"Mommy!" Tommy's voice called from outside. He appeared in front of the screen door with a wide smile on his face.
He always wants to be outside. Even though yesterday it was down in the fifties he still insisted on playing outdoors.
"I have a jacket, Mommy," he reminded me as though I were a complete idiot when I had mentioned that it was chilly.
I have to remember that children don't mind the cold as much. That when I was little I used to dart around outside even in temperatures hovering around 10 degrees. I'd just bundle up and go.
So yes, after school Tommy had a quick gulp of water and shoved some carrots in his mouth and was gone.
Until he appeared at the door.
He came inside with his right hand closed up.
"I have a surprise for you," he said.
I held my hand out. "Goody! Can I see?"
"Close your eyes," Tommy insisted.
And then I felt something fuzzy and I thought, "aww the kid probably brought in one of those dandelions or something how sweet.."
But then I opened my eyes and it was a fuzzy black CATERPILLAR.
I didn't MEAN to.
But the scream just came out and I flung the caterpillar to the ground while Tommy stared at me in horror.
"MOM-ME!" he whined, bending down to pick up his friend. "You gonna hurt my caterpillar." He gave me a dirty look before scooping up his "friend" and taking him back outside.
Where he belongs.
Okay, so the caterpillar wasn't huge or anything. But it was just the surprise of having one suddenly in my hand that caused me to startle.
I should have known better.
Boys like bugs, farts, boogers and sports.
So what did I expect Tommy to give me?
In my defense, he has given me flowers in the past. Of course that was awhile ago, when he was still my sweet little boy.
Now he's suddenly morphed into this moody kid who will explode with "I hate you!" if I tell him no.
It's heartbreaking, really.
I explain that he cannot use those words with me, that it hurts my feelings and then he'll lower his head and mutter out that he's sorry but he was just very very angry with me.
I went outside to check on Tommy and he was squatting on the driveway watching his caterpillar friend.
When he saw me approaching he scooped up his caterpillar.
"You hurt him," he said, frowning.
It was on the tip of my tongue to say that he was probably hurting him now, squeezing him palm to his chest like that.
But I swallowed it down and apologized.
"I just didn't expect a caterpillar. Sorry," I said.
Tommy set his caterpillar back down and the poor thing tried in vain to escape.
It was probably thinking, "Okay first I was flung in the air. And now this kid-creature keeps trying to HUG me."
"Say sorry to Sparky," Tommy commanded.
"Sorry Sparky," I said with a forced smile.
"He says it's okay," Tommy told me seriously.
Great. My conscience is clear.
In other news, I ended up buying a cookie cake.
I couldn't help it.
Jennifer (PurrfectPrincess) had talked about it in an entry and I couldn't stop thinking about it.
So then we all headed to Wal-Mart and of course I wandered into the bakery section and I found a cookie cake.
"Get it," Tom said with a shrug. "Of course the one you're holding says Happy Birthday on it."
"So?" I replied. "It can be our UNbirthday."
Tom raised an eyebrow at me. "Huh?"
I shook my head. "Haven't you ever seen Alice in Wonderland?"
Tom made a face as though I had let out a bean fart. "That's for girls."
I rolled my eyes. "Oh it is not. But anyhow, they have a song that goes..a very merry unbirthday..to me..to you...a very merry unbirthday..to me..to you.."
I trailed off and realized that Tom had left.
He was quickly walking away into the frozen food department.
I was SINGING to him.
Albeit off key but still.
When someone sings to you, you stay and LISTEN.
It's common curtesy.
Tommy stayed. But that's only because he wanted a donut and was patiently waiting for me to finish my musical.
I caught up to Tom and told him he was rude to leave me like that.
"Amber," Tom hissed. "How many times do I have to tell you not to break out into song in public?"
Maybe I watched too many Disney movies growing up. Characters always broke out into song and I always thought it was neat how everyone around automatically knew all the words and would chime in.
And it doesn't help that movies make it look like so much fun.
Like on My Best Friend's Wedding when George all of a sudden breaks out into song to embarrass Julia Robert's character. I loved that scene! No one has ever broken out into song for me.
Well, I guess Tom sort of has. Sometimes if a music plays on his iPod while we're driving he'll grab my hand and sing.
But never in public of course.
Anyhow, we had the cookie cake when we got home and I started to sing as I brought Tom's slice to him.
"A very merry unbirthday to me..to YOU..a very merry unbirthday to me..to you.." I stopped. "Why are you giving me that look?"
Tom was given me a sullen look. "Because I just want my cake. I don't need a song to accompany it."
Here is the beautiful cookie cake, which was delicious by the way.