Vente Drink in a Grande Cup

When I was in college, my friend Stacy told me about a prank she pulled at Starbucks.   She was with a group of girlfriends and one of them dared her to order an impossible drink.  They knew that the policy at Starbucks is to accommodate any order so they decided to put it to the test.  Stacy asked for an extra hot latte.  With ice.  And extra macchiato (not a quantifiable thing).  A vente in a grande cup.  You get the idea.  The poor barista earnestly tried to figure out how she wanted her extra-hot iced beverage before finally realizing it was a joke and the jig was up.  Or so the story goes.

That’s what it’s like living with a 3-year-old.  It’s like having someone order a vente drink in a grande cup and insisting that it IS possible.  Unreasonable, impossible, crazy-making requests, conversations, whims and demands.  Here’s a snippet of a “conversation” I had with Isaiah yesterday…

Me: Ok, buddy, go pick out some clothes and I’ll help you put them on.
Isaiah happily wanders off to his room to pick out clothes.  He comes back holding just a shirt and he’s crying his eyes out.

Me: What’s wrong?  Did something scare you?  Are you ok?
I squat down and come in for a hug.  He pushes me away.
Isaiah: I… want… to… wear…. THIS… shirt!!
Me (confused but whatever): Ok!  Of course you do!  Let’s put it on!
Isaiah: NO!  I want to WEAR IT!
Me: Yes!  Here, let me help you put it on!
I try to take hold of the shirt.
Isaiah: NO!!!   I want to WEAR IT!!!
Me: Yeah!  Let’s put it on!  You can totally wear it!  Let’s do it!
Isaiah: NO!  I… want…to…wear…it.

Really, folks – what is one to do in this situation?  I just looked up at Jason, threw my hands up, rolled my eyes and walked away.    Rinse and repeat.  Day in and day out, this is how we roll.

Gryffin has been getting in on it lately, too.  Here’s a conversation we had earlier this afternoon…

Gryffin (calling down to me from upstairs, during “quiet time”): Mama!  I need my orange car.  I want to play race with Buppy!
Me: Ok… do you know where orange car is?
Gryffin: No.  But I need it.
Me (feeling magnanimous, obviously): Alright, let me take a quick look.
I check the playroom, the kitchen, the porch, the couch… to no avail.  No sign of orange car.
Me: Sorry, buddy.  I looked all over but I can’t find it.  Maybe we can look together after quiet time.
Gryffin: But I want it.
Me: I know, bud, but I can’t find it so you’ll have to use one of your other cars.
For the record, there are, like 87 cars in his room already.
Gryffin: But I want it.
Me: I know but I don’t know where it is.  So go ahead and play with another car and we’ll have to look for it later.
Gryffin: But I want it.
Me: Yes, I know that, Gryff, but I just can’t find it. I’m sorry.  I know it’s disappointing. I’m sure we’ll find it around here somewhere.
Gryffin: But I WANT it.
Me: I’m sorry, buddy.
Gryffin: But I WANT it.

And round and round we go.

Parenting is endlessly fascinating to me.  Some days I think “wow, I might actually lose my mind” and I wonder how ANYONE makes it through these years.  But then there’s this…


Isaiah picking flowers for me on the frisbee golf course and then carrying them for 8 holes so he can present them to me.

And this…

Gryffin’s new favorite thing… “what time is it? Time for a HUG!!!”

And I catch my breath and think ohmygosh, I can’t believe they’re mine.  I can’t believe I get to do THIS with my life.  It fills me to the point of bursting, to the point of impossible, to the point of overflowing.  Even on the craziest of days, there always seems to be at least ONE moment like this.

This is what makes parenting possible, I think.  Because somehow, in some mysterious way, these moments don’t just level the playing field again so that I can keep on keeping on.  They don’t just make it bearable to keep breathing.  No, they actually tip the scales all the way back for me.  Back to shaking my head and wondering how I ever got so lucky.

My cup really does runneth over.  Even if it IS a grande cup!


NO, he wanted to WEAR his shirt. Duh.