Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I don't want to grow up

Growing up is hard. Some people just seem to know to cherish childhood while they are in it. My little brother, Dan, is one of those people. If ever there was a theme song for a person, the Toys R Us song, "I don't want to grow up, I'm a Toys R Us kid," belongs to my brother. He loved being little. He loved pajamas and cartoons and toys. Oh, how he loved toys---and continues to love toys. He still loves remote control airplanes and cars and other gadgets.

Maybe it's genetic, because Kyle is one of those people. Kyle calls himself a kid. He LOVES being a kid. He tells me how great it is that he can play while I make his dinner. He tells Grayson how great it is to be a kid and play with toys. (Grayson is not a kid, by the way, he's still a baby.) Kyle knows that one day he will grow up, but he intends on loving every single day of his kid lifestyle while he's able to. This requires sugary cereal eaten in pajamas while watching cartoons every single day. Next he's on to playing cars or dinosaurs in his room. Hours can go by while he's in his own little world. Occasionally he'll come out to play a board game with me or to snuggle in a rare moment that I'm not wrestling Grayson. He dances when and how he pleases. He wears what he pleases whether it be color- or weather-appropriate (that is until Mom makes him change). He skips happily to preschool with his Toy Story backpack in tow. He laughs with his friends and lives in that glorious judgment-free mindset where the world loves you---and he loves his world.

But things change. Starting soon after the new year I'm going to have to teach him to say his R's and L's. I'll have to tell him that an escalator is not an "alligator." That a theater is not a "thitier." That monsters are not "mustards." One cannot begin kindergarten still talking like a baby if it can be helped at all.

Growing up is already sneaking up on him. He's taller, thinner, smarter, less round in the face. His feet are huge. Which leads us to today. He needs new shoes. I think he's worn at least four sizes this year. We are constantly buying shoes for him. He needs a 12, if not a 13. CLAIRE wears a 13. It blows her mind (and ours) that they have the same size of feet. The worst news of the century is that Walmart's light-up shoes stop at size 11. 11! Apparently you cannot have fun if you have big feet. This news was devastating to Kyle. It is fun to have cartoon characters on your shoes---and it is way fun if they light up. We looked at every single pair of shoes in all of Walmart before asking to verify that indeed there is no is 12 (or size one-two as we call it) in light-up shoes. He would not take any others, so he's been smashing his feet into whatever matching shoes he can find.

Today we went to Target in the continuation of our search. Lo and behold, there was a size 12 in Cars the lit up. It was $19.99. Maybe you think that is a good deal or at least acceptable. Not me. Walmart's $15 price tag is astronomical to me for kids shoes. I don't know that I like paying twenty bucks for MY shoes (remember, I'm cheap). But they lit up. And my 5-year-old son wants light-up shoes. And this was his last chance to have cool, cartoon-covered light up shoes. So I made a big (happy) deal about it, and he tried them on, and he did a happy dance in the aisle---shoes stuck together with elastic and all. We put them in the cart, picked up some salsa (Target has the best salsa in the whole world), and he plopped those shoes up on the checkout counter like he was the king of the world.

Kyle put his new shoes on in the car, elastic still connecting them, hobbled into the house, cut them apart, and made sure everyone saw them. He's so proud. And I'm so glad. I know that as long as the days may seem at times, his childhood is passing by quickly. I think he knows that too. So for now we'll savor the mustards and alligators. He'll sleep tucked up with Captain America. And he'll go everywhere in light-up shoes.