The Wal-Mart back to school commercials make me want to cry. Not just because they make me think about past Wal-Mart experiences. They start with a mother saying "I can't show them how curious he is" or "I can't be there to tell them how smart she is" or some other sentimental load of crap that is meant to evoke exactly the response it's getting from me. Once she's done ripping my heart out / musing about her wonderful child, she comforts herself with the knowledge that she can support them materialistically. At this point, I no longer want to cry, but turn off the TV instead.
The reason it makes me want to cry is that it is exactly how I feel about Stinky right now. I just wish everyone who witnesses one of his miserably store/church/park/any public place tantrums could understand what an awesome kid he is. I know this isn't a unique feeling, but it's all new to me, so hear me out.
Today at the farmer's market, he helped me pick out peaches and apples and put them in our bags. He said "please" to all the dog owners before petting their dogs. He danced and filled in words to "Singing in the Rain" while we waited in line. He wowed an older couple with his knowledge of commands and hand signals, which he used to get Jackson the Cocker Spaniel to sit. Then, he laid down in the middle of the street at the market (a closed block, thankfully), and screamed bloody murder because I wouldn't buy him juice, attracting more attention with this single moment of toddler-ism than the many intelligent, sweet, and charming things he had done not half an hour before.
The circumstances repeated themselves at the beach we went to later. We climbed up a very steep hill, because he wanted to join the big boys who were exploring an exposed roots system. He threw rocks in the water and waved to kayakers, thrilled when they waved back. He told strangers about his "buuts!" (a pair of galoshes), and "Kied!" his faithful dog. These boots allowed him to explore the water more closely ,and he enjoyed finding rocks, picking off the seaweed, and pointing to the gulls. Then he wanted to sit in the water, and screamed and hit me when I wouldn't let him. I felt all eyes on me, and had the sudden urge to tell everyone if they insisted on watching, they'd have to pay for tickets.
So it continues, at the grocery store, at Target, at church...... You see, I can't make people see how loving and tender he is with family. I can't show them how he is curious about any kind of animal and is so helpful and kind to babies. I can't make them understand that my child loves music almost more than life itself and amazes me everyday with all the new things he's learning. I can't show them how he walks away from a fight, choosing to find a new toy rather than argue over the one another child wanted. The won't know that he loves to "walk down the lane, with a happy refrain! (kick, kick!)" And buying him school supplies won't make it any better, you commercial creeps.
So what can I do?
I hate you, Wal-Mart.