Part of the busyness of our past weekend included my BABY hitting DOUBLE DIGITS! He couldn’t wait; I, on the divergent hand, was hoping time would stand still. His wish was granted…mine went the route all others typically do when I throw salt over my shoulder, or barely audibly whisper "Star light, star bright…", or choose the finger to which an eyelash sticks.
Three of Stephen’s best buddies spent the night, and they were amazingly well behaved. They slipped into their sleeping bags about the same time Cinderella’s coach would have metamorphosed into a pumpkin–late enough to appease their appetite to stay up late like "big kids" and early enough for me to turn in before I transfigured into Elphaba.
For his birthday, Stephen asked for one thing. Just one thing. An iPod.
If you pay attention in the least, you know I just received one for my birthday a week earlier. Rachel and Thomas each already have one, too. For Stephen–a brand, new ten-year-old for heaven’s sake–to get one seemed outrageous to me (probably more so, Tad).
The thing is, he DOES enjoy listening to music…he IS always borrowing his siblings’ players when they aren’t listening themselves. And…it WAS the only thing he asked for.
So, Saturday morning at 7:30, I found myself at Wal-Mart, chunking out the cash for yet another Apple.
As you can imagine, Stephen woke up READY for presents from his family. Tad was on call this weekend and had to go into work, so I told Stephen we’d have to wait until he got home. Since we had partied with his friends, our family gathering was v e r y simple.
Well, Tad got home and we couldn’t hold Stephen back.
Bless his heart, little did he know, his big brother had cooked up some FUN for him, especially since our family "party" was pretty anti-climatic. Thomas asked me if HE could "wrap" Stephen’s gift. Prankster that he is, though, he got a large gift bag and filled it with junk, quite literally, J.U.N.K.! The randomness of his choices still has me shaking my head wondering whose genes this represents. See for yourself:
In case you can’t load the picture, I’ll be happy to detail it for you: dental floss, one red taper candle, a can of mushrooms, a jar of chicken bullion, two tin muffin liners, fabric stiffener from my crafting days, a vial of flea prevention drops, and an open-and-used Pin the Tail on the Donkey set.
Oh, how I wish Stephen’s expression was captured on celluloid. It was heartbreaking . . . but priceless!
He took each item out of the bag, studied it meticulously, looking for some reason, ANY REASON, he could be excited. Our children are generally grateful kids, so he was trying to be gracious. With each "gift" his countenance fell a little lower, confusion masked his face, and very obviously, he wasn’t finding anything worthy of "thanks".
Well, that wasn’t enough for me (bless his heart, again). I felt the need to begin a little parental speech.
"Stephen, honey, Daddy and I talked it over and we decided you’re just too young for some of the things you’re asking for…"
It was cruel. It was unusual punishment. ON HIS BIRTHDAY!
It put him over the edge. That fallen countenance gave way to Niagra Falls and the tears came without notice, and I stood ready to turn in my parenting credentials. Right then. Right there.
We all told him to look in the bag again, that there was something else there. The most important thing–a note.
Apparently needing additional lessons in handwriting, Thomas quickly told him to go into another room in our house and take a look around. His face immediately brightened, he looked at me, and walked into our sunroom. We all followed, and he quickly found it (Thomas "hid" it in plain view). The little buzzard saw it, picked it up, and started crying again, saying, "Thank you so much, I can’t believe you really got it for me" and I called the New Mommy Store and asked for a replacement.
He’s told me at least five more times how much he appreciated his iPod. That first night we found him in his room just listening and content.
Believe it or not, he said this is the best present E.V.A.H. In spite of our best efforts to scar him for life :/.
That was HYSTERICAL!! And yet just the thing I would get put away for.
You are the best mom ever for buying the iPod NOW, though.
It’s a birthday he’ll never forget!!! AWESOME!
Oh what a GREAT story! I could just picture every facial expression, every moment. He is always going to remember this one!
I blogged about my oldest turning double digits on March 16. These birthdays are almost as big of a milestone for moms as for the kids!
P.S. We love our iPods, too. I’m addicted to iTunes! My kids are younger so for Christmas we bought them each a less expensive MP3 player. They love them!
I was crying too.
Our almost ten-year-old daughter just got an MP3 player too (an early birthday present because we found an awesome deal) so the only person in our house without one is our 5 year old. I didn’t think I wanted one until borrowing my older daughter’s the last time I went on a trip and falling in love with it.
How cruel & hilarious — my parents would have done the same thing!
Dear robin. That sounds just like something my family would have done. Don’t worry. You don’t need a replacement. You’re teaching the important lesson of humility (tragedy?). I thoroughly enjoyed that story :o)
Oh Elphaba – um, Robin…
You made him squirm, but it was all worth it in the end!
Happy Birthday Stephen!!!!!
Such a sweet story, but also deliciously cruel. In a good, he won’t have to go to therapy over it, kind of way. Way to go, SuperMom!
What a funny story and just the kind of thing we do here!
I can just imagine how he felt poor lamb, but all that is now forgotten as he got his dream and he’ll have a good story to tell his friends.
You and Tad are such cool parents!!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, STEPHEN!!!
