As a mom, when you are diagnosed with breast cancer (or really any kind of cancer), your first thought goes directly to your child(ren). For me it was more logistics than anything else.
Case in Point #1: Magic Beans
Andy picked up Nathan from school so I asked him to please stop at Marshall’s on the way home. As his fourth birthday approaches, Nathan’s butt is barely covered by the same 2Ts we’ve had since he stopped wearing diapers. On arriving home a full hour after being picked up from school (15 minutes away), Nathan ran into the bedroom where I was putting away laundry (my favorite pastime). “Mom! Look what Daddy got me! A new car!”
Fantastic. Just what we needed. Another car. But this one was not just “a new car”, but rather a new car carrier with four cars (if you’re keeping count, that’s actually five new cars). Even better. I left the bedroom in search of the brand spankin’ new big boy underwear. When I couldn’t find them anywhere I asked the boys “so where are the new undies?” Nathan jumped right in, “They didn’t have any at the store but they did have toys. See!”
Case in Point #2: Green Things
Because of an early doctor’s appointment, Andy was taking Nathan to school in the morning. While packing my bag to leave, I look over at my beautiful little boy watching PAW Patrol.
To appreciate PAW Patrol, you have to click “play” at least 20 times in succession:
Here is the conversation with Nathan, exactly as it happened:
Nathan: Mom, Daddy’s taking me to school this morning and not you. And we’re getting donuts!
Me: Are they vegetable donuts?
Nathan: What are vegetable donuts?
Me: They’re made with broccoli and other green things.
Nathan: No. I don’t think we’ll be getting those.
Case in Point #3: It’s Sampling, Not Stealing
The boys love to go grocery shopping. They think I don’t know, so I pretend like I don’t. But I do. It’s like going to an all you can eat buffet.
Stop 1: Starbucks – After walking through the front doors, the first visit is to Starbucks where whoever is behind the counter gives the charming Mr. Nathan a cake-pop (free.)
Stop 2: Produce – Grapes? Yes please. Strawberries look fresh but best to check to be sure. Oh look! Cherries are in season. Cherry tomatoes? They look just like cherries! I have to taste the difference! Oh, I love sugar so I’m sure I’ll just love those sugar snap peas, I just have to try one!
Stop 3: Bulk snacks– Okay so I have to give them that one. Those are pretty irresistible.
Stop 4: Seafood– After a round of high-fives, Nathan is served a sampler of whatever has been pre-cooked and read to eat such as grilled salmon, ‘sushi’ rolls or crab cakes. By the way, in case you were wondering, Nathan loves crab.
Stop 5: Salad Bar– It should be called a “deli bar” because the boys help themselves to a few bites of ham, a few peperoni slices, a cube or two of turkey and a soup sample to wash it all down.
Stop 6: Bakery – The final stop on the buffet, almost full circle from the cake-pop. While most kids get a free cookie, not Nathan; he’s been known to charm his way to full cupcake or slice of pie. More sugar you say? Fantastic.
Case in Point #4: Old McDonald.
Before taking off for their Bro-Date, I went through the Mom “Don’t Forget” Checklist. Did you remember: Sunscreen (we’re in San Diego, you always need it), something for Nathan to drink in the car, snacks for the car, sunglasses, wallet and car keys. And then went through the Mom “Forbidden” Checklist. Please don’t: give Nathan sugary foods, buy him any more toys, stay out past his naptime and, for the love of G-d, please do not stop for fast food.
The boys came home, all sugared-up, at 3:30; only an hour and a half late. Nathan walked in with his hands behind his back, never a good sign, and then ran into his room laughing like a boy on sugar. The best part of their secret adventure was the unique bouquet that wafted in the air and clung to their clothes. What was that enticing aroma; a mix of sugar, dirt, grease and edible chemicals? I say nothing because I don’t want to know.
But I did know. And the next day, before taking Nathan to school, I had to brush cold French fries off my driver’s seat, throw away an empty Happy Meal box and pick a straw wrapper off the floor. Fantastic.
Final Argument – Nathan loves Andy almost as much as Andy loves Nathan. Two peas in a pod. There is no one in the world I would want to raise my son without me. But if I had to pick someone it would be Andy. Now, who am I going to find to raise Andy without me?