One of the things I love so very much about CTWM is the way we get real. Parenting is messy, stressful, and quite lacking in glamour and we like to dish about it all. So, lest you think I’ve got my shit together 24/7, let me tell you a little story about a birthday gift…
It’s Sunday and we have a birthday party to go to in the afternoon. We haven’t picked up a gift for the cutie birthday boy yet because, well, that’s just the kind of people we are. No worries, we’ll grab it on the way.
So, we get the kids loaded in the van. We had spent the morning hiking and running through the sprinkler and my little ones are looking like they could use a nap. Not 5 minutes out of the driveway and they are knocked out. Sweet! We had about an hour before the party started…kids could nap in the car, one of us could run in to Toys R Us to grab a gift – perfect! It’s almost as if we planned it or something.
So the wife runs into the store and comes out with a remote control car the size of our 2 year old. Cool gift. Not gonna fit in the gift bag I had grabbed before we left the house.
No problem, she says, the dollar store up the road has over-sized gift bags that will be perfect. So, we drive over there (kids still sleeping, thank goodness) and this time *I* run into the store. Clearly, she can’t be trusted.
You already know where this is going don’t you?
No gift bags. We’re gonna be late to the party. Glaring at wife.
Out of options, we press on to the party place – with an unwrapped gift. When we arrive, one kid is still asleep so I send my wife inside with the other two. While my daughter catches a few extra snoozes, I dig around in the van to figure out *something* to do with the gift.
Located tape and tissue paper. Not bad, I can do something with this! So, I’m standing there in the parking lot of the play place, tape hanging out of my mouth, sweat beading up on my forehead (do you remember how hot it was on Sunday??), jigsawing random pieces of tissue paper onto a box the size of my college dorm room. All while smiling and waving to the good and prepared families walking by me into the party with the most beautifully packaged gifts you’ve ever seen.
This is so my life.
But anyway. I’m making good progress, the box is almost covered, and I’m down to my last sheet of tissue paper. At that moment, a gust of wind rips the sheet out of my hand, straight across the parking lot. OF COURSE. I stand there paralyzed for a moment glancing between my sleeping daughter and the last.sheet.of.paper sitting right over there. I race after it while preparing a speech in my head, “But officer, I didn’t really leave her.”
Okay, paper obtained, back to the car, no interception by law enforcement, and the gift is finally “wrapped”.
- At least I’ve got that sweet card made by my son to distract from the wrapping job.
I’m now drenched in sweat. I try to wake up my daughter but she’s in that super deep sleep and even when I stand her up, her legs buckle underneath her. Okey dokey. Deep breaths. So now I’m walking into the building juggling a 3 year old, massive box, and my purse. The tissue paper rips – naturally – and by the time I make it into the building and hand the gift over to the party mom, we are all looking a hot mess.
I offer a little, “I swear, the gift is better than it looks,” then escape to find my wife to do a little more glaring at her.
In the end the kids had a blast, we celebrated a fun little boy, and he loved his gift. It was *almost* all worth it.
This is so my life.