Trying Out New Toys

We had unseasonably warm weather for New England this year for Christmas. It was about 50 degrees on Christmas Day. Unfortunately, kids were not outside testing their new sleds and snow tubes. Instead, I saw a father outside with his children in an empty parking lot. The kids were obviously enjoying their new toys. The girl was riding a bicycle and the boy was crashing his remote control monster-sized SUV into a wall.

Although I was not close enough to notice, I could imagine the father cringing at the sight of that new toy hitting the wall! The scene really made me think of how proud the parents must have been that morning when they saw their children’s excitement as they opened their gifts. Then perhaps there was bit of relief that the children were actually playing with the toys and not the boxes they came in!

Though the girl was a bit wobbly on her bike, the bike itself seemed to be holding up fine. Did the Dad pay that extra twenty bucks for assembly? If not, he was probably awake half the night on Christmas Eve trying to get it just right. Can’t you picture it? Like a classic sitcom, his wise wife walks by the room just to shake her head every twenty minutes as her husband sits in the middle of the living room surrounded by nuts, bolts, and directions which never seem to have all the steps. We can’t forget the last minute scramble to find the batteries for that remote control SUV. That thing probably took more batteries than the local Toys R Us had in stock on December 24th.

Still, I’m sure it was all worth it as Mom got some needed relief and Dad took the kids out to enjoy their Christmas presents. Now it’s been two days and I am left to wonder…have the kids abandoned the toys yet and gone back to the boxes in which they were wrapped?

Other People’s Children

One of the great joys of parenthood must surely be arguing with your child in a crowded store. I was doing Christmas shopping in a department store the other day when a child asked his mother for a toy. He asked quietly, but she exploded! “NO! I bought you something yesterday. Why do you always have to ask for things in the store?” That set him off and he started to whine and cry and she dragged him away, both of them now yelling all the while.

The interesting thing is that her reaction caused his. I would like to ask her a question: Why bring him to the store if you know he is going to ask for things and you will be that upset over it? I would also like to answer the question she asked him: He asks for things because there has never been a child in the world who did not ask for things in stores- and get a large percentage of those things!

So, parents, how do you handle similar store situations?