Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Trouble With January Birthdays

A few weeks back, M turned seven, and like any other six year old, he had been looking forward to the big day, oh, since about a week after his last birthday.  Completely disregarding the fact that Christmas was only 23 days earlier, he was practically salivating at the thought of what he might receive in gifts.

Have I mentioned that work has been crazy lately?  It has, since October.  And between Christmas and his birthday, I barely had time to breathe, let alone plan a special day for him, which is how January 16th rolled around, and I had yet to purchase a single gift for him.  

His birthday is the 17th.  Totally my fault, I know.  I should've planned better.  So when the night before his birthday appeared (out of nowhere) and BH called from the freeway to see if I had bought anything, I felt a twinge of guilt saying,"oh no!  I didn't yet (yet, ha).  Did you?"

I only asked him in the hopes that he would shoulder some of the guilt with me.  But he and I both know full well that birthday planning is my job.

So the night before M's birthday, 3 weeks after Christmas, BH hit every toy store in the county.  He returned at 9pm with a video game and a hot dog toaster. 

Really?  A hot dog toaster?  And yes, the Christmas decorations are still out.  More about that later.
Turns out the toy inventories had not yet been replenished so soon after Christmas.  I guess I had never noticed before, probably because I had never been in the position to need a bunch gifts on short order.

So it's 9 o'clock, the night before his birthday.  I had to think quick.  How was I going to save this one?

M, who had been counting down to the big day since Thanksgiving, was pumped for his birthday, which would be arriving in less than 12 hours.

Me:  "M, since tomorrow is a school day, you'll only get to open one gift in the morning."
M:  "Ok, Momma.  Can I pick which present to open?"
Me: "No, Daddy and I get to chose for you."
M:  "Ok!"

The next morning, M opened up his hot dog maker and marveled at his new appliance.  It was decided that he would cook dinner for us on his birthday.  Thank goodness, because I  had also forgotten to plan dinner or dessert.

The toaster diversion bought me some time.  I would need a miracle, but I was determined to find him some birthday presents.

Enter  TJ Maxx.

Who would've thought that TJ Maxx, of all places, would have a ton of Star Wars figures and other 7-year-old-boy appropriate toys less than a month after Christmas?  I've been in this store nuuumerous times in the last 6 years, and I've never known them to carry good toys.  But I wasn't going to question it.  I scooped up everything in sight and loaded up the minivan.

So I did it.  Shopped, wrapped, picked up groceries for dinner, baked monkey bread AND put in a full day at the office (or at least that's the story I'm sticking to).

When I picked him up from child care that night, he was so excited to come home and begin celebrating.

As we're walking up the path to the front door, he turns to me and says:
"Momma, you remembered to keep the Christmas decorations for my birthday!  Thank you Momma!"

You're welcome M, you're welcome.

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