Christmas is a-coming and the goose is getting fat. And I like to have my shopping done by now. Once again, I have failed; such is life with children.
Yes, the children. I have started putting off the shopping completion because I have children; notoriously fickle, it is better to wait a little closer to the holidays to be sure what will interest and delight them. A child into blue and Star Wars today may want green and Ninjago by Christmas. And this is October.
Fortunately, I can go ahead and get some things, hitting the sales of the pre-Christmas clear-out, because my kids are not as fickle as some. I usually set aside some budget, though, for December. You never know.
Andy is easy. Up until now, if it had a dinosaur on it, you were all good. This year, ninjas and Star Wars reigns, and he is becoming interested in superheroes. Get him some toys in theme, grab some Mario Brothers knick-knacks for the stocking, all set and ready to go. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeasy.
Joey, not so much. The themes, I can do. Toy Story, Mario Brothers, baseball, a touch of Obi-Wan Kenobi. But what to buy? Joey doesn't play much with toys. He never did. Now he's nine, he plays with toys even less. I think if I filled his stocking with wooden spoons, his cup would runneth over. Never fear, I will have some for that purpose. After all, Christmas isn't about giving people things, it is about thinking about them and trying to bring them joy, about sharing and letting them know how much you love them. I could toss a lot of Star Wars toys at Joey, and he would be fine with that; but they would then just clutter his room or be co-opted by Andy. He already has an entire bin of wooden spoons and sticks, and five calculators. What to get the child for Christmas?
Of course, just when I find myself in quandary, we get snippets, little glimpses into that head. I took Joey with me to the auction on Sunday. I was surprised he wanted to go; the first time we went, he clearly was uncomfortable with the pace and the crowds, and last month he made it clear he did not want to go. This time, he asked to go, so we went. He was happy to play with his brother. Then things got started, and he wasn't as happy. He showed interest in a box with some toy trucks in it, so as they neared it, I grabbed him and tried to teach him how to bid. He seemed very pleased, especially when he bought the trucks (whole box, $4). Then he wandered off, and didn't so much as glance at them again.
I brought them in from the car Sunday night, and put them in the hall, and forgot them (if you've seen my hall, you know how that can happen). No notice was taken of them. It dawned on me that he went because Mommy was going and he bid because Mommy told him to. Oh, well.
But then, Tuesday morning came. The trucks were noticed.
"The trucks from the auction, Mommy!" Joey chimed, touching one.
"Yes, dear, they're yours. You bought them, remember?" He picked one up, held it a minute, put it down, moved on. Oh, well.
Then Tuesday afternoon came.
"The trucks from the auction!" He seemed joyful, pleased. He took the box into the livingroom, started playing with them- lining them up, arranging them in the box, using them to drive his little Obi-Wan Kenobi figure over the carpet. He showed them to Andy, who also commenced playing with them. Happy, happy boys. The babble began. "The auction trucks! They are here! Someone donated them to the auction. Look, the trucks from the auction!"
Maybe I'll go ahead and get some of those toys after all.