But tricks is what the newly coiffed Sprite's Keeper would like us to spin this go around on The Spin Cycle. Speaking of Sprite's Keeper, she has shiny, bouncy, new hair thanks to a pair of thinning shears. Also, when I figure out how, or even what it is, I'm going to super poke her on Facebook. Yeah, she should be warned.
So tricks, huh? You know what I want to know? What's the trick is to get those Transformer toys turned from a robot, into a car, then back into a robot without causing myself to suffer a mild brain aneurysm? I tell you folks, it’s a skill that I have yet to master. Usually, Henry has Jeremy assist him with all those complex toys with their whatsie-hoosits and fancy thingamajigs. Jeremy’s a whiz with those things and he quickly gained Henry's trust with all things small and plastic.
Henry learned early on in his life that I can’t be trusted with complex toys that require any sort of prowess to assemble. I hesitate to even bring up the Little People Barn House fiasco of ‘06. Let’s just say Henry was so traumatized by the way I handled the assembly of that particular play set that to this day, he still covers his eyes and screams whenever we pass by actual cows and horses in a pasture.
A problem arose this past weekend when Jeremy abandoned his family to stay in the wilderness for a week. He left us a car with no gas and a fridge full of nothing but bacon and tapioca pudding. (I will never let Jeremy go grocery shopping alone again. Ever.) So I grabbed the kids, gassed up the car went to the store and bought some chocolate pudding. Seriously, how does Jeremy not know by now that I don't eat tapioca pudding? It’s like he has no idea who I even am.
So, there I was at 9:00 at night, with two kids and a cart full of pudding strolling around Walmart in my snazziest track suit, (are you feeling my class?) when I made the fatal mistake of veering off course and passing by the toy section on the way to the exercise equipment. Henry spied an aisle lined with rows and rows of Transformer toys. “Hey, I have those at home!” he shouted.
"Yes, Honey, you sure do," I mindlessly replied as I searched for a Thigh Master in the fitness section. That bacon and chocolate pudding weight isn't going to come off all by itself, people.
We arrived home with pudding and a Thigh Master in hand and Henry immediately made a bee-line for his play room. About ten minutes later I heard a loud “Oh Man!” followed up quickly with a “Heck O’Friday!” (Yes, my 3-year old curses like an 80-year old woman. His best friend is his Grandma Granny, what can I expect?)
I ran down the hall and saw him standing there looking quite distressed. He caught sight of me and immediately hid his hands behind his back. Not knowing how to act casual about anything, he shouted, “Nothing! I don’t have nothing, Momma,” and tried to back away from me. After about ten minutes of coaxing and promises of lots and lots pudding, I got the little guy to show me what he was hiding behind his back.
He reluctantly held his trembling little hands toward me and revealed nothing but a Bumblebee Transformer toy. When I looked a little closer I could see that Bumblebee was missing one of his side panels. No biggie, just a little fix.
I scooped up the yellow and black toy and began manipulating it in my hands just like I’d seen Jeremy do hundreds of times. How tough could it really be?
A wheel popped off and went flying across the floor. Henry looked terrified. “Don’t worry honey, it’s supposed to do that,” I calmly told him with a smile. If he even got a hint of my nervousness, he would quickly take the toy back.
I should have known to stop when I heard a loud snap and Bumblebee’s head went rolling into my lap.
“You’re doing it wrong!” Henry shouted. This immediately broke what little concentration I had as it brought back a flood of memories from my honeymoon night with Jeremy. My husband had shouted those exact words to me over and over in that hotel suite some eight years ago.
Eventually, I calmed Henry down and worked that little plastic toy over like it was nobody's business. Sure, Henry had a horrified look on his face as I continued to pull limbs apart and snap wheels back together in places they hadn't been before. But in the end, I convinced my son, that the Bumblebee he once knew and loved was now better than ever. How many other little boys have a Transformer with an arm where the head used to be and a left front panel held on by duct tape? Not many, I bet.
The rest of the night, Henry just sat and stared in silence at his Transformer toy as he cradled it in his tiny hands. I swear I even saw tears in his eyes a few times. Surely, those were tears of joy. I had made my boy the happiest little guy in all the world. I can't be sure, but that night, as he cried himself to sleep, I think I heard him say, "Oh Bumblebee, I'm so sorry," over and over. Oh how he loves that toy. I'm just so glad I could help.