Friday, March 07, 2008

Happy Birthday, Shammy!!!!

So, I was thinking that I should probably put up a post, lest all of my favorite blog pals find somewhere else to hang out... like a blog with actual new content on occasion... I am getting lots of work in, revised revisions - the first agent who gets this thing will see their reflection in the pages it’s so friggin’ sparkly polished... okay, I hope so anyway... so there’s no progress report on that front, but I should be posting one shouting from the rooftops that I’m done in the very near future. Since there’s not much to post about revisions, and I have no writerly type posting at the moment, I thought I’d take a page out of Ello’s book and tell you a kid story, because it amused me, so I figured, what the hell...

My youngest begged me for his very own pet last year. He was four, going on five at the time and, as we already have a lovely yellow lab, named Dulcie, I said “No” and promptly ignored his four year old and very cute wheedling. This went back and forth for a number of weeks, as I recall, each time I reminded him that he already had a dog, but he really wanted something that was his... I get it, but he was four and I knew ‘his’ meant I’d have some rodent infested cage to clean up, or worse... the answer stayed a firm no.

One day soon after, he picked up a rock at the park. It was a smooth rock; about the size of my palm, gray in color, nothing particular about the way it looked... it was a rock. He carried it home with him, which is par for the course with four year old boys. But then he kept carrying it around for days afterward. He put it on his bedside table at night, carried it down to breakfast, brought it in his backpack to school, and hid it in his pocket when I told him to leave the dirty rock at home.

We were sitting at the kitchen table for breakfast one morning, I was in a rush to get my two oldest to finish and get out the door for school and the little guy says,

“Wait, I have to get Shammy!!!!”

We were in the car before I thought to ask, “What’s a Shammy?”

Little guy held up the rock and said, “Shammy!”

“You named it Shammy?”

“His real name is Sham Rock, but I call him Shammy for short... Shammy,” said little guy, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

The only thing I could figure was that it was close to St. Patrick’s Day and he got the idea from all of the decorations around... still, I thought it was rather cute, but I also knew he was really still pushing for the pet.

Fast forward to now. He still has Shammy. He has lost toys far bigger and way more expensive in the void where all new toys go, wherever the heck that is. He has abandoned games, gotten bored with TV shows, and grown a year older in every way, but he still has Shammy. Shammy now has a face, with a silly nose and googley eyes, he has green hair, because little guy thinks that would be fitting for someone named Sham Rock. And little guy never did get his pet... after a while he stopped asking.

He doesn’t carry Shammy around everywhere anymore, sometimes he thinks of it and grabs Shammy to watch a movie or sit with him at the table, but mostly Shammy sits guard on little guy’s dresser and keeps his Clifford company.

Today little guy informed me that Shammy’s birthday is coming... I was kind of surprised, mostly because he’s right, it’s about a year since he found that rock – I still don’t know if he’s just that good with birthdays or the whole St. Patrick’s Day hoopla reminded him.

“Wow, we’ll have to wish him a happy birthday, then, which day is it?” I asked in my sweetest, mom’s patronizing kind of voice... you know the one you hated when you were a kid... yeah, I know, I want to kick myself sometimes, too...

“It’s tomorrow,” Little guy said, matter of factly, “We’ll have to bake him a cake. Shammy likes chocolate with chocolate frosting...” he smiled, that very large, I’m too cute not to do my bidding smile and added, “with sprinkles... Shammy loves sprinkles.”

Okay, it’s official, my five year old is smarter than I am. Guess who’s baking a cake this weekend....


Erica Orloff said...

You sure he's not friends with my Demon Baby?

Cute story!

Stephen Parrish said...

When your son and Shammy both ask for a pet, you'll be outnumbered.

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Erica,

Could be... I think it has something to do with being the youngest... they learn faster how to get over on you.

Hi Stephen,

He's my third, I've been outnumbered for a long time - but when Shammy asks for anything, I'll be needing a vacation.

Thanks for stopping in guys.

Mary Witzl said...

