buying the pony


You know that little kid who walks through a store and says, “Oooh! Oooh! Mama, can we buy this? Oooh! Oooh! Mama, can I have this? Oooh! Oooh! Mama, I neeeeeeeed this!”?

That kid was never mine. Well, maybe ONE of those kids was mine, but not the other.

While I was never quite sure if Brooke understood the concept of shopping, even if she did, she didn’t have the language to ask for anything. And so, for many years, I had a child who simply didn’t ask.

Now, just shy of seven, my girl is getting the hang of it. The words are exploding. The sentences are flowing. The syntax is coming together. And she knows damn well that her Mama will turn into a big, steaming ball of spineless mush when she asks for something.

All those years of trying to guess what she wanted – of trying to sort through the clues and gauge reactions and hope that maybe, just maybe, she’d actually like something – all add up to a big pile of  ‘Oh, sure baby, you want the pony? Of course, let’s go get you fitted for a saddle.”

Judge me if you will. Tell me I should be stronger. Go ahead. I dare you.

You do it.

You say no.

Let’s practice, shall we?



Yeah, I thought so. The hay is in aisle three.

54 thoughts on “buying the pony

  1. Of COURSE you need a bigger Grover!

    Once she kissed it on the head, you were toast.

    Open that wallet, Mama. She’s just warming up.

  2. so…did you say yes? I would have bought every darn Grover in the store and then gone out for ice cream. She has me wrapped around her sesame street loving pinky finger for sure.

    Notice how she is using a pleeaaase mommy voice? “We need a biiiiiger Grover” She is totally laying on the cute for you.

  3. You’re asking me? I’ve bought all the ponies the store had AND the barn! And will every single time he asks. Just like you, you tease – “We’ll have to see.” Surrrre.

  4. She’s too adorable. Charlotte does the “are you going to say yes?” and also, “Don’t say no, don’t say no.”

    and believe me when I say I’ve bought the pony several times (and without a single regret!!).

  5. Too cute.

    I totally had one of those kids (and one of the others). My son never asked for anything, showed no particular interest in Christmas lists.

    Maybe there is something to large Sesame Street charcters that brings out something in our kids. Once, when he was maybe 3 and not very verbal, we were in a toy store, shopping for someone or something I don’t remember. Next thing we knew, there was our son hugging a giant Elmo that was as big as he was. Of course we bought that Elmo. It’s still in his bed every night.

    These days, things are a little different. In December he dutifully recorded his Christmas list in a call to Santa. He tore through his gifts, even expressed some disappointment at the things he didn’t get. I’d call that a victory.

  6. Okay, so number one: I totally hear you buckling, even in your voice.

    Number two: The old “We’ll see” doesn’t really work with this one, because she immediately asks you if you’re gonna get Grover OR NOT?

    And at the end, your “thinking” about it?


    (I think we all agree here that the kid deserves Grover and the whole damned Sesame Street. Oh wait. You already bought her Sesame Street. Is Frank Oz for hire?)

  7. Good for Brookel! Are you really getting a pony? If yes, I’ll be curious to see how she does. Something about horses and horseback riding is just magical for our kids….. I hope it’s all that and more for her!

  8. So cute … and so amazing! I would have bought her one if I’d just been standing beside you guys in the store! 🙂 I’m so glad she’s letting you know the things she wants and needs these days.

    And I also wanted you to know that I am even worse so there’s no need to feel bad. My typical child wants the whole store every time we go anywhere. I’m immune to his pleas these days. But the two who generally are just there for the ride and don’t try to pick up or play with anything, well they sometimes get something just because they look at, show some level of interest in it, or maybe if I’m lucky, actually even pick it up to study it.

    I’m going to be in big trouble when the words actually start coming!

  9. We have a whole fleet of hotwheels for the same reason. It’s so much fun for mamas to make wishes come true! Definitely something to celebrate… with a bigger Grover and a Count and maybe just a few other things. 😉

    • Bingo. I think that’s IT. We get to make little wishes come true. It’s one small thing we do have the power to do. Awesome, isn’t it?!?
      Jess, brooke is just so precious!

  10. i actually wanted my mom to name my little brother “grover,” so i hear you, brooke! and, heck, we’ll bring over the carrots and sugar cubes. this video was lovely, jess!

  11. I love can we ‘bring’ this bigger Grover?…

    In our house we ‘collect’ McDonalds fries. And yet we eat them like everyone else.

    I don’t know where it came from but I love each and every string of words.

    There is no truer communication than what’s happening between you guys in that video.


  12. You know what Liz? I have met several children who have gone on to recover from autism or function very well as they became adults and I can tell you they would be mortified to have their history and images all over the internet. Many of them have stated that they just want to fit in and not have their entire history and struggles revealed. Honestly I feel sorry for Brooke. What if she doesn’t want her history revealed? She is an adorable girl who has every chance at a very typical life.

    And Liz, grow up. What is this? The second grade playground? Just because someone may have a differing opinion to tell them to “move on” is about as immature as you can get.

  13. I think you’re aware Liz that I am not just talkng about this post. Her school history, struggles with autism, behaviors….are all there for her and her friends to read as she gets older. That I disagree with simply because Brooke herself has no choice or voice in this matter. We have HIPPA laws in this country to protect such things so I am bewildered why a child’s own parent would put all of this out there. Sorry if I offended anyone but as a child advocate that is the way I feel. I am sure Brooke will fly and lead a wonderful life. I just know that the adults that I have met would be horrified that their struggles with autism as a child were written in detail by someone other them themselves. And please don’t come back and say Ari Nei’man, John Robinson and others put their lives out there. THEY put their lives out there themselves by their own choice, as adults. Even Catherine Maurice used pseudonyms for her two children when she wrote Let Me Hear Your Voice for very good reason. She wanted to make sure her children had a choice when they got older to remain anonymous or not, which they have.

    • molly – i have given and continue to give the issues that you raise a great deal of thought. if i could, i’d give you a comment-sized synopsis of my thought process, but unfortunately it’s far too complex a topic to cut down into a sound bite.

      i appreciate your concerns and i do think you bring up some valid points. i also think that there is a significant benefit to being raised in an environment that makes it obvious to a child that there is not only absolutely no shame in talking about our challenges as well as our victories, but actually tremendous strength.


  14. Oh!! I forgot to mention this and I have been meaning to!! New Balance has a line of kids shoes and they are all Sesame Street characters!! You can check Footlocker if your interested or google them. They are super cute!! D has a couple of pairs and the girls shoes are to die for!!

  15. It’s so the little things that everyone takes for granted that mean so much! The first time I heard Jack say to a friend, “I really like your gingerbread house!” I was brought to tears.. it was oh my gosh, social language! I totally would have bought borrowed or stolen every sesame character I could lay my hands on!

  16. Corrie sent me your way as my two year old is currently getting the better of me. He is non-verbal and when he does manage to request or indicate he wants something I run for it. I will be you in a few years and I will do exactly what you are doing. She is such a little sweetheart, how could you even contemplate saying no?? lol Jen.

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