homework for over two hours. The grocery bags lined up, yet unpacked. He was engaged and charming. His teacher’s notes indicated this homework should take about an hour and 15 minutes. We timed every step and stuck with it consistently until it was done. We giggled. We timed it to the second. We were on a roll–on a mission to show his teacher how long this work really takes. We were bonding. I was happy–he was happy.
He tried six new foods that day. Six. He has been eating the same six foods for two years. Six. I gave him $6.
I tucked him in that night telling him how proud I was of him. I oozed over our great day. I tickled him, and kissed him, and teased him when he immediately wiped my kiss off. I tucked myself in, high on his happiness. I dreamed of boats–I’m not sure why.
That was two days ago. Yesterday didn’t compare. Today–also pretty rough. The rest of us had delicious roasted chicken with broccoli and brown rice for dinner. I made him a nitrate-free hot dog with organic ketchup because I was hoping to get a glimpse of that grin. One little hit of his happiness. Nothin’. It was another day.
Maybe tonight I’ll dream of full shopping carts or him looking me in the eye as he wipes off my kiss.