Delayed Gratification.

There’s something to be said about waiting. Honestly. I know most of us are not good at it. At all. We want what we want when we want it and we want it now.

Somehow the Hurricane has recently realized that this is the way of the world today. Magically and overnight, he’s become hip to the fact that he was born into a culture of instant gratification. When he wants the remote, the camera, the keys, the Blackberry, the coffee, the bleach, the knife, the fire, the whatever we have that we won’t let him have, he’s started to flail his body about in spectacular mini-fits. Laughable tantrums. One-year-old drama.

Because the boy’s very good at wanting what he wants. But thankfully, he hasn’t even begun to realize how oh so very much there is out there to want.

For instance, he doesn’t know there is a $30 billion industry called the toy industry. His favorite things to play with: water bottles.

He also doesn’t know that there’s something in this world called candy.

In fact, he just found out yesterday that there are these things that exist called apples. He knew apple juice, yes. Kind of. He’s had a few extremely watered down versions of that once or twice. But an actual apple? New. And oh my newness, you would have thought he discovered the Eiffel Tower.

He. Fell. In. Love.Because you can eat apples.

And you can throw apples.
And kick apples.
They’re a food and a ball rolled up in one. Fantastic.

Apples. I forgot. And when I really think about it, I can’t even begin to imagine what all he can’t imagine exists. I can’t mainly because I forget. I forget how many fantastic things there are all around us. Things like water hoses. Trains. Traffic lights. Signs. Birds. Leaves. Rain. The cabinets in his room…fantastic! The rocks in our driveway…so cool! The refrigerator in the kitchen…pretty much the most amazing thing ever! And this is what he reminds me everyday. He reminds me of the wonder all around us and the beauty of delayed gratification. So much to discover. It’s wonder parceled out in bits. Complete treats. To enjoy. To savor. To live. At our own pace. So we can really appreciate it.

So now I want to spread things out too. All the experiences. I now almost see them as purposeful delays. I try to look at things not as “oh I wish I could do…” but “how fun will it be when I…”

I now love looking forward to visiting places I’ve never been. I’ve never been to Italy. Or Africa. Or even Seattle. I never swam with a dolphin. Sent a message in a bottle. Written/finished a novel. Showered in a waterfall. Skied a double black diamond run. And the long list goes on. I keep thinking of things I’m looking forward to.

And I keep thinking of things I’m looking forward to seeing the Hurricane do. Like discover snow. Or lightening bugs. Or New York. Or peanut butter. Good God, peanut butter!

Because waiting to see him experience the next thing is like having a new, incredible cookie to look forward to eating everyday. Figuratively speaking of course, since he’s never had one of those either.

What are you delaying? And what are you looking forward to the gratification of experiencing?

Me? I’m joining the Hurricane in gorging on apples for the next week and a half or so. No fatty, sugary, excessive carby treats for me. No sir. Apples will do me just fine. And I’ll delay any kind of sugary gratification as long as I can. At least until after the parade. When the pies come out.

The Details

0 Responses to Delayed Gratification.

  1. Bek says:

    You help me remember to take a step back and see things differently. Cubby is doing stuff like that now. He has a very unique gasp that he does when he sees something new and he say "oh my". I feel like I am in such a rush to just "get" (to school, to work, to bed). Right now I have to say that I am delaying reading my book and my Vanity Fair. Partly b/c I have a hard time finding the time, but also because then I will have nothing left to read. Enjoy those apples (with sharp queso, of course). That boy of yours had dreamy eyes.

  2. Robyn says:

    Beautiful post.

  3. KCG says:

    Padrino is so proud of the Hurricane. He is so cute with that long hair. I'm glad he has discovered apples.And you need to get to Italy. I'll babysit Hurricane for a week while you and HcQ take a trip.

  4. Super Zoe says:

    And I will make sure Padrino does not fill Hurricane's head with tales from The Utne Reader.I love the Hurricane…it is going to be so fun and exciting watching him discover the world!! And now I am hungry for apples.

  5. Mommy off the Record says:

    This is so funny that you post on this because my son is at the EXACT same stage. Like exactly. Down to the whole apple thing. He wants what he wants right this second, including (and sometimes especially) apples. If he spies one on the countertop, it's all over. Either he gets the apple or someone's gonna die.

