Santa barely makes it back to the North Pole and already I'm planning the next big gift occasion? Ahhh! Birthdays.
As the boys were born not quite two years apart, February has become an eventful month for me. I've yet to decide what to do about parties. Both boys want separate, special venue parties for their friends. I would love to just have a family party. I know I'll never get away with that but I am hoping they will meet me somewhere in the middle. I really don't want to plan, pay for and attend two ChuckECheese parties. I'd like to see the boys agree to share a venue like that or have separate parties at the park district. Either way, I need to a) sit down and discuss this with them, b) book the rooms and c) send out invitations. Soon.
Liam has been telling me what he wants for his birthday all weekend. This is very annoying. Not only is he very specific with his expensive toy taste but he still has Christmas toys in their factory-sealed boxes. And he doesn't drop the subject either--he brings it up three or four times a day, even going as far as to suggest hiding places if I buy the gifts now. On the other hand, Henry collected a list of toys he wants, then narrowed it down to just one, asked nicely and then never revisited the topic. Maybe there's hope for this family yet.
I wonder if I would be this perturbed if I had daughters who asked for sweet things like American Girl dolls and clothing, Barbie campers and fashion design software. Tutus, dance shoes, little ponies and a new comforter set.... I think those things would be much more fun to shop for and I can understand an obsession with getting gifts like that.
I find myself nostalgic for the days when everything in the under 5 toy aisles was sure to be well-received. It was difficult to watch them outgrow Thomas the Tank Engine, PlaySkool and Fisher Price but then there was Disney's CARS to fill the void. Liam loved CARS. Inevitably he became more interested in Hot Wheels and that was okay too. But now? Oh, how I detest shopping for Angry Birds, Hexbugs and Pokemon booster packs. Of course, he asks for worse and I put my foot down. When it comes to themed toys, I feel like we're both settling and neither of us are very happy with what ends up in the playroom.
Now I'll grant that this is beginning to sound like a very preoccupied, first world problem post. And it is--there's no denying it. I'm complaining that I can no longer make my children smile by bringing home this
and instead I have to bring home this
We all know that most kids in the world are lucky to have a roof over their heads and one meal a day. I'm grateful for the abundance and blessings I can share with my children. I just wish they were as well.*
Let's end on a positive note, shall we? While I bemoan the loss of their innocent play, I realize it isn't really gone. Not yet, anyway. The three of us happily visited our local Build-a-Bear Workshop. The boys waited patiently in the 30 minute line and enjoyed watching their plush choices come to life. Of course, I would have preferred that they choose traditional bears or sweet woodland creatures. But no--their minds were set on a camouflage bear and a Ninja Turtle which they promptly dressed in "skull" pajamas. I took a deep breath and agreed to the purchase.
It's okay--they're still soft and cuddly. (So are their new stuffed animals.)
*Later this year, I plan on handing the boys a more active role in giving to charity--in addition to Toys for Tots and mitten trees. I want them to see firsthand how the rest of the world lives and what can be done to offer a helping hand.