Parenting Gone Awry

It Doesn’t Get Much Better

Awhile back our church had a food drive of some sort and there were rows of filled grocery sacks lined up in the lobby.  As we walked past,  Sean noticed  that one of the sacks had a big bag of marshmallows on top.  “Oh Mom!” he exclaimed, “Do you think we could get some marshmallows some day?”  I told him I thought we might be able to swing that.

* * *

For his recent birthday,  he said he wanted a headset that had a mouthpiece so he could be an air traffic controller.  No problem.  I dug out an old telephone headset from the obsolete electronics box, wrapped it up and called it a birthday.  And he was thrilled.  Since then, many an airplane has been safely landed in my den.

* * *

And this! This is what he said he wants for Christmas. It just so happens that his teacher at school has one.


A trip to the teacher store this morning and $3.99 and my Christmas shopping is done.  Oh I’ll get him something else too — what kind of mom do you think I am?   I’ll probably spring for a nice orange or maybe even a new pair of underwear.

* * *

These days when I can make his every wish come true are golden, especially given that I can grant any wish for for $5 or less.  When his desires move beyond a bag of marshmallow or a roll of scotch tape, I could be in trouble.

32 thoughts on “It Doesn’t Get Much Better

  1. Often Christmas is all about making us happy – it takes much less to Happify our kids.

    Most kids would be happy if we just spent a little more time with them… and it would truly make our day as well.

    Happy Holidays!

  2. The simplist gifts are often the best. My son used to thank me profusely when I went to the store and brought home toilet paper–he knew what was important!

    My daughter only wants for Chanukah what she wanted for her birthday–for us to use the money and donate to heifer international. She picks the animals that will she thinks would do the most good. She is very happy, the recipients are very happy, and I am so very proud.

  3. I love this stage where the little things are HUGE to them. My 2YO plays more with our old phone than anything else he has… now, if I’d just had the good sense to wrap it up and make it a present.

  4. And those big boxes. One Christmas my son was the happiest when he opened a box and jumped inside. He didn’t notice the spendy toy inside. And they say the adult is supposed to be the smart one.

  5. Oh I have one of those hand things from my school days! It makes a great back scratcher too. If you play your cards right, Sean might just pretend to be a massage therapist and let you be his client. Do massage therapists scratch backs?

    * * * *

    It just occurs to me that back scratching is way more “personal” than a back massage! Why is that? I can’t stand the thought of someone scratching my back that is not my big boyfriend, my little boyfriend or my mom! These are not thoughts I wanted to have at 8am! ~ AM

  6. Could I please borrow Sean? My kids are bigger and their wish list gets bigger and more expensive. I wish I had a daughter his age so we could match ’em up…he will be a great son-in-law someday! 😉

  7. One of my favorite things about the stage my boys are at (4 and 2) is that you can give them a new box and they are happy.
    Everything is still new and exciting and wonderful to them.
    Which is wonderful to me!

  8. These are the days, right?! The one and ONLY thing Dacey wants for Christmas is roller skates. No amount of further questioning could reveal any other wants or wishes. I love this age. So simple, it’s inspiring.

  9. I had to laugh when I scrolled down and saw the pointers. I just finished a Book Fair in my library at school and the kids go crazy for those silly things. I have learned to have the Book Fair people send four boxes so I will have enough.

    The absolute FUNNEST thing is to pretend you are picking your nose with it.

    Good times.

  10. My kids have not yet moved out of this stage and they span between 4 and 14. This year their BIG present was flannel sheets (which we have already opened in an early Christmas celebration) You would have thought they had been given IPODs and a Wii from their reponse. I’m always amazed by their gratitude.

    I think I may steal the air traffic headset idea for my youngest. I love creative gifts!


  11. There was the time I totally made my boys’ day by buying a box of paper clips for each of them. All of two dollars and they had hours of fun!

