If You Give a Boy A Fuse

Many of my friends have children, but almost an equal number have no interest in them. I support all of my friends in their choices, so if you don’t want to hear another story about my kids, this is your warning. Kid shit ahoy!

Background for this story: Tiny Titan had found a nickel and a red car fuse somewhere in the house earlier. Example of the fuse below (I hope we all know what a U.S. nickel looks like). I told him to put the nickel and the fuse in his pocket, but of course…

car fuse with a hand for scale

Tuesday afternoon, Tiny Titan looks up from his toys and says, “I’m going to Target. I’m gonna get my shoes.”

This surprised me for lots of reasons, but probably the biggest reason is that he’s four. How was he going to get to Target?

Ooooh, right.

Fast forward, and I’m now at Target.

Fast forward again, and we’re finishing up and heading toward check out. Then I hear,

“MOMMY! I DROPPED MY RED THING!”

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. I didn’t say it aloud, but I wanted to. I wanted to scream at him for not putting it in his pocket like I had told him to. I wanted to swear and curse at the person who left fuses lying around my house. I wanted to rip the Little House on the Prairie dresses off their hangars and tell Target how ugly some of their stuff is.

Instead of doing all the things I wanted to do, I said, “Oh, no, but I told you to put it in your pocket. How did you lose it?”

Through 4-year-old tears, he tells me how it was in his hand and how he was holding it but then he dropped it and he has to have it because it’s his red thing and if he doesn’t have it, he’s going to be so saaaaaaaaaad and he’s already sad because he doesn’t have his red thing.

I wanted to tell him too bad, so sad and leave the store. It would have been easy enough, and no one would have blamed me.

I could have done what I wanted to do, but for some reason, I didn’t. I remembered every time I had told an adult an important-to-me thing and they dismissed it. I remembered how much it hurt my little kid ego and how dumb I felt. I remembered how I stopped telling people about things that I thought were cool, interesting, or important to me.

I decided I didn’t want to be that mom. I didn’t want to be the mom who told her kid that the thing they cared about most in the world at that moment was dumb and didn’t matter. I didn’t want to dismiss something when we didn’t have anything else to do, so why not? Why not retrace our steps looking for a red fuse in the aisles? What could it hurt?

aisle of Target where we were searching

After looking at the example of the aisles of Target, I realize that I was gambling my sanity, but every parent/caretaker of a child has to tell their kid NO more often than we want to. Dammit, I didn’t have to this time.

So we looked for a car fuse in Target. We went up and down every aisle we had already been through with our eyes on the ground. I had to remind him more than once, “Are you looking?”, but he’s almost 4. That kind of thing comes with the attention span.

We didn’t find it, but that didn’t matter by the time we were done. We tried. That’s what was important.

We did find a dime though.

That was cool.

Published by Sol Dee

I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing... the blog, employment, life. But here I am!

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