My four-year-old son likes Winnie the Pooh. Actually, it’s a bit beyond like. If a day goes by without him watching a Winnie the Pooh episode or reading a Pooh story, he’s more cranky than I am on the days I skip my chai.
But who doesn’t love Pooh? Who couldn’t love pretty much all the characters, in their own way?
The other day, Allen was watching the original Pooh movie… you know, the one we all probably watched when we were kids.
It came to the part about Eeyore’s birthday, where he is not surprised that no one knew it was his birthday. He’s just sitting there, gloomy as ever. Pooh and Piglet decide they should get a gift for him and rush off to their respective houses to find something.
Pooh finds a pot of honey (what else?) and begins the walk to Eeyore’s houseless hill. On the way, he gets a rumbly in his tumbly and decides he better sample the honey, “to make sure it’s okay”. Before he knows it, the honey is gone and he’s left with an empty—and rather sticky—pot. He heads to Owl’s tree house and Owl scribbles a birthday message on the pot, so that Pooh can present Eeyore with “a useful pot” for his birthday.
Meanwhile, Piglet finds the perfect gift, a red balloon that was three times his size. As he heads off to find Eeyore, the inevitable happens: the balloon pops.
Piglet arrives first with his “gift”, stammering his way through the story of what happened as he presents the broken and deflated red balloon. Just then, Pooh shows up with his gift.
“It’s a useful pot, and it’s for keeping things in,” he cheerily states to Eeyore.
“Like a balloon?” Eeyore asks.
“Oh, no. A balloon is too big to…” Pooh stops short when he sees Eeyore put the little red object into the pot and then pull it back out.
“Red, my favorite color…” Eeyore says…happily?
Parenting is like that sometimes. We have great ideas and concepts, hopes and the way we expect things to turn out. They never do turn out that way, though, do they? Sometimes we have to improvise, or come up with a whole new plan.
Then we have our kids, who don’t seem to mind; or if they do, they roll with the punches pretty well. Like Eeyore—well, at least in that scene—our kids are happy with what we have to offer. They are forgiving of the mistakes we make. Actually, they don’t even seem to notice.
Okay, I realize parenting is not quite as uncomplicated as an episode of Winnie the Pooh. Situations are not always resolved within 10-20 minutes. But at times like that, I can always put on Winnie the Pooh for my son, and make myself that cup of chai.
[Reposted from May, 2011]