I'm something of a hard-ass mother, but I would bake him a cake. He's stuck with this rock and kept track of its anniversary, and that absolutely has to be rewarded.

My kids had balloons that they named and mourned the passing of, after they shriveled and dwindled down to mere shrunken bits of rubber. Honestly, it's true. I feel like crying just remembering it...

Ello said...

Awwwwwww! Too sweet. Too cute! I'm surprised he didn't say for Shammy's birthday he would really like a ... pet!

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Mary,

Ah, yes, I know the pain of losing the beloved balloon friends - I hate those things and all well meaning non parents who pawn them off on my children... just saying...

Hi Ello,

I'm glad he didn't think of it - then I would have had to say no to little and his rock...

SUV MAMA said...

Your kid is officially cute stuff central.

That is too awesome. I hope you all enjoy your cake!!

The Anti-Wife said...

Happy Birthday, Shammy! What a cute story.

Jerseygirl89 said...

That is a great story - I can't wait until your little guy starts writing stories.

Colleen_Katana said...

TOO CUTE! Is there any way that he has proven how responsible he is with how committed he is to Shammy? (I know as a 5-yr-old that's what I'D be trying to prove!)

ChristineEldin said...

That's soooo cute! I love that name, 'Shammy!'

I did that before--give birthday parties to teddy bears. It was fun. I went all out and bought dime store presents for the teddy bears, etc. I really really miss those days.....

Autism Speaks said...

I just wanted to let you and your friends know that Patricia Wood is taking part in the 'Authors for Autism Research' eBay character auction.
Folk can bid to have their name used as a character in the authors forthcoming book.
Other authors include Christine Feehan, Jodi Picoult, Louis de Bernieres, Ken Follett and others, who are doing this to raise funds for Autism Speaks.

Mary Witzl said...

It wasn't the balloons I hated as much as the stuffed animals, Merry. I begged family and friends not to give our kids those, but would they listen? At least balloons can be popped...

Ello said...

Hey Merry! Did I see your name up in the private kidcrit folder? If you are still there, please pop by if you have a free moment as I posted my first chapter and would love your thoughts. But only if you have time. Don't worry if you don't! I know how it gets!


Merry Monteleone said...

Hi SUV, Anti-wife, & Jersey,

Thanks for stopping in!!! Cake was good - we'll have another one this weekend for my birthday and one next weekend for Easter - little guy plans well!

Hi Colleen,

I hope not - I'd hate to think he was a diabolical genius... or at least, I'm hoping he uses his powers for good!

Hi Christine,

You know, I didn't do birthday parties for my stuffed toys, but I did do Christmas for them... I can still remember making a tree out of a paper towel roll and pipe cleaners and wrapping up little presents for my stuffed animals... egads, that must be where my daughter gets it from - she's constantly making things out of garbage, it drives me nuts, too.

Autism Speaks,

Hi! Thank you for the information! I'm going to go check that out and I'll put up a post soon to help promote (a lot of people who stop here might miss it in comments, but most of the writers who stop in are very supportive, so hopefully it'll help get the word out).

Oh Mary, I'm right with you!

We have so many stuffed animals it's astounding... the Easter and Christmas ones get wrapped up with our decorations and come out once a year to get plunked all over the house and make it festive... the rest you wind up throwing out - you can't give them to any charities because there's too much risk of passing germs because you can't get stuffed toys properly disinfected.

Hey Ello,

I sent you an email about this - I'd love to read your story, but I'm not on kidcrit any more... I had to bow out because I couldn't keep up with critting and it wasn't really fair for all of the people who participate so well... but definitely, send it over via email, I'd love to read it!!!

By the way, if you're new there, you'll love it!!! They are some of the most supportive, lovely writers ever.

silken said...

not only cute, but clever too! :)

fun story!

Precie said...

Hey--a belated Happy Birthday to YOU, Ms. Merry!!!! :)

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Silken,

Glad you enjoyed it and great to 'see' you, as always!!

Hi Precie,

Thank you!!! It was a very nice and relaxed birthday, and I didn't have to cook which is always a treat.