Outsmarted

Pirate Boats Are So Last Week

Last year, for Christmas, Sean wanted a Peemo boat. I searched high and low and consulted the internets and soothsayers, but nay – no Peemo boat was to be found in all the land.  To this day we still have no idea what a Peemo boat is.

This year I wised up.  I gave up on my powers of subtle discernment and the day after Thanksgiving, I just handed him the circulars from Toys R Us and Target and told him to circle what he wanted.  He flipped through the pages indifferently.  Nothing seemed right. Occasionally he would say something like, “Oh that’s nice” or “That might be okay” but there was no jumping up and down or hyperventilating as I would have done had my mother handed ME the ads and said circle what you want.

Then one day recently, we were in Sam’s Club and he saw the toy of his dreams.  He gasped. He clutched his heart for dramatic effect. He hyperventilated.  His bottom lip quivered as he pointed to a gigantic, hideous hunk of plastic in the form of a pirate boat and announced that that was it!! THAT! Was what he wanted for Christmas! And he jumped out of the cart and affixed his eyes to it like a Golden Retriever and he may have even panted and drooled.

I was relieved to know what he wanted and where I had to go to get it. I was not relieved at the thought of spending $70 for 4×4 hunk of plastic that would occupy substantial square footage in my den, especially since my den is not done in pirate or plastic.

So I spent the rest of the week scouring the internets for other kinds of less hideous, less large, less plastic, less expensive pirate boats — lesser pirate boats in all regard, pirate boats that would go better with my den, maybe a gay pirate boat done tastefully in warm woods tones and damasks.

I ultimately ended up with a Fisher-Price model that I found at Toys R Us for about $24. Yes, it is plastic and hideously colored, but small, not 4×4.  And that was the end of my Christmas shopping, yay for me!

Later that week, I asked Sean what he wanted for Christmas, secretly looking forward to already knowing the answer, to knowing that I had already scored a pirate boat and that it was at that very moment stashed away in the garage awaiting his glee and delight.

He cocked his head and gave it a minute of consideration before reciting a lengthy list.

“I want a scooter, and some ice skates, a Lightening McQueen set, a whistle….”

“And a pirate boat? How about a pirate boat?”

“Um, no not really.”

“Really? I thought you wanted a pirate boat.  You’ve been talking about a pirate boat.”

“Well, I changed my mind.”

I think Christmas is as good a time as any to learn about disappointment, don’t you?

53 thoughts on “Pirate Boats Are So Last Week

  1. Oh…. hey — it’ll build character.

    Imagine Milo’s disappointment. “I circled some stuff… but I don’t see any presents big enough them.”

    ME: Um Milo — did you know you were only making suggestions? You won’t be getting everything you circled.

    Milo: Oh.

    ::sigh:: What a day that will be.

  2. I know. Same here at our house. I keep trying to have this conversation with him about how some children won’t get anything, let alone every thing. And beyond that, some children won’t even have enough to eat on Christmas day. I want to teach him gratitude and charity, but I don’t want to totally rain on his Christmas parade. Dang. Being a mom is hard!

  3. My son had the Fisher Price Pirae Boat. He LOVED it!

    I think I saw that thing at Sam’s and actually wished I still had a
    LITTLE boy to buy it for. And a LITTLE girl so I could her buy the entire baby doll nursery complete with play pen, stroller, and exer-saucer!!
    Alas, now our Christmas shopping is done at Best Buy and those trendy clothing stores at the mall.

  4. And by next week, a pirate boat could once again be the dream gift of all time.

    I remember the days when my mom gave us the Sears catalog and told us to circle what we wanted for Chanukah. And when I opened my present, what did I find? Boots. I so did not circle boots.

  5. Just wait until he gets older and identifies the gifts of his dreams in early November. They go on sale and you score big and early in the season, feeling smug. Come December 15 those items are gone from his lovely head, replaced with items that are now long gone, snapped up by those who…scored big early in the season. That’s happened more than once in our house.

    But a pirate boat does have it’s lure for little boys…I think our house has 3.

  6. Whose disappointment, though? You know we all secretly crave for the person opening our gift to say, “Oh my goodness, it’s what I’ve always wanted!” (Or the toddler equivalent.)

  7. “maybe a gay pirate boat done tastefully in warm woods tones and damasks.”

    BWAHH HAA HAA. That was so funny.

    Oh you know he’ll love it when he gets it. What little boy wouldn’t love a pirate boat. And that fisher price one is great.

    As a parent of much older children let me tell you that you are doing yourself and huge service by establishing early that everything they want will not be under the tree. We didn’t do this with my daughter because everything she asked for when she was little was so small. But that first year that it wasn’t all small and the “thing” wasn’t there was very much a letdown for her. So now with the younger ones we say “You can make suggestions, but really it’s going to be a surprise”.

  8. Last year I needed to get one last thing for my then 10 year old son. Just as I was preparing to head out to finish up my shopping he decided he wanted to make creme brulee. Much to my delight as I walked into Bed Bath and Beyond armed with my 209% off coupons just inside the door was a huge display soley devoted to all things creme brulee. He made it once and decided he did not like it. This year he wants a Cuisenart Griddler.

