The Pleasure Principle

There are times in your life when you regret certain financial decisions.  Perhaps you shouldn’t have purchased that luxury car, or maybe that flat panel 60″ tv wasn’t such a good idea.   Of course, there’s those $500 Manolo Blahniks you convince you’re husband you’ll wear everyday and with every outfit, only to find out that they hurt your feet so much, that you’re spending the same amount of money on daily foot massages.   And then there are days like today, when you realize that perhaps you jumped the gun just a bit when you decided that it was ok to finally have your hair colored, obliterating that mocking gray hair that has begun showing it’s nasty claws.

Last month, I thought it was high time I should color this gray hair.   I felt the gray had worn out its welcome, as if I’d ever willingly hold open the door and allow it into my life.  I thought it was a wonderful time for a fresh start.   Henry’s two years old, I’m fixed, so there won’t be anymore little Dosers to grace this world, and I’ve begun triathlon training again, which means I’m FINALLY getting my pre-baby (more like pre-Henry, since I lost all of it I gained with Davey) weight back.     Why not get a whole new look?   Why not spend that money to get the good salon job, not the $10 “wash that gray right outta my hair” drugstore purchase?   Why not?   Let me tell you “why not”.  One word, or should I say “one name”…HENRY!

This afternoon, my darling second child decided that I needed more excitement in my life.   Apparently, he felt that either a.) he wasn’t getting his fair share of attention, b.) that I had become much too relaxed in my parenting, or c.) his pleasure principle was in overload and was taking over any and all ration thought.

This afternoon, while walking into my office, I came through our 20 foot foyer, our staircase climbing along the right side of the wall.  My idea???  I hadn’t written a blog in a while, and although I had no clue what I wanted to write it on, I knew I needed to write, if not for my followers (thank you to all of you), then at least for me.   I continued to contemplate, “what will I write about, have there been any firsts with the kids or with me?” And that, my friends, is when my darling, sweet little Henry seemed to call out to me with my latest blog post.   Yes, yes, as I walked into the foyer I heard, “Hey, Mom,” calling out from right above my head.  Was I imagining this?   He seemed so close and right above my head, surely I was wrong.  Or was I?

As I turned around and began looking upward, I saw my two year old, his feet along the outer parts of the staircase railing, his one hand grasped tightly on the spindles, and his other hand extended out waving to me.   I nearly crapped myself!  My stomach dropped, my voice rain away deep within the confines of my throat, and my mind completely went blank.   With no thoughts of what was happening, no screams of fear or worry, I jumped the gate, which was strategically placed at the bottom of the staircase, and bounded up the stairs, 5 at a time (thank God I have long legs!).   12 feet in the air was my baby, my second born, my flesh and blood, precariously climbing up the outer parts of the staircase by holding onto the railing.   There was nothing to protect him should he lose his grip.  The only thing to break his fall?   A plant and wooden table.   And God help me if he were to accidentally hit the mirror hanging on the wall above the plant.   If the fall alone didn’t break his neck and kill him, then the cut from the mirror may well do it.

It took a split second for me to reach him, a huge smile upon his face, and pull him back over to the “safe” side of the staircase.   He was smiling the entire time, until he looked into my eyes and seemed to register the fear he had forced into my life.

“Henry, what were you thinking?” I asked as I tried to prevent myself from going hysterical, the continuous thoughts of him falling playing over and over in my brain.

“I wanna go upstairs, mom,” he said so nonchalantly.

“But, you can’t climb like that.  You could get hurt,” I said as I carried him down the stairs.   He just looked at me, as if not registering what I was saying.

My boys are so different.   I try not to compare, but it’s hard when you’ve raised one who is cautious, thoughtful, and a thinker.   Davey is a “look before you leap” sort of kid.   Henry?   His pleasure principle seems to be in overload and he’s not grasping the consequences.  Not only did he stop my heart, turn all of my hair white, and age me another 40 years, but he also reminded me of how grateful I am that he is my last, otherwise I may not be alive to see my oldest graduate from kindergarten much less college.

 

Henry's daredevil
Picture my 2 year old, holding on directly above the mirror. Picture it for a moment and let it settle.

 

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Today, We Swim With Fishes

The morning was gray.  Thick clouds snuffed out the sunlight.   It was early, much too early for a Friday morning, for us to be awake and tackling a day.

The secret had remained safe, tucked within the confines of mine and my husband’s brain.  Once, just the night before, my husband had nearly opened the gates of Castle Secret and allowed the family adventure to escape prematurely.   Fortunately, the wheels remained locked and the chains never allowed the bridge to unfurl.   We’d planned the day for weeks, discussing in depth what we would do, and clinging to the mercy of Mother Nature before we could truly decide.   The mists of rain, saddening fog, and all around dullness of the morning gave us our answer.   We needed bright colors, non stop entertainment, and adventures galore.

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At 7:00 a.m., The Doser Family Friday of Fun trekked out into the dismal morning.   My husband and I had only moments before decided to share with our boys where we were going…The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.

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Davey seems to have an obsession with whale sharks and stingrays.   He talks of them profusely, reading and re-reading the book of sea creatures given to him by his Aunt Dee Dee.   He can tell the difference between the various species of sharks and whales, determining which is which and what each one’s purpose is.   Once we told him of our adventure, made even more special by the fact that Daddy was taking an entire day off from work, his chatter never ceased.   Would we pet stingrays?  Would we see whale sharks?  What about crabs?

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Two years ago, while Henry was a mere six months old, we made our first trip to the Georgia Aquarium.   We touched stingrays, met a real live Nemo, watched a dolphin show, and rode along a conveyor belt through a tunnel of water full of fish.   Obviously, Henry couldn’t recall it, but Davey still did.

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He was at full speed as we walked into the aquarium, eager to go from one exhibit to the next.   My husband and I took a deep breath, as Henry struggled to break free from our grasp and chase after his brother.   We were in for an exhausting day, a long day, and a day we were sure would test our true levels of patience.

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As we made our way through, I saw the aquarium through a different set of eyes.   I saw a true inquisitive nature, one of wonder and excitement.   For me, an aquarium has always been nothing more than ho-hum.   I see the fish and various sea creatures with not much curiosity.   My boys?   Their wonderment never ceases to amaze me.

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I watched as their eyes grew narrow when truly studying a fish.   Their heads would tilt from one side to the next.   Henry would slowly take his finger and push on the glass while asking what kind of fish we were looking at.   When the glass wall emerged, with three beluga whales swimming towards them, my boys jumped with excitement, their eyes growing wider.   Davey tried to run along the glass wall eager to keep pace with the whales, while Henry just stood in amazement, his mouth agape.

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We watched the dolphin show.  Henry tilted his head back and laughed hysterically with each somersault performed by the dolphins.   “That’s silly,” he would exclaim before another belly laugh would overtake him.

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We watched a 4D version of Happy Feet in the theatre and when the whale crashed down into the water, we felt sprays of water as well.   Davey laughed, while Henry shook his head and pursed his lips looking as if he were sucking on a lemon.   My husband and I, alone, would have had an enjoyable time, but we wouldn’t have had an adventure and the time of our lives.   We wouldn’t have laughed as hard as we did, smiled as much, or even run as much.

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As the day closed out, the rain began coming down.   We quickly, but sluggishly, walked back to the car.   Once in the car, and after surviving a power outage in Atlanta, our boys were fast asleep.   While watching them nap, I thought of how my husband and I use to be able to go places at the drop of the hat.   We would vacation in Jamaica, cruise the Caribbean, spend a last minute weekend in the mountains.   We used to do all of this, but I can’t recall having the same level of fun as we had when with our boys on Friday.