Thursday, November 16, 2006

Holiday preparations, Mom style

Sam brought home his first Thanksgiving turkey art project yesterday and I darn near cried. I call this one his first because his actual first was a printed page from a coloring book with some purple crayon squiggles all over it (and I do mean ALL OVER it). His second was made of all the right colors of construction paper and was clearly the work of one of his teachers. But this one, this one has his personality stamped all over it. Blue and red paints. Feathers stuck haphazardly here and there. Crinkled up from being clutched in his fist for the ride home to proudly show me his creation.

What is is about our kids artwork that makes us mothers all googly?

I love it.
A toy catalog came in the mail the other day and Samuel has since been carrying it around with him wherever he goes. He has his Christmas wish list all picked out and a toy tool bench is the highest priority for Santa Claus. The more difficult decision is whether he wants the small portable one or the larger fixed placement one. He waffles on that issue enough that it's driving me batty.

I overheard him flipping through the catalog and chattering away about the things inside. Things came to a screeching halt, however, when I heard him say, "That's for girls." HUH?!?! I called him over and asked him what was for girls? He pointed to...hold onto your hats...the play kitchen set! I'm NOT kidding! At that moment I could hear all twenty of my inner voices screaming and cursing. What have I done to turn him into a sexist?!?! I wracked my brain trying to figure out where I went wrong. All the while, flipping through that invisible file cabinet of useful parenting tips that I have apparently unknowingly collected over time and stored away. What do I do? What do I say?

So I went with part sarcasm, part humor, and part "imagine the fun you'll miss." I said, "Those are for girls, huh? You're crazy. Those look like great toys for boys OR girls. I bet they'd be a LOT of fun to play with."

He wasn't convinced. "No mom, those are for girls."

I sighed.

I don't know what exactly happened to change his mind, but last night he approached me with the toy catalog in hand and stated, "Mom, I've changed my mind. I think this could be a great toy for girls OR boys."

AH HA! Victory!

And then I realized I had never looked at the price.

$79 per appliance...and there are three appliances...a refrigerator, a stove, and a sink/cupboard.

WTF is WRONG with me?
2002 Sam's first Christmas was pretty low-key. He was too young to really get it. I dressed him in a cute Santa outfit and some reindeer antlers and that was it.

2003 Sam's second Christmas he was a year and a half old and he didn't really "get it."

2004 Sam's third Christmas found him taking ALL DAY to open his presents. He would open one and have such a grand time exploring his new toy that he just didn't get around to opening the next for at least an hour. This was also, if I remember correctly, the year of the Wiggles Christmas video. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over... I start to twitch just thinking about it.

2005 Sam's fourth Christmas sucked. I was in a bad mood thinking life was bad (ha! I didn't even really know what bad was at that point)...Steve was in a bad mood...I yelled while we put up the Christmas mom stared at me completely unsure how to deal with any of us. Good times. It was the year of the Polar Express. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over... I start to twitch just thinking about it.

Sam has asked for Mickey Saves Santa this year. Just because I am determined to do better this year does not mean I have to get him this DVD. But I did. I'm already twitchy just thinking about it...and I haven't even seen it yet.


Anonymous said...

Well, Catherine, the kitchen set is very pink...

Seriously, Mrs T was saying just last week how young boys pick up that fact that "pink is for girls". Not at all unusual for even two-year-olds to have worked that one out.

ethanbsmommy said...

My almost 4 year old said the same thing about that exact kitchen, but he has a neutral color plastic Step 2 kitchen at home that he plays with daily. So, I'm thinking the same thing as Treggles, it's just the color, not the concept! I don't think you're raising a sexist :)

Anonymous said...

Love the turkey!

Hey, if you want overpriced toys, take a look at the pottery barn kids catalog. There are some tool benches in there... cost more than a real one! And the kitchens -- they have a 'professional style kitchen' which looks like ours is supposed to, if we can get the countertop guys to deliver...long story.

But that kitchen set is stainless steel look, so not at all PINK. And when Alexander was Sam's age, he loved play kitchens of any color and would play for hours -- but he still said it was 'for girls'.