  9. My old standby comment to my kids – “Santa won’t bring anything that your parents don’t want you to have.” That covers machine guns, skateboards,play stations or anything else not decor friendly or too expensive. Of course mine are excited about anything and so are not overly disappointed if something on their list is not under the tree.

  10. I now visit your blog daily. I love Sean. He is an original and so precious. I can see him and hear him through your words and it cracks me up. He’s not allowed to promote to the next class – he is my dose of entertainment every Sunday morning!

    steph

  11. My son just announced that more than anything, he wants the big expensive Lego fireboat. And some cashews.
    Santa already got him the Playmobil Wilderness Adventure something or other. And some cashews. It’s a hard, hard life, kid.

  12. Laughing and oh-so-relating… We’ve not been able to get a consistent answer from our not-yet 4 y/o. Though yesterday he asked Santa for Lightning McQueen slippers (which we saw at KMart). Since that’s what he told The Man, I figure that pretty much counts as gospel.

  13. My parents always remind me that they had to save one present to buy at the last minute becuase every year right before Christmas I’d announce that it just wouldn’t be Christmas if Santa didn’t bring me X! (X being a toy I had never once mentioned before!) Of course I have no memory of this!!!

  14. Enjoy your toy buying while you can, (even if it was the wrong toy)! Once he gets older, all he’ll want is money, and while easy to wrap, there’s just something disappointing about watching your child unwrap money for Christmas. At least he’ll pull the pirate boat out of the box and play with it right away.

  15. My kids are always spoiling my fun like this. They talk for weeks about such and such, so I buy it to watch their eyes twinkle on Christmas morn. Then, lo and behold, two days before Christmas they start talking about the toy of their dreams, and it’s not the one under the tree. 🙂 Thankfully, they are usually still delighted with the original gift. Have a Merry Christmas!! I’m sure Sean will love the pirate boat!

  16. After all pressies were bought, wrapped and placed away for the BIG DAY – my two girls sat on Santa’s knee. Oldest said she wanted and alarm clock (????) and youngest wanted a build-a-bear.

    First time knowledge of both of these goodies!

  17. Given the attention span of most children, I bet he’ll have forgotten all about BOTH previous wish lists by next Tuesday. I predict he’ll be thrilled with whatever is under the tree, simply because it’s right there in front of him.

  18. We always tried to get our kids whatever they asked Santa for, but tried to guide them in that direction. I was totally surprised one year when my five-year-old daughter asked Santa for a fishing pole!

  19. I have a theory that all kids really know who Santa is and this is their prime opportunity to torment us and see how many times we’ll actually go back to Toys R’ Us.

  20. Tee hee. Antique Mommy, I laughed out loud at the thought of a “gay pirate boat” that would match your decor. Though, come to think of it, pirates – at least the ones in the movies – do wear their hair long, use eye liner and obsess over jewelry. Coincidence? Perhaps not. 😉 Thanks for the giggle.

  21. If it’s the same Fisher-Price pirate “peemo” boat that our youngest got for Christmas when he was three? There will be no disappointment at all. Does it shoot gray cannonballs? Is there a place below decks for pirates to “nap”? If so, I think he’ll be okay. Because…by Christmas Eve the idea of skates will also be so…um…yesterday.

  22. Oh, that’s why I start the letters to Santa before Thanksgiving. They have a chance to add or take away, but they know that the list is more of a wishlist for Santa and that they get whatever he brings them. Thank goodness for me, my kids are content with kiwi, pears and cookie dough!

    (Yeah, The Girl has already indicated a couple of things that she wishes Santa would bring, but dog-gone-it, she can’t find that list! Whew… because I’m done with the shopping. Yeah, disappointment is a valuable lesson for them to learn this time of year.)

  23. You certainly learned a lesson in Christmas disappointment, AM !! LOL No, I’m not laughing AT you, I’m laughing with you (I hope).

  24. I had to go back and read the past stories because I apparently was not a loyal reader at the time. Now my sides hurt from laughing so hard! Chicken wipes! Oh! Hahaha!

    Hopefully he’ll be happy with the pirate boat anyway. Since he changed his mind once, maybe he’ll change it again.

  25. He will love it. And he probably won’t even remember all the other stuff he asked for because he will be too busy playing with his brand new pirate ship.

    My little girl keeps thinking of new things that she wants. I told her the elves don’t know how to make them.

  26. At least Sean is discerning. When I handed my 3-year-old the Toys R Us catalog and a crayon, he told me he didn’t need the crayon. Pointing to every picture in turn, he wants, “this one and this one and…” My husband wisely helped him write a letter to Santa. So it’s over. He can’t change his mind now; the letter’s in the mail.

  27. Um, just so you know, he will suddenly think of something he can’t live without…Christmas Eve.

    Just between you and me? Though I am undeniably sad that the magic is over, I’m also sort of thankful that the Santa jig is up.

    This year when they started that, I told them in no uncertain terms that Santa was finished with his shopping, not to mention bankrupt.

  28. Um, just so you know, he will suddenly think of something he can’t live without…Christmas Eve.

    Just between you and me? Though I am undeniably sad that the magic is over, I’m also sort of thankful that the Santa jig is up.

