Thursday, December 04, 2003

Making a list

Well, it's that time of year again, isn't it?

My wife finally held the kids down long enough to get them to make a Christmas list (it's not like it's a HUGE problem for them to tell us what they want ... usually, it's the other way 'round). The Youngest Aardvark Child (YAC, and believe me she does), at 13 has finally started to turn the corner into young adulthood. She only put ONE "toy" type item on her list. She has mostly moved on to jewelry, music and movies. ::sigh:: She even had CLOTHES on her list this year.

I thought I taught her better than that.

I haven't made my list yet, but I can guarantee you one thing; there won't be ANY clothes on it. If I need clothes, I buy 'em. I don't want them as a gift. You see, I never got over the 10 year old boy desire for TOYS. Computer games, board games, puzzles, books, puzzle books, gadgets, gizmos, doodads, toys for the office (yes, as a matter of fact, I DO own a singing hamster. Doesn't everyone?), CDs, DVDs, and anything else that will hold my attention for more than a minute. But don't give me clothes. My family knows this, which is the reason why MY kids always do their shopping for dad at the toy store (or the Museum Store, or Natural Wonders, or other places that sell the "Gee whiz" kind of merchandise).

Don't get me wrong, if I DO receive clothes (like from my Mother-in-law), I AM grateful. It's not that I don't appreciate the gift or the thought behind it. It's just that there's a 10 year old inside me that's jumping up and down saying, "Ok, great, now what's in THAT package? Maybe it's a TOY!!!!" I keep thinking that one day I'll grow up, but I'm not holding my breath (Hey! THAT'S grown up right there!) or anything.

Now Mrs. Aardvark ... well, let's just say that her list making abilities leave something to be desired (that's the nice way to say, "They suck"). First off, she NEVER shops for herself (unless I force her too). She can think of things to buy for people she met one time sixteen years ago, but she has NO IDEA what she wants for herself. Last year was the first year we could get her to actually make a list. While the rest of the Aardvark's had a dozen (or so) items on their list, she only managed about three:

* Toenail clippers
* Socks
* Dental floss

Ok, so that isn't the real list ... trust me, the actual list wasn't much better. After reading her list to us, the YAC says, "Wow mom (It's the same UPSIDE DOWN and REVERSED!), you really stink at making a list. Maybe you should let me coach you." Yep. That's what she needs. Lessons from a 12 year old on how to dream up things you want (nothing like getting coached by an expert).

So this morning, my wife is reading me the YAC's and EAC's (E for Eldest) lists (I haven't made one yet). I asked her, "When are you going to write YOUR list?" At which point, she turned and headed for the bedroom saying, "I need to finish getting ready." Naturally, I followed her.

"So what about your list?"

"I stink at making a list." (she was smiling and pouting too. Awwwwww)

"Yes, you do, honey. Yes, you do. Do you need (YAC) to help you this year?"

"No."

That's where we left it. It remains to be seen whether or not we'll get a list out of her.

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