Monday, July 23, 2012

First Disappointment

He picked out the Candy Push Pop after great thought.  The raspberry blueberry flavour would taste great he decided.  He held it close to his body, at times pulling it away and admiring that Candy Push Pop with a revere like I would admire a gorgeous piece of artwork.  He started to pull away the plastic at one point, unable to contain his excitement - it was too much to wait! - his first Candy Push Pop!  This was a Big Deal! - until I reminded him as we strolled - all too slowly for him - around the grocery store, that I had to pay for it first.

"Can you make sure she gives it to me and doesn't put it in the bag Mumma?"


As the cashier rang through our items my son finished what he had so eagerly begun earlier...the tearing of the clear plastic wrapper.  The anticipatory unveiling of the delicious sugary goodness that makes the back of your cheeks tingle with tartness and the tongue an alarming shade of blue.

A cry rose up from his belly, so sharp with sadness that I thought he had seriously harmed himself.

"It's brrroooookennn!"

Sure enough the Candy Push Pop was broken.  Edible enough though a bit crumbly.  There was no push to the pop if you know anything about Candy Push Pop's.

He cried.  He sobbed.  And sobbed.

I could have easily appeased him and avoided the somewhat embarrassing but not uncommon scene that was occurring in front of me by simply buying him another one. Even though they were at the other end of the grocery store.  I think about it now, weeks after it happened and wonder if I did the right thing.  No good, loving parent likes seeing their child in such distress be it a skinned knee or broken candy.

Then again, disappointment?  It's part of life.

As I held him close and kissed his face streaming with salty tears I gave this intense reaction, this belly deep feeling of despair a name...and though it didn't stop the tears or the profound despair he felt, a of couple weeks later when I bought him another similar candy he unwrapped it and exclaimed, "It's not broken this time!  I'm not disappointed!"

I knew that maybe?  Maybe I did something right.

Or quite possibly he'll remember that dreadful feeling of let down for the rest of his life.  And it will ultimately come back to bite me in the ass one day when brings it up (once again) during a family Christmas Dinner telling the terrible, no good awful story of the broken Candy Push Pop demanding with dramatic false annoyance, "Why didn't you just buy me another damn Push Pop Mom?  Geez!"  He practically needs therapy!

I'll laugh lightly as I walk by him setting down another platter of sliced turkey, then ruffle his sandy curls as I return to my seat next to him and advise him with wise humour that it was his first 'life lesson' in disappointment.  (And his father will be quick to tell him to "watch your mouth around your Mother, son.")

For that Candy Push Pop disappointment most definitely won't be his last let down in life.

As much as this Mother's Heart wishes it was.


Kerstin said...

I love this. You did the right thing!
I don't think we do our kids any favours when we keep any form of disappointment from them.
And pop up candy is probably a "good one" to start with :)

Anonymous said...

You did the right thing. A broken push pop is a nice intro into disappointment. After all, he did get to eat the broken candy. That's something.

Jennifer Worrell said...

What a great slice-of-life story! Loved every word, and I would have done exactly what you did!

jamie said...

What a great post. That was just the right thing to do! It's part and parcel of life I guess ;)

Louise Ducote said...

I love this post! And I think you did the right thing; I also would have been sorely tempted to buy another one, and would have agonized over it for weeks afterward. I can handle my own disappointments but I hate watching my children suffer even for a moment. Well done all around!