    This year when they started that, I told them in no uncertain terms that Santa was finished with his shopping, not to mention bankrupt.

  29. Doesn’t that just burst your bubble?? My five year old did the same thing to me this year! And and top of that he saw the logo on the Lego box that came to the door a couple of days ago. Oh well, he’s lucky to be getting presents at all… 😉

  30. They make pirate ships?? That is so cool. When we were growing up the porch was a pirate ship.

    I was always the wench.

    I did all of the cooking,cleaning, and mending of wounds for the pirates.

    Things haven’t progressed much…

  31. Aw, come on AM! A scooter, ice skates, a Steve McQueen Set and a whistle are not so much on the scale of Sean’s cuteness. Get thee out to ToysRUs and buy the poor little dude his heart’s desires. I am thrilled that The Peemo Boat mystery is at last cleared up. Tell Sean that I am in Florida and though I see no snow — I DO SEE Chicken Wipes, too.

  32. If Sean is anything like my boy Abel, he’ll be thrilled when he actually opens the boat.
    This year, we poooled the money from us and both sides of grandparents and got him a super-expensive Lego set, knowing he wouldn’t even ask for it as it’s too much for us, knowing he’d be thrilled. And, of course, he’s been begging for something else and coming up with dream lists that don’t include it ever since we plunked that plastic down. Sigh… But past experience has taught us that when they actually SEE the toy, that’s the one they want.

  33. Murphy’s Law of Parenting, I swear!

    This year, my husband decided he would surprise our 8yo daughter with a new bike. She’s never had a new one, just a hand-me-down.

    The other day, out of the blue, she said, “You know, I must be a weird kid because I have NEVER wanted a bike for Christmas.” I said, “Yeah, you’ve never ASKED for one, but I’m sure if you saw one glistening under the tree on Christmas morning, you’d be excited.”

    She thought a moment, and said, “No, I doubt it.”

    ‘Tis the season to be disappointed?

  34. It IS so hard to be a parent, trying to teach gratefulness, all the while spoiling them rotten, which sometimes tends to come natural. In the past 11 1/2 years of being a parent, I’ve decided that shopping early is overrated. Don’t worry, Sean’s gratitude or disappointment over his presents will not last long, either way! Merry Christmas:)

  35. Conversation must always be delicate and manipulative when you’ve already purchased the gift. He’ll love the boat, especially with all of the subliminal messages you’ll be sending…

  36. He’ll love the pirate boat when he sees it. He just forgot how neat it was. 🙂

    You know what’s wrong with today’s kids? They don’t have the big Sears “Wishbook” to dog-ear the pages with, as they look and dream through the copious images of every toy imaginable.

    Flyers just don’t cut it. The kids need big heavy catalogs, like we had when we were kids.

    Poor things… they’re so deprived today… pirate boats and all.

    One in the Body~ Pearl

  37. we have 2 pirate ships and a castle currently….you would be amazed to know that a 4 wheeler drives the pirate ship and the castle is owned by Herbie. They get more play than anything else we own except lincoln logs. one of them even still floats.(we had a war in the pool this summer and the second one took a canonball and sunk
    steff

  38. My 17 year old was so into pirates for several years. WE had a pirate birthday party for kindergarten AND second grade.

    Don’t ask me how my husband figured it out—but his most unique word was Uncle No-nauf which turned out to be a locomotive. We still say it 15 years later. We also have hambergummies (hamburgers) and Sir Pup (syrup) from time to time.

    Who said that having kids limits your vocabulary?

  39. Oh me — this just happened to us. I went shopping — with knowledge, I thought — from all the kiddos what they wanted.

    After reviewing what I’d purchased with dear husband last night. He said, “Did you buy cowboy boots for the 12yo?”

    WHaaaa?? No…

    He said, “She told me that’s all she wanted for Christmas this year.”

    Whaaaa?? No…

    I think she is manipulating and seeing if she can get more gifts that way. Never mentioned the cowboy boots… but she is getting the CD player that she DID mention to me. Next year — she should plan a little better. Remember who is actually DOING the shopping.

    (How much do you want to bey she gets some cowboy boots from her daddy in January for some unknown Polish holiday — or something.) LOL

  40. update here….on the drive to my parents house thurs evening after all santa and all other bought….K tells my mom on the phone that Santa is bringing him a real GUTAR w/ strings and everything….UGGHH
    I have known for months he wanted a guitar and lil one wants drums but was going to wait one more year.
    steff

  41. Last night my 11yr old sat on my lap and I asked him ho ho ho what he’d like for Christmas. Then I quickly realized what a mistake this could be as all the gifts were bought and sent to my sister’s where we’d be spending Christmas… Luckily he named the things he’d wanted weeks ago that I bought! Yahoo! But I remember in years past, when he was younger, I learned to wait ’til the last week or two before Christmas to get his presents because his heart’s desire changed so frequently then. When he was 3 he opened his first present, a car garage with a lift, and he was so involved with it that he completely forgot to open any other presents. I quietly put them away and gave them to him for his birthday months later!

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