We had a super-quick weekend trip back up to Chicago to visit family – namely, to celebrate my grandfather’s and my brother-in-law’s birthdays. We stayed at my parent’s house on Friday night, where Frankie chased my dad all over the house and laughed hysterically at my mom opening and closing the sliding door to the laundry room. Ah, to be young.
We had a nice visit with my grandpa, who is actually doing quite well at 92, albeit slow and forgetful. He kept asking us about his CD player, which just needed batteries, but poor Grandpa can’t quite remember things that you told him 5 minutes before. 😦 Although, ask him about events and people from the 1930s, and you’ll find a goldmine.
I then took Frankie to the mall. The mall! Oh, how I have missed you. Sure, Springfield has this building that is supposed to be a mall, and is called such, but really, compared to the mecca that is Woodfield Mall, home of my teenage years and at least 5 different retail jobs, is it really a mall? I had to return the Toms shoes for Frankie that my sister-in-law bought him, just to get a different size, and seriously, is there anything cuter than Toms shoes for kids? I think not. I also bought enough Body Shop deodorants to last me the next year. You’re welcome, pits.
We then packed up Frankie and went to my mother-in-law’s for Tony’s brother’s birthday party (I told it was a whirlwind). We had a great time, but poor Frankie showed how much he doesn’t like crowds. And dogs. There really wasn’t that many people (just immediate family), but he was pretty clingy and wanted to breastfeed A TON, to the point that by the next morning, I was physically drained and depleted. And the singing of “Happy Birthday” was literally traumatizing for him. We kept him in the next room over, but he cried throughout the singing, and when everyone cheered and clapped at the end, his face was one of utter terror. He was so upset that we put his Elmo video on for him in the family room, and he stood there shaking – literally shaking – while watching. I felt so bad for the little guy!
Here’s some of the downfalls of having a super-sensitive kid. You never know what’s going to set them off and scare them to death. You have to be super vigilant to their emotional needs, and put your own needs aside (isn’t that every parent, though?). They are not independent creatures. And, the thing I find the most frustrating is that few people get to see the awesome, lovable, caring, funny kid that he is. Once he “accepts” you and has some one-on-one time with a person, you’re good. But in groups and with people he’s not comfortable with, he’s a different kid – sullen, withdrawn, anxious, and shy.
Now I know that I’m not the only person with a shy kid – hell, I WAS a shy kid, and clung to my father during such traumatic events like family get-togethers, family friends coming over, and the dreaded Omnimax movie at the Museum of Science and Industry. So I’m really sensitive to his sensitivities, but can I just get a little sympathy over here? Can I bemoan to the world that it’s difficult to NOT have a carefree, extroverted child, the kind of child that Americans seem to prefer?
Enough complaining. I love you just as you are Frankie, and I hope you cling to me and cuddle as much as humanly possible, because I know one day you won’t. And maybe, maybe, when you’re older and still feeling overwhelmed and anxious and shaky, maybe you’ll remember how much Mommy loves you and even if you won’t or can’t cuddle with me then, you’ll remember when we did.