One of the coolest things about seeing a toddler develop is when formerly alien concepts suddenly click. I’m not sure when that happened with Besh, but I recently noticed it. There was a time when I would try to build up some suspense with a surprise but he would forget or not understand that the surprise element was part of the fun. Now he totally gets it, as I saw last night when Sara asked Besh what he wanted for lunch.
Sara: “Do you want turkey or something else?”
Besh: “I want a surprise for lunch.”
“Okay. A surprise!”
“But don’t tell me, okay? Because it’s a surprise.”
And then there’s also the spontaneous surprise. Like yesterday when I came home. I stopped off at Fry’s to return some unused electric converters from the trip to London and saw something on clearance that I knew I had to get for Besh. Quick background: a few weeks before we went to London Besh finally understood how to interact with and play the Wii. Not only is it fun to watch him play and discover (and get really, really good at bowling and ping pong) but it’s also a good activity for him while he has his patch on (he has issues with one eye so we patch the good eye every day to try and force the weaker eye to be used–it’s had good results so far but we may have to do this for up to 2 years). He also really likes the movie Cars (with the main character, Lightning McQueen, one of his all-time favorites).
Me (once I got home): “Besh, I have a surprise for you!”
Besh (small grin, eyes a bit wide): “What? What is it?”
“You have been such a big boy at school and at home and you’ve done such a good job playing the Wii and wearing your patch that I got you a surprise present.” I reach into my laptop bag and pull out the Cars video game for the Wii. ”You see this? We can play this on the Wii and you can drive around as Lightning McQueen and go ‘Ka-Pow! Ka-Pow!’”
Besh stares at the box for a second, then his grin turns enormous and his eyes go supernova. He jumps from the couch to the floor and practically explodes with excitement. He actually flapped his arms like a bird.
“I GET TO BE LIGHTNING MCQUEEN! I’M SO EXCITED! I’M SO EXCITED!”
He ran up and gave me a hug.
So we played a bit (I’m guessing we’ll play more) last night.
Then Sara and I got an email from our friend Todd. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area but had a work trip outside of London. After reading about Besh’s Hairspray adventure and subsequent email from Tracy/Chloe, he and a co-worker trained into London to see Hairspray last night. He braved the teaming crowd of schoolkids after the show at the stage door and managed to tell Chloe that he was a close friend of Besh’s and how much it meant to him (and Besh’s parents) that she sent the email. According to reports she was thrilled to be reminded of Besh and how fond she was of him.
As luck would also have it, Todd is going to be in Austin next weekend. Knowing this, he got Chloe to sign something for Besh, but asked us (so I’m asking all of you too) not to tell Besh so that he can be surprised.
Based on the reaction to the Cars video game, I’m thinking we’re going to need earplugs and Todd may want to be sitting down when he gives the surprise to Besh.