Sam will be turning 3 in a few days and as is customary in a grandparent kind of way, my dad and stepmother sent him a $20 slipped in a birthday card. I should say that the card, also, had my littlest sister’s name, but I doubt she had much thought in it. You know those 13 year olds, all obsessed with romantic vampires, text messaging and being left alone. However, I will give credit where credit is due. When Sam got his card he fell in line with the rest of us when we get a birthday card that might have money in it, he squealed like a stuck pig and danced around the kitchen for a bit. I put it back in the card and, again like a regular 3 year old, quickly forgot about what wasn’t currently in front of his face and probably screamed for food. You know, because only feeding him every 30 seconds is basically starving him.
I informed Sam that he would get to take his crisp new 20 dollar bill to Target and get whatever he wanted on our regular shopping day. Now, if this was Amber, she would already be contemplating exactly what she wanted and then asking for something 3 times the price of the money she had available. Sam, on the other hand, was overjoyed for the few seconds I let him hold his money and then promptly forgot about it, again. At this point, I considered tucking the $20 into my wallet and putting it toward Mommy’s Getaway Tour. And if you think about it, that is sort of a gift to him, because I won’t be here to tell him to stop asking me for food, ALREADY! Okay, are you getting the boy never stops eating or, at least, asking for food? Then I thought that would be wrong and karma will come to bite me on the ass, like having Helga the German Prisoner Guard available for my next massage.
Once in the store, the only thing that was on Sam’s mind was “playing with the toys”. I asked him several times what he wanted to buy and he said, “I don’t want anything” added with a wave of the hand to leave him alone to “play with the toys”. After a few times of this line of questioning he would scream his answer at me and I really started to consider my Getaway fund. I mean he passed up the Handy Mandy Tool box with the dancing and singing tools. The one toy he has asked for since he saw it in the beginning of January. Everytime we go to the store, he has to hear this toy about 50 times before I drag him away kicking and screaming, but NOPE he didn’t want to take the bilingual tool box home. I am sure this was God’s way of thanking me for not stealing my son’s birthday money, because Spanish singing tools bouncing around in a toolbox would probably drive me to accidentally “lose” it after only a few moments of possession. Just when we hit the end of the toys that interested him, I suggested, like an idiot, to look at Thomas. I bent down, looked him in the eye, and said “Surely, you can find something you like on the Thomas aisle.” Huge mistake. See, even us moms that have been around the block or two make dumb mistakes. Only difference is that we know it is a dumb mistake before the last syllable leaves our mouth, but it is too late to stop it. Once all of the possibilities of Thomas were opened up to him, he wanted needed everything. That Thomas stuff ain’t cheap and worse, yet, it needs adult participation to put all the crap together. Not that I don’t love playing with my son, but have you ever sat there scratching your head trying to figure out how to put all these little train parts together with a screaming toddler smacking you on the butt telling you to hurry up, already? No fun. So that is when I made the call to SoHubby. After figuring out that he wasn’t his assistant, I explained that it seems all Sam wants is Thomas the Train items and what does he think about that? Dumbfounded as to why he was brought in on such an issue, I was left with silence. Then I say, “If I get this stuff you are going to have to put it together, because I don’t know if I can take another few hours jamming train tracks together.” There was laughter and an assurance that yes he would “play” with Sam. So we ended up with the engine wash, the Great Race and extension tracks, made possible by PawPaw and Nana. Why do I see me sitting hunched over the train table cursing under my breath, because I can’t get the damn tracks to fit together right and it looks nothing like the picture?
After wanting to beat my head with the engine wash toy if Sam asked me one more time what the long pieces of rubber are that hang down at the end of the car wash, we made it to the cashier. I thought it was only fitting that Sam pay for HIS toy with HIS money. I don’t think the cashier felt the same as I in this being a perfect time to teach my 3 year old basic economics. Sam put his toy on the belt and his money, too. When the helpful customer behind us tried to hand him his money he showed her whose boss by screaming that, “HE WANT TO DO IT!” She dropped the money and strongly considered never having children. Sam tried to reach the $20 bill, but was having trouble since he couldn’t see the 5 inches above his head. The cashier wanting to just hurry this little lesson along grabbed the money and handed him his changed. She folded it nicely as to keep the change from falling everywhere, but that was just a lesson in trying to be logical when dealing with a 3 year old. Of course, the change went flying everywhere, as soon as, Sam had his grubby little hands on the money. Although, he thought it was a hoot to chase down a wayward nickel, I was ready to leave and get on with the our grocery store adventure. I put his change in his cargo pocket and we went on our way. I would then hear the saga over and over again all the way to the grocery store and there after everytime the change jingled in his pocket. Later, after his nap, he would cry and cry to put his money in his alligator bank. So I sat there watching the minutes tick by wondering if we would be able to pick up Amber before dusk as he pushed each little coin into the alligator’s belly. And true to 3 year old form, Sam has forgotten all about the toys he just had to have hours earlier and will be totally surprised when he unwraps them on Sunday. This stage of the game does has it’s advantages.