    The other biggie was a roll of aluminum foil each. Again, maybe $3.00 total and countless hours of entertainment. 😀

  12. My 3 yr old is still in the constant switch of Christmas wishes. “I want a toy duck.” “I want a race track.” “I want a Barbie.” The 5 yr old has started to get specific. “I want a REAL cupcake maker. And a whistle.” Still fairly reasonable, although I understand those cupcake mixes for the cupcake maker are pricey.

  13. Yesterday was my daughter’s 15th birthday. One of her favorite gifts was the gallon jar of dill pickles ($4.00 from Walmart). She had asked for several expensive gifts (new IPOD-which she did not get) but was so appreciative of the things she DID get – her favorite store bought cookie, bag of her favorite candy and some money to spend on clothes. She used her $100. gift certificate from Aerepostle on their clearance web site and got 7 articles of clothing for her money. It made her bargain hunting mom happy and proud!

  14. Just you wait until his list includes a new golf driver, a North Face jacket and Under Armour gear. $5 won’t even cover the shipping.

  15. Yesterday, I took my 4 and 6 year old girls to Wal-Mart’s for a few items. We haven’t been there in a while and on rare occasion do we go to the mall. We never even made it to the toy section. What did they want for Christmas? Sparkly pink folders, rubbermaid storage boxes with handles, paint, notebooks with colorful covers. It made me fill good inside that they are so thrilled with the simple. Sure will make my job easier and cheaper.

  16. my Dd asked for a “big Box” for Christmas three years in a row! the third year she asked that santa bring one for “uncle D” too “so he would stay out of mine!”
    Last year the best thing my boys unwrapped were the rolls of duct tape (it comes in fun colors)in their stockings. this year it’s gonna be a re-run (that stuff runs out you know, after about a dozen swords and sheilds from plywood and sticks)

    Mrs N

  17. That’s so sweet. My husband is very tech-savvy, and my 2-year-old boy wants to be just like him. He loves nothing better than to play with Papa’s cast-off cords and spare computer parts. One of my son’s first phrases was “network switch.” 🙂

  18. so good to have you back…and yes, these days are sweet and short. For my daughter’s last birthday, she begged for a clipboard, so she can play school at home. She’s also been known to ask for a ream of typing paper (can you tell she’s the daughter of a writer?)

  19. Although I feel sure you don’t need suggestions for gifts, I am on fire for a book that I recently discovered that should be a staple in every child’s home. It is called “Have you Filled a Bucket Today” by Carol McCloud and it is a “new twist on the Golden Rule”. It explains to children we all carry an invisible bucket in which we keep our feelings about ourselves. When our buckets are full, we are happy. When they are empty, we are sad. We can fill our own bucket and so can others but we can also dip into them by hurtful words and actions. Many schools in the author’s area are incorporating the idea and it is so refreshing! check the author’s website out at And, no, I do not know her but I love what she is doing! I have already bought one for my 2 month old grandson!

  20. Oh, I am a first grade teacher and I own three of those pointing fingers. I love them; the kids love them for pocket chart centers. BUT: I was just given their baby cousins: miniatue pointing fingers the size of pencils to use on the overhead projector for pointing. To die for…for six year olds. Everyone totally pays attention when I ask for “volunteer pointers” using these babies. Maybe you should return to the Teacher Supply Store for the little clear plastic set for him!

  21. My son has one of those pointers, too! He bought it a a school book fair when he was five, because his teacher had one! He’s now seven and still plays with it. ALOT.

  22. What a precious little boy! Oh, what I wouldn’t give to have my now 18 yo son, at age 7 again, even if just for one day.

    I enjoyed my first visit here immensely. Can’t wait to read more next time…


  23. My son when aged nearly four puzzled Santa by asking for a small suitcase. Some one had told him he would need to pack his suitcase to go to his grandparents when his sister was born.

  24. My eight year old daughter has one of those and it is a favorite!! It looks especially charming when she poses with it, as if it were her own hand…the quizical look (head tilted and eyes upward, while the pointed finger rests on her chin), the digging in the ear pose is always nice and of course the nose picking pose. I don’t think I have ever seen her ‘play school’ with it as she claimed she would…

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