When I was a very little girl, my family drove to and from church every Sunday morning past the entrance to Cadwalader Park. Rain or shine, summer or winter, guarding that entrance to the park, in his funny suit and hat, was The Balloon Man. And always clutched in his hand was the most fabulous bouquet of balloons, the colors so vibrant you could taste them, and the intricate animal shapes danced and bounced off the top of his head.
For years we never stopped to buy those balloons; our childhood just didn’t include such frivolity. But every week I hoped and yearned and when the priest talked about the sin of coveting, I thought of those balloons.
Then one day, for no special reason, my father pulled over at that curb and bought us each a piece of magic on a string. Mine was a big red puppy dog. But I had no experience with balloons and strings, and in an instant mine slipped through my hands and floated up to the trees.
Watching Nathan shave off Finnian’s hair was like watching that red puppy dog balloon disappear. With each curl that rolled off the razor and plopped on the floor, my last child’s babyhood floated farther and farther out of my reach, until it was just a tiny red speck amidst the clouds.
And then, in a final blink, it was gone, and I cried like that four year old with her face to the sky at the edge of the park.
As Finn will turn three in about six weeks, we are fast pursuing the poop goes in the potty concept. Finn likes to sing the song - while he poops in his diaper. For months now we’ve been talking about using the potty, but so far no porcelain goddess has been graced by the sweet little heinie of Finnian.
Recently we were discussing the issue and I asked Finn why he wasn’t ready to use the potty. After all, Dora uses a potty; Diego uses a potty; Hannah Montana uses a potty! He replied with the most patient, reserved-for-complete-morons look:
“Mommy, I love to sit in poop!”
How do you argue with that one?
As we got out of the car, Finn said he had to use the potty.
Nathan and I looked at each other and for a split second we considered that this might be the turning point. Then we both got distracted by a really cool leather sectional and the moment passed.
Three minutes later the stench in the air made it clear we had made a mistake.
Finn came this close to taking his first big boy dump at The Dump while buying furniture for our dump.