A Child’s Dying Wish

cadel ninjago
Our little ninja playing in the sand

Today we went to a birthday party for a three year old. Both of our boys had a fantastic time as it was held at a winery that has a ride-on model train that is based on the Thomas the Tank series. Like all good kid’s parties, the boys left with a party bag full of lollies, chocolates and toys. You really don’t have to go to that much expense to put these together as young children don’t really care about what toys are given, or how much they cost, but just getting them is a bonus after the party itself.

Normally our youngest will fall asleep in the car straight away after having an action packed day – today’s is my wife’s birthday so we had already met her best friend for brunch at Sydney Olympic Park where we played in the sand and climbed over all of the playground equipment – but today it took forever for this to happen. And then once he was asleep, less than 30 minutes from home, he woke as soon as we pulled into the driveway so his normal two to three hour day nap was gone.

He had an abundance of energy so I decided that I would wear him down some more to make it easier to get him to sleep tonight. In the party bags there was one of those high bounce balls, one that was mostly black but had flecks of colours; all the colours of the rainbow to be exact. We played a game in the hall where he had to throw the ball to me, I would catch it and then he ran down at full pace and jumped into my lap. Then I would roll the ball back down the hall and he had to stop it.

Whilst we were playing this his older brother was getting his fix of television as he had been away from it for most of the day and withdrawal symptoms were clearly showing. He was watching his new Ninjago DVD which has become his obsession. He has to dress like a ninja, carry swords like a ninja (well, he actually carries large foam letters from an educational mat we bought him), and he has to use quick quips that only a Nanjago ninja would use. So he heard the fun that his little brother and I were having so he had to join in on our game.

It’s funny, this kid and his obsessions are strong, frequently changing and getting more and more weird as each day passes. He somehow took a shine to this little rubber bouncing ball. In his eyes, this was the best thing ever; and I mean EVER. As he is much older than his little brother, he could bounce and roll the ball further and higher than what we were doing before he joined us, and as a result he eventually bounced it so high that it disappeared underneath something in the dining room/lounge room and it became lost.

I told him that if we get down on our knees, hold each other’s hands, close our eyes and channel our inner ninjas we could use our magical ninja powers to find the ball. Unfortunately, even with my magical ninja powers, Daddy still has to lay face down on the cold tiles to look under each piece of furniture. But it’s gone. We couldn’t find it. The kids dinner was in the oven cooking at this time and whilst he wanted me to continue the search, my wife and I convinced him that all good ninjas need to eat their dinner to get more energy to increase their power. And he bought it.

Dinner was naturally followed by their bath and then putting on their pyjamas before the little one gets to go to bed first. Although the little one wanted his mummy to put him to bed, seeing it’s her birthday she looked at me and in no uncertain way, she suggested that a night off for her birthday would be in order. Generally, unless the little one falls asleep in less than ten minutes, the one who doesn’t put him to sleep gets to read a book to the older one and put him to bed. Tonight the little one took forever (once again on my shift) and when I came downstairs my wife had the older one asleep beside her on the lounge.

I picked him up and carried him upstairs. At no stage in this journey did he wake, subconsciously choosing to stay asleep snoring his head off. As I peeled back his covers to place him in the bed he woke, and like someone who was laying on their deathbed he looked me in the eye with is struggling-to-keep-open-eyes and in a voice that was struggling to speak he said “Daddy, you made a promise to me that you’d find my magic rainbow ninja bouncing ball. I need you to find this for me when you go back downstairs.”

And as soon as I press publish on this blog, guess who will be laying back on that cold tiled floor looking for this silly little bouncing ball, just so they can fulfil a dying child’s wish?

This was originally published on thesquircle.com in July 2013. I am bringing all the Dad Blog stories over to modernfatheronline.com

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