Thursday, November 29, 2007

Playing Hooky Turned Out to Be Tooky

Lest anyone think I was boasting in that last post(which I really wasn't meaning to by the way. I just get so sick of everywhere we go, people in stores, family members, etc. asking my kids "what do you want for Christmas?" I hate that we just train them to be greedy this time of year and I am so grateful they don't have a list ready when someone asks them. Now if I could just figure out a way to get people to quit asking!), I think I should share my yesterday's fiasco with the group.

Well, we pulled Amabel out of school for the day to have pictures made for my mom's birthday. Rachael Catherine, do not tell her. Ahem, anyway, we made a morning out of going to see the annual Christmas train exhibit at the Botanical Gardens. If you live in St. Louis, you have to go! We have gotten to go every year for the past three years and it is one thing I will definitely miss next year. Every year there is a different theme and there are all different buildings and houses set up. This year's theme is Yellowstone National Park. There is even a working geyser! So how much fun to take your four year old who loves trains and your daughter who should be in school on a fun morning outing? Not very much, let me tell ya. First of all, we have the daughter who says she would really rather be in school. Second of all we have the four year old who does a strange squinting smile when you tell him to smile or take his picture. I tried to avoid this by not saying "smile!" but he did it anyway. When I asked him not to smile like that but just to be himself, he gave me the look that throws daggers (which he has picked up from his sister recently- hurray!) and pouted for a while before saying "I want to go now." Did I drive thirty minutes to stay for fifteen? No. So I decided I had an errand to do in the gift shop and then we could go feed the ducks some bread I had frozen and brought along.

At the gift shop the kids thought it was the most fun thing in the world to play with this huge box of colored rocks. I mean, any other day I have no objection to the joys of colored rocks. But for once I had an agenda. For once we were actually trying to stay on task because we had the appointment for pictures coming up. So we headed out to the bridge where the ducks and koi fish hang out, which is unfortunately at the very far side of the garden. We passed the playground on the way and they wanted to play there. We talked (again) about how we didn't have time because we were going to need to eat lunch at Chick-fil-A, a treat in and of itself, before getting our pictures made. They wanted to know if they could have a cookie at the mall. I mean, it was as if the whole morning they were saying, "Ummmm, this is alright, but what else ya got?"

By the time we got to the photographers', I was beyond frustrated and worn out. There had been a fiasco in the bathroom with August and the automated flushers (seriously, take those things out of kids' bathrooms! Out of all bathrooms. It's like we need three weeks of therapy after we use a public restroom!) and Amabel needlessly messing up her hair just before so that when the lady greeted me with "how are you?!" my only response was, "I do not anticipate this going well." And to my utter disbelief it went remarkably well! The pictures turned out great, but somehow the entire picture taking and buying experience took four hours! That was not the children's fault, however.

Anyway, in all of this I sort of realized that the reason my kids don't have a list a mile long at Christmas time is because they're spoiled rotten everyday! Well, they're not rotten most of the time, but they do seem to have things go their way an awful lot. Don't get me wrong, I have wonderful, well behaved, darling children. But it does seem like it takes an awful lot to impress them! So no wonder they don't have their hearts set on this generations' version of the Snoopy Snow Cone Machine (Awwww, the Snoopy Snow Cone Machine is one I had forgotten about too!), they're just not impressed! Oh wait, amend that, I did get a "how come we can't have Crocs?" yesterday while we were wandering through the mall waiting for our proofs to be ready. So that sort of throws off my whole understanding of the situation. Because why do colored rocks and cookies and free balloons (forgot to mention that whole thing), and Crocs impress them, and not Chick-fil-A and exciting outings and (though thank goodness) bright and festive toy advertisements? I feel like I'm playing late night "which of these things is not like the other?" I'll get back to you if I think I have it figured out. Those kids!

5 comments:

the good, the bad & the ugly said...

Abby,

This post is all too familiar, unfortunately. My kids are the ones that enjoy the boxes on Christmas morning. All the while, we are trying not to blow our tops and I am dreaming of the home decor I could have bought with the wasted money. :)

Renae said...

E-man is *very* afraid of those automatic flushers! He doesn't like how loud the flushers are anyway, but he *really* doesn't like them when they unpredictably flush maybe while you're still right there next to them. Even on good days, he has to leave the stall and go over by the sinks before we can have a tantrum-free flush.

I had the "why can't *I* have crocs?" from Madeleine. Then for her birthday we said we would get her a pair... I can't imagine wanting those unattractive shoes as my "big, nice" b-day present from my parents. But now she's got 'em.

I like the new blog look. I've been un-bloggy lately and hadn't been by in a while.

sara said...

Abby,
I hear ya--those auto flush things are TERRIBLE!!! I can't tell you how many MAJOR tantrums Macie had because she was terrified to use the public restrooms. I think she was 5 before she got over the noise, and she still holds her ears to this very day.

We unfortunately also have the "I wants" at our house. It is especially hard for us, because Macie and Max's birthdays both fall within 5 weeks of Christmas. So by the end of February, they are just expecting another round. But I do feel like Macie, as she is getting older, has a much better attitude about things. I am hoping it will rub off on the other two one day. Sara

RHB said...

Hey, four hours is not bad! I took CG twice to have her pics taken for Mama's birthday this week, and we still haven't chosen and ordered. My photographer friend didn't really "get" the whole baby on a beanbag picture taking deal. He thought I wanted to see the beanbag in the picture too, but well, not so much. After the first round and me saying "Could we just have the baby and not the beanbag?", he got it. He tried again yesterday (nice friend, huh?). However, I made it all the way to the shop with the baby, the beanbag, the freshly ironed clothes, but NOT the monogrammed blanket that was to be in the picture. All this after having to practically drive through the medieval district to park- you just wouldn't believe it even if I captured it on video- the places that people have to drive cars in this country- So I went all the way home to get the blanket and Mama said that it was on the hangar UNDER the dress. I was pretty frustrated by this point. But I think we got some nice pictures in the end.

Katherine said...

we have family pics tomorrow, but i definitely schedule mine early, so i can get them over with. however, gotta love the mother-in-law who bought awful Christmas outfits for the boys (i mean, it all starts with the PENGUIN on my 5month old's sweater), then asks if my 2 year old can hold my 5 month old in his toddler rocking chair for her Christmas card picture with their cousins. seriously, he's TWO lady. in a rocking chair???!!!

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