WOW: A Momma & Son Tradition

Every year the World Of Wheels, a large car show, comes to our city. I’ve gone every year for as long as I can remember. When I was kid, my dad’s work would have booth so I would go and hang out. As I got older, my mom became friends with the family who ran it and we would work at the show. Now, I take my car-loving kid….really it has come full circle for me…Every year the car show falls on a big dart tournament weekend so every year JHub is off to Huntsville and the WOW has become a little Mommy/Son tradition.

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QMonster checking out the cars! 

A few years ago, we discovered that Friday after school, right when the show opens, is the best time to go since the crowd hasn’t arrived yet. On Friday, I picked QMonster up from school and we headed to the show. After battling downtown traffic, construction, and a wreck, we finally arrived. We got inside, visited with our Nonie, and walked around the show. Q likes seeing all the cars but he REALLY wants to touch them so I spend the majority of my time watching him like a hawk while repeating “Look with your eyes, not your hands.” While Q enjoys the cars, he really enjoys the STUFF. From the light up toys, to the Hot Wheels booth, to the jumpy house, to the simulator rides, to the candy…he just wants the STUFF. Which is only fair payback because I know I hounded my parents for money for the same exact STUFF when I was attending the WOW as a kid.

A couple of examples of the STUFF I had to pay for as payback…..

First up was the Simulator ride…I don’t know how to explain it except its like a moving box that you sit and watch a “movie”….I really enjoyed these as a kid but Q has never shown an interest in them…until this year…I was so surprised he wanted to ride that I agreed to a second ride…which added up at $5/person/ride. He actually went back, alone, for a third ride…that’s right $25 to watch a movie in a moving box…

Second was the bounce house….I really don’t understand kiddo’s fascination with these things…hello its EXERCISE in a hot plastic bubble…but whatever…paid the $5, took Q’s shoes off, and in he went…he was in there all alone so he was pretty bored. After about 5 minutes he realized it was boring jumping alone and hopped right on out.

Third was the Hot Wheels booth…It only makes sense that Hot Wheels collectors would put together a big ol booth at a car show. For Q, who is a HW addict, this is like pure heaven. I bet there were a couple thousand Hot Wheels to look at and by gosh we had to look at EVERY SINGLE ONE. It amazes me how Q can have hundreds of cars in his HW collection and can recognize which ones he does or doesn’t have. We looked at the HWs, talked about HWs, and agonized over which HW we were going to purchase for a solid 25 minutes. Finally, Q found THE ONE we had to add to our collection. Lucky me, he found one on the cheap table and I got away for $1! 

If you are a regular reader here at HMMC, you know that pretty much everything I do turns into a Hot Mess…I am happy to report that all in all this trip to the WOW wasn’t a Hot Mess Shit Show. However, we had one Hot Mess moment…..Before I tell you that story, I am going to throw out this disclaimer: I parent my child differently than most. My child has an a-typical background that requires different parenting techniques. So before you ask why I didn’t snatch QMonster’s tail up when he ripped up some money, just know you will get Momma Bear response from me…..alright, got that out of the way…here ya go….

Remember that simulator ride that Q just LOVED this year? Well, the third time he asked to ride, I had to tell him yes, but only alone…I couldn’t stomach the ride again. Not to mention, I had already spent $20 on the ride and quite frankly I was tired of paying for it. Q really wanted to ride again but not alone…When I gave him his $5 to ride, we had a little standoff because he wanted me to go with him. Since I had already told him no, I had to stand my ground. Q got mad, ripped the $5 (Don’t worry, I salvaged it and it has since been spent…) and pouted for a second. He eventually climbed up in the ride but wouldn’t let me put his seat belt on him…He insisted I go with him. I continued to tell him no and that he could either go alone or not at all. He got mad, threw his Hot Wheels down, and pouted. I gave him his time to pout and cool off. The ride operators, who are parents themselves, were so kind and patient and were going to let Q watch a different movie this time. One of the operators offered to ride with him to see the new movie too. So Q and one of the ride operators ended up riding. If you were hoping for some big hot mess story, this one was a little lackluster…it was a short lived meltdown with no tears or dramatic scene that required onlooker attention. However, it was a much needed standoff between us…a) Q has to learn that when he is told “no” he can’t whine his way into a “yes” b) He has to see that he can trust others and doesn’t HAVE to have me around for a safety net c) He has to make choices using the given options, in this case, ride the ride without momma or don’t ride at all. When the ride was over, Q was back to his happy self. He apologized for tearing his money, throwing his cars, and not listening. Despite what it sounds like, really this was a big moment for QMonster and I am proud of him. No tears, no hitting/kicking/lashing out, no dramatic scene….a couple of moments of frustration, handled the only way he knew how to at the moment, and it was over.

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I asked Q to say cheese…this is what I got….

So, there ya have it….another World of Wheels tradition date in the books…Anyone else have any fun mommy/kiddo traditions?

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