Tigger, I told Stephen I was writing this, and he said, “You aren’t gonna tell ’em I cried, are you?” I told him that part was PRICELESS. This morning, I read it to him and I got his stamp of approval :). Even HE could see the humor (that’s my gene 😉 ).
So if we go to Mommy jail, glad I’ll have some good company! 😉
Rachelle, it’s a good thing my kids and I share similar tastes in music…it cuts down on the iTunes receipts. We thought about getting Stephen a little less pricey, but ultimately decided we were just postponing the inevitable.
Hey, I just thought of something–since I bonded with you over your music tastes, why don’t we just exchange our playlists and upload what we don’t already have? Is that legal??? 😉
Pamela, I could sooo see you doing something like this…now, anyway :).
Heather, that’s how I got hooked–listening to my oldest two’s. Sometimes, I really appreciate how it can block out all the noise of the world….
LCO, I wonder if my kids believe in “paybacks”… Hmmmm….
Dear LMM, I HOPE we’re teaching the “right” things, lol. Glad you enjoyed…I actually enjoyed re-living it through writing it :).
Karmyn, I promise, we didn’t make him squirm long! He grinned when I told him you said “Happy Birthday” (you’re like the one blogger he thinks he knows 🙂 ).
Sabrina, “deliciously cruel”…me likey!
Beccy, from what I’ve read about your family, I can definitely see that!
Heeeeeeey, Stephanie, you weren’t here a minute ago…little sneaker. I’ll be sure and tell our children what you said. In fact, I might print it out and put it on the fridge ;).
Great story! I can remember asking for a “boom box” (am I that old?) for Christmas when I was about 14 and my parents did the same thing you did to Stephen! They gave me little junky presents, and then a note – my boom box was in the closet!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, STEPHEN! I’ll tell you like my big brother told me when I turned 10 – “Welcome to the double digits.”
And it only gets better 😉
Classic. I love it – being the youngest of 5, I was the fav one to do this to……….I was gonna say something to make you feel sorry for me……! Naw – it was all good, I was luh-uhved!
My baby is also about to turn 10 years old (May 1st)! He has been informed that he will remain 10 yrs old forever. I can’t bear for him to leave boyhood behind and turn into a teen. He’s enough of a preteen already.
Shame on you for upsetting Stephen so much, LOL!
I don’t know what I’ll get my little man for his birthday. Guess I should start thinking about that. Won’t be an ipod, though, I know nothing about them. Probably outside toys–he’s in front of a screen too much.
Happy 10th Birthday, Stephen!
How cruel, how mean, how FUNNY! You will all be laughing about this years from now – so pin your mother button back on – you just made a family memory!
Bless his heart. Your post is heartwarming and brings back memories. I used to tease our son, Luke ,about how he could trade his parents in for a new set. He was amazed at actually finding A Parents Store in Orlando.
Oh poor baby!!!! But I can totally remember having my parents do that to me, and I’m pretty normal. I guess…
Susan, yeah, I know all about boom boxes, thank you very much;). Stephen was the one who pointed out the double digit thing. Gosh that kind of thing is IMPORTANT when you’re that age :).
Kristy, it REALLY, TRULY IS all about being LOVED, baby girl ;)!!!
Mom2-3, we actually considered a ping-pong table, too, but it’ll take up the whole room wherever we put it…for now, an iPod took up less space. I hear ya though about ENOUGH (too much?) screen time…:/.
Robin, I like your perspective. And your name ;).
MJD, THERE’S A REAL PARENT STORE?? Oh, no!! I’m in trouble. How cool is it that your son has a blog! I hope mine do this one day (and not on myspace, either :/).
Tracey, your comment made me smile…normal…now if that’s not a relative term, I don’t know what is! I’m the most “normal” person I know, yet I’m certifiably insane…how can they peacefully co-exist?? 🙂
What a great family story. You all will keep his skin thick and his humor in good spirits. We are the same. We like to jump out of each other and scare in the dark. Oh.. yes!~ That’s fun!
Happy Birthday Stephen!
I really need tot ake some tips from you and get creative on birthdays. That would be so cool!
Happy Birthday Stephen!! Wow…that was some birthday.
Happy Birthday, Stephen. Your mom is a turkey.
Ahhh! I think that’s great.
Is it bad to laugh at his tears? What a sweet story!
Vicki, why doesn’t this revelation surprise me about you? 😉
Kelly, steal, steal, steal away (I’ll be sure and return the favor) :).
Claudia, See?? YOU get an iPod and now they’re poppin’ up everywhere…you trendsetter, you ;).
Thanks SwampY and MikeY :D.
Hi Amanda…have we met? If not, nice to meetcha. If so, forgive me, I’m old…as the hills. But to answer YOUR question, no. I did. Hence the need for the new mommy :/ lol.
I bet he is just over the moon!What a cool gift! My 6 yr old wants one, she’s a clutz so we say no way. Of course her dad says there will be bigger and better iPods in a few years, then she can have his old one. i know it’s just an excuse for him to get a new toy, LOL!
As far as scarring the kids- If at first you don’t succeed…;)