Saturday, April 23, 2016

peeps hangover

   Forgetting for a minute that I still can’t believe Easter has come and gone, I’d like to focus on next Easter.  Like the day after Valentine’s Day when candy is half price, you would think I’d be happy to see the same thing now.  You’d be wrong, sort of.  Don’t get me wrong, half price or cheaper chocolate is right up there with my dream job as a mattress tester.  The problem is that I am not alone in the holiday spirit.  It did originate with me, though.  I blame our daughter.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  Throughout the year, whenever I’m out I always manage to find things for her regardless of what I’m looking for.  Mostly small stuff, books, flip flops, small toy figures, cheap pc games or a necklace or something.  The problem is that after six months that stuff piles up. 
  For me, it piles up to the point of being covered for the next 2 gift giving occasions, easy.  Another issue is the fact that I’m shopping for someone with the attention span of a squirrel.  I try to keep some things practical but sometimes I end up having to reroute things if they get “stale” by the time I’m ready to give them.  We are lucky in that she is an only child and since we are “older” parents we can afford to pick up things as we go. Stashing this stuff does help me save time later because I can “shop at home” when I need a gift.  
   What I’m having trouble handling is the sugar war and the ridiculous amount of toys we get for 1 kid.  We are very lucky that not only can we spoil her but our family spoils her too.  I’m concerned that she’s getting a bit numb to it.  Easter was like Hallomas!  There was a pantload of peeps and other candy and oodles of game creatures among other things.  Mommy’s easter bunny went practical, putting snack combo cups, flip flops, aqua shoes, and plastic trading card pages in her basket.  I also weakened and did put some sugar in there, too.  I succumbed to the jellybeans for a dollar and peeps for 3 for a dollar.  I admit I have cheapness issues that are probably genetic.  
   This was a bad move because we are surrounded by professionals.  There were 2 egg hunts which yielded a stupid amount of tootsie rolls and some other candy.  Then, mom-mom gave our girl a basket with Polish candy and other goodies.  This was followed by a Sunday brunch with 3 more baskets and then another one from our bunny later!  Next year, I think our bunny is going to have some hard times and leave a much smaller basket.  I would like to think she wouldn’t notice the difference but that little stinker never ceases to surprise me.  Easter Monday she had the gaul to ask if she got her treat from her behavior chart for the week!  I realize I gave birth to a girl but this kid has a pair!! 
   Granted, she is still young and does have her generous points, but the concept of “give till it hurts” is way not on this kid’s radar.  We can give away duplicates of things with no problem.  I guess you have to start somewhere.  I’ve introduced the concept of selling things we’re no longer using, too.  (See previous article on toys emitting distress signals before a yard sale.) Once again, I’m trying to relate to a seven year old with a grown up brain.  Still, I do want her to start appreciating things and not expect too much.   

   I don’t have any control over what other family members do, especially mom-mom.  A friend had a great suggestion though.  The next time we get a ridiculous amount of candy I could have our little sugar fiend select some to enjoy now and some to put away for later.  Toys, for the most part, still need to disappear by stealth.  I still plan to keep trying to keep things down to a dull roar.  When we go out and she turns into “Captain Iwant” I usually tell her “We have a small house, I don’t have the room for too much stuff.  Can you think of something you’re done with that we could give away or sell? “  Miraculously, I often get a blank stare. God help us if we move.    
  I think someone may have actually been checking me out the other day as I was walking to get my daughter from school.  I had lost some weight lately.  Either that or my fly was open.  Not sure which.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

When I grow up...

   Tempus Fugit sucks.  
   There is an old saying that goes it is now how old you are, it is how you are old.  It’s not being in my forties that’s the problem.  After all, my father once said, ‘It could be worse, you could have a kid your age.’.  It’s this desparate need I have to savor every moment, since, as I learned the hard way, you may not have as much time on this earth as you think you do.  The hardest thing I wrestle with is the now.  Perhaps I’m fighting ingrained, grown up habits.  Odd, since I live with the perfect teacher.
   My three year old wakes up every day happy and looking for fun.  Mommy wakes up most mornings praying for coffee and wondering how am I going to keep her occupied all day.  What the hell’s wrong with me?  Bored? How dare you?  Since when was life something to get through?  If that’s the case, I’m doing something wrong.  
   While there are places to go and things to clean, there are also horsies out the car window.  There are dragon shaped clouds, sand in your toes, and - dare I say it - occasional ice cream before dinner!  Look mommy, look!
   She is friendly and outgoing like her father.  While I have lived like a hamster in my home for seven years, not knowing many of our neighbors, my daughter will say hi to just about any grownup with two ears - and most dogs.  She will immediately tell them a terribly important story in which they have no idea what the hell she’s talking about.  You will never see grownups doing this.  My husband is one, but Dave’s english is fine and mostly logical. 
   Exhausting and beautiful, our girl is an education and a gift.  She wants to feel and taste and see and smell and question everything.  She will also be teaching me patience for the rest of my life.   Sometimes, I am jealous at her simplicity.  If she gets hot, she just gets naked, problem solved.  Mommy will never again feel that free but I’m ok with that one - really ok.  

   Still, I don’t want her to be like me.  She is my second shot at learning how to enjoy, even the boring parts.  I’m pretty sure that when I grow up, I want to be three.