I flow with an attitude of serendipity through all kinds of experiences.
Today being a prime example of attempting to make “flowing” a reality at the overcrowded Long Beach Aquarium Of The Pacific and its magnificent, child-endearing cases and cases of fish, coral, anemones, jellyfish, weedy sea dragons, super weird s*** with mouths and tails you can touch and even a bull shark with restless twitches in a tank big enough for a convention of hermit crabs, maybe, but—a tank big enough to house that many sharks? (Turn Mind Off After $20-something admission fee, just: Turn. Mind. Off…).
Having been on a serious Nemo kick since Catalina Island and the charming rentable house we stayed in with The Movie he had never seen before because Nemo’s mother is wiped out in the first two minutes and I hate that—
Having been on a serious Nemo kick (we own the movie now, oh yeah—but I fast forward through mom’s fatal chomping by a barracuda), and not having been to the aquarium since October, 2009, when the giant water squirting squid was all he wanted and we ate next to some kids atrocious to birds—
Having been on a serious Nemo kick due to worry that my son watches too many DVD’s while mama stares blank-eyed into her 6am cup of coffee—I am on a serious outings kick. Because of T’s current Nemo fascination, where to go BUT the aquarium and its sweetly caged aqua-beasts and (don’t know why it’s there, but it’s nice) Lorikeet Forest?
I knew I wouldn’t be getting a nap and I was prepared for that, prepared to go a few thousand extra miles this day, but I wasn’t prepared for my son’s enthusiasm. He told anyone and everyone standing at every case HI!!! FISH!!! WOOK!!! FISH!!! And, when we found the Nemo case, HI!!! NEMO!!! WOOK!!! DURY!!! (i.e., Dory—many, many Nemos and Dorys swimming together beautifully, making kids BALLISTIC with excitement—they must have planned it that way, right? Those diabolical-aquarium-planner types? Or—Disney?).
Enthusiasm that, several times, accelerated into chaotic emotion preceding (as I know from experience in Target and malls) tantrums, during which my son shouts STOP IT STOP IT STOP, as though I’m beating him in public (instead of just standing there with a slump in my shoulders and a glance at my wristwatch as he enters serious turmoil). Arrrrgh! I felt bi-polarish the entire fish-viewing: Utterly elated by his elation, then sunk (pun intended) by his own tot-bi-polarish angst. Little guy!
However (and I’m not patting myself on the back with big whoops or woots or however we spell shizzzz—I’m simply stating my own experience): Despite my frustration at my son’s frustration with Listening-To-Mama, I was pleased with my TONE when dealing with his—well, with his tone. True, I did use the, “We’ll have to go back to the car, then, won’t we?”, but I did not raise my voice, did not accuse him of grievous wrong-doing, did not beg or plead or argue or lie on the darkish aquarium carpet in the fetal position, sucking my thumb before a gathering crowd. I did what I’ve been practicing since he turned 2 and startled me with his first tantrum–only this time, today, it was easier for me—my parenting method was easier—it flowed: I talked to him. And talked to him some more, whatever his reaction—until he calmed and the angst receded from his eyes like (yes, I’m writing it and sticking by it!) a minus tide…
And then I bought him a Nemo.