learning to navigate the world, j-bear style

Tag: joy

Ho Ho Ho

Little bear is a man after his Queen Nana’s* heart.

You see, he loves Christmas. More to the point, he loves Christmas decorations.

I discovered this last year when, upon arriving for what would usually be an ill-fated trip to Wal-Mart we discovered the inflatable decorations outside. He was so very excited. We spent a good fifteen minutes interacting with them outside the store before going in to attempt shopping. Shopping turned into a total success, complete with him sitting in the cart’s seat, thanks to the Christmas decoration part of the store. The lights, the trees, the ornaments… Everything just amazed him.

It’s all the same this year, he’s just bigger and a little more vocal about it.

The lights and big decorations seem to be his absolute favorite right now. He actually almost got himself into a lot of trouble a week or so ago trying to bolt across a local highway to go see an inflatable Santa and inflatable snowman on the other side of the road. It was scary but it made the point clear – decorating for Christmas this year was going to be non-negotiable.

Now, we have a tree. The fake sort that you put in each little branch one by one, the sort of fake tree that screams to little boys to be taken apart. Between that, the string lights, and so on … Well, maybe I am just trying to make myself feel better about getting a new tree that already includes the multi-colored lights and the branches do not easily come off of.

So tomorrow morning, little Christmas Bear will wake up to a shiny tree in the living room that he’ll get to decorate when he comes home from school. Let’s hope it goes over well!


*= Queen Nana is the mother of my best friend since we were 15. I call her Queen Mum for various reasons and she and her husband were there for me when I had no true guidance from those who brought me into this world. She would put up two dozen or more Christmas trees every year, with help from her elves of course, and thus will always be known for her love of Christmas decorating amongst many other things.

Fabulous Dinner Dates

It’s oh-dark thirty here and I should be in bed. I will be, shortly. I wanted to write this down first.

This afternoon Mr. Pickles and I ended up taking a nap that was way too late and way too long to be conducive to a good bedtime. This should have led to a terrible evening if past experiences meant anything. If he naps too late, the evening is a chaotic disaster nearly every time. I was braced for total fail on all fronts. 

I was hunkering down, preparing to put on heavy padding and bury myself under a fort of pillows for my own safety from the three foot monster in my house when I realized we needed to make our monthly run to Wegman’s out west of us. I love, love, LOVE that grocery story but it’s at such a distance from us that monthly runs are generally all we make. We were overdue to go and it was coming up on the time traffic would die down for the evening. I seized the opportunity, loaded J-bear into the car and we bolted like we had broken out of Alcatraz.

It was awesome.

Traffic? None to speak of. Weather? Gorgeous. Plans? Fluid and completely open to our whims. 

We stopped at IHOP right next to Wegmans and enjoyed a fun dinner with not a lick of healthy food. I figure it’s a celebration of his first week of school and his success there and at the doctor today. He enjoyed a Funny Face pancake, even braving touching the pancake though he would not actually eat the pancake itself. He gobbled down whipped cream and chocolate chips though. 

told you there was no healthy food to be had. Unless bacon counts, cause he ate half a piece of that.

He behaved wonderfully. I cannot even express enough how well he did. He stimmed, yes. He babbled, loudly at times, and he even engaged in a few behaviors I find awkward to deal with in public (harsh head shaking and smacking himself in the face :'(). A lot of people might not have characterized an outing in a restaurant with all of these behaviors as good but they don’t know my boy. They’ve never seen him just spend the whole time screaming, trying to vomit (or succeeding at it), and other upsetting and sad actions. This was him being more organized and more within the here and now and I loved it.

The grocery store is one of the few that he actually enjoys. You see, Wegman’s has this huge train that runs over the dairy section. If nothing else will calm him, that will. Today a car cart was available so let’s just say this boy had it made in the shade. He loved it, remained happy and calm through the entire trip and had no freak outs when I might step away from the cart very briefly to get an item or three.

These are victories for us. Usually, shopping trips are so exhausting for me that I rarely want to go again. I usually miss half my list and end up so exasperated I want to cry along with him. It is a rare day he’s not bolting or stimming on carriages or pulling everything within reach off the shelves.

I love this. I love this so much. I know this is just today and that tomorrow might be an overwhelming nightmare but it was not today. There will be more todays, enough to make getting through the nightmare days worth it. 

Til then, I am going to be very, very grateful for the wonderful date I got to have with my best boy as he ate chocolate, whipped cream and milk for dinner. He will not be a little boy forever and every chance he has to be a “typical” child makes me happy beyond measure.

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