  6. Jill says:

    The Baby Girl is at that stage too. She doesn't have many words, but one she uses all the time is "that." We walk around the house as she points at things and excitedly says "that?" "that?" "that?" Everything is new and interesting.As for me, I've just realized what a lame-o I am because everything I could think of that I want to experience are things I miss from the past (a day lazing in bed, a decent night's sleep, dinners in good restaurants every weekend).

  7. Jennifer says:

    This is a wonderful post.And your apple lover is too darn cute!

  8. HB says:

    What a fantastic post. Great reminder to slow down and look around.The hurricane is going to be a heart breaker one day. There's another thing to look forward to. ;)

  9. Nat says:

    I loved this post, Girl Con Q!Hurricane is gorgeous! I'm so glad that he has discovered apples. (I hope they're crispy and juicy like Granny Smiths).I am horrible about waiting for things. I want them now. I think I will try the delayed gratification thing. I'll let you know how it goes. :)

  10. Lady M says:

    Hooray for apples! And your post, which reminds me of all the lovely things I take for granted.

  11. Jenny says:

    Maybe it's just the hormones but this post totally made me tear up.The world through Hailey's eyes is a world of wonder. I'm so lucky to be able to see it again for the first time.I'm planning on taking Hailey to this nursery that has miles of flowers being grown in an enormous greenhouse. The people that work there are Asian and all wear the big round hats as the bend over their work. The first time I saw it it took my breath away.

  12. kim says:

    Great post. Kids help you appreciate everything. We went out with a few couples and one friend with a two year old boy at home said as a fire truck went by "Ooh look a fire truck". Those eyes on that baby, gorgeous!And, Peanut butter, oh, yeah.

  13. Eric says:

    I realize what bad parents we are when I learn that other parents of one-year olds have yet to expose their children to toys, candy and cookies. But at least our little girl does appreciate a good apple. As for what I'm delaying, somehow I've missed out on ever going to New Orleans in my life. I had been looking forward to experiencing that. Now I think I'm just going to wait a while.

  14. I'm wearing a merkin says:

    Good one. Makes me stop and think that maybe tonight's not the night to start working my way down the "People To Kill" list. It will be so much better if I wait a bit longer this time. Maybe I'll start DURING the parade.

  15. Girl con Queso says:

    Jill, Maybe you're not missing them from the past, maybe you're longing for future days like that to in the present. Or something.Jenny, I want to go to that nursery.Eric, He has toys. I don't want you to get the impression that we lock him in the basement. The toyless basement. Or that we're Quakers. Neither of those things are true. He has toys. He just doesn't really care that he has toys. He does care that he has water bottles. Merkin, and oh how I love to call you merkin. It's so fitting. I'm very glad that you didn't decide to start that little task yesterday, since we all had dinner together last night. It would have really ruined the meal. And I was kidding about the merkin comment. Don't kill me. Please.

  16. laurie says:

    man GcQ – your posts have been so good lately that i don't even know what to say. this one is so fabulously written — you could sell a trip to the geographic center of kansas just by saying you'd never been there before!precious apple hurrricane photos as well.bravo.

  17. s@bd says:

    Next up, give him a banana – my kids love the squish-toy/fruit combo.

  18. nila says:

    This was a great post. Those firsts go by too quickly. Enjoy everyone.My 8 year old son discovered today, just how much fun the vacuum cleaner can be. He did his room and part of mine before it wasn't so fun after all.

  19. Sandra says:

    That post was perfection.Loved every word. Three cheers for apples!

  20. sis con queso says:

    I just bought the hurricane the cutest thing for Christmas (shh! Don't tell him) AND its fair-trade from 10,000 villages! Very exciting. But maybe I should just give him an apple for Christmas. He'd probably enjoy it more and it would be SOOO little-women-esque. Louisa May does Christmas well.Enjoying the oh so cute pics of the apple of your eye,aunt tish

  21. Stephanie says:

    Oh, what a beautiful post!!!And you're so right!! Baby B is a few months behind the gorgeous Hurricane, and I SO look forward to enjoying the world through her lovely eyes.

  22. Super Zoe says:

    Tish the Fish, I love that you, too, think of LITTLE WOMEN with apples! Me too!!

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