Great Expectations Part Two

8 Jul

I must take stock and re-examine what constitutes a fun experience for my child. In other words, I need to lower my great expectations.

Last time, I wrote about my fire fighter obsessed son and his meeting with real fire fighters. And a real fire truck! I thought he would jump up and down and squeal but he just stood quietly beside me and talked calmly to the fire fighters.

I always want my child to have amazing experiences, experiences like seeing a a fire truck up close. Or all kinds of other experiences that are essential to a happy and fulfilling childhood:

Jumping in bouncy castles

Eating birthday cake

Sitting on Santa’s lap

Riding a pony at the fair

Face painting

Opening presents on Christmas morning!

These are all things my oldest has done and enjoyed (except for trying birthday cake!), however, I have yet to hear any squeals and happy screams!


I need to stop and take a step back and actually look at my child and where he came from…

He came from me!

I hated bouncy castles as a child. Too many kids infringing on my personal space.

I wasn’t a fan of birthday cake.

I sat on Santa’s lap one time and was unimpressed. I never wanted to do it again. (thankfully RJ has sat on his lap more than one year)

I rode a pony once

I had my face painted twice

I was always subdued during Christmas morning present opening because I felt bad; I wanted my mom to have as many presents as she gave us.

And there’s more…

I hated birthday party games

I hated carnival rides

I hated ice cream trucks

I found clowns to be incredibly irritating

I hated sleigh rides because everybody was so rambunctious

After one slide down the hill, I was pretty much done with tobogganing

Don’t I sound like a delightful child?

I still hate dancing at concerts and music events.

The thing is, I might not have been a typical child but I was still pretty awesome. I was an awesome, albeit very introverted, child!

And so is my son. He is introverted but that does not mean there’s anything wrong with him.

He has fun in a quieter and more subdued way than a lot of children, but he still has fun. I can’t put pressure on him to have fun “properly” because I loathed being called a party pooper; I loathed being told I didn’t know how to have fun.

Everybody has fun in his or her own way. All I have to do is provide the opportunities (birthday parties, carnivals, holiday traditions) and RJ will enjoy them in a way that befits a precocious little introvert.

Please note that saying, experiences that are essential to a happy and fulfilling childhood, is a generalization and slightly tongue-in-cheek. I do realize that no two children have the same lived experience and there isn’t actually an official list of necessary childhood experiences. For instance, a child raised Orthodox Jew would likely never open presents on Christmas morning and he or she would still have a fun childhood.

2 Responses to “Great Expectations Part Two”

  1. Jennifer July 10, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    Your post cracked me up! Right before I read your line that says, “Don’t I sound like a delightful child?” I thought to myself, “Wow; she sounds like a fun kid!” 🙂 I was much the same way–very introverted. I think we all have the tendency to want our kids to act a certain way, but when we step back, we realize they are perfect acting like themselves!

    • eatingdirt83 July 10, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

      It’s a wonder I had any friends at all, seeing as how I was so…delightful. I became more outgoing in high school I think.

      And you’re right. My son is the way he was meant to be!

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