Sunday, April 27, 2008

Always be prepared.

In a few weeks, we will take a friend up on her offer to go camping. Obviously, this is a terrible idea, but there are some things of our pre-kid life that we are ready to reclaim, and one of them is the occasional camping trip.

No doubt, Connor will have fun. Our friends have a toddler about the same age, so together I'm certain they will figure out how to encrust themselves in dirt and hopefully, they will figure out how to completely exhaust themselves so they fall asleep at some point.

Following the boy scout motto to always be prepared, Connor and Ed went to a sporting goods store today and came home with an enormous tent (that will hopefully fit a matress for Connor, a matress for Ed and me, and Helen's pack-n-play). Connor got his own sleeping bag - that I am very hopeful he will pass out in at some point.

Those items were all on the list. A list, I might add, that I have been talking to Connor about a lot, trying to curb his desire to purchase everything when we go places. You see, I simply tell him before we go to the toystore or Target, or wherever, that we made a list of things we needed and even though we might see things we don't need that we want, we're only going to buy the things on the list. As far as I know, Connor can't read, so I can actually amend the list as I like with no consequences. But he has gotten to the point where he totally respects the list. (Not that I actually take him shopping much, but when I do, he knows we're only getting our list items.)

Ed needs to adopt a list approach to shopping. I say this because even though Ed is clearly the more even-keeled when it comes to shopping, and even more clearly he owns only about one-tenth of all the crap in the house, he has a complete inability to say no to Connor when it comes to buying stuff - even though Ed is the first to point out that little man needs to get rid of some of his stuff. Case in point? Last year, I sent them to Target to get a mock like-a-bike. What did they come home with? The mock like-a-bike (which Connor is still too short for), another little bike - which totally goes against the like-a-bike as it is traditional in every sense of the word (that conversation we had about why I wanted to get the like-a-bike instead of a traditional bike for Connor? forgotten), and an enormous blue and yellow plastic dumptruck. When they got home, Ed explained that Connor was too short for the item they were sent to get, but the other bike looked smaller (it is not) and it seemed like Connor would be ready for it (he is not) and after wearing me down about the bike, he started in on how Connor had spotted the dumptruck and he drove it all through Target, and brought joy to every shopper there, and how could I even think of asking him to pry it out of Connor's hands rather than just pay for the damn thing?

This time when the two of them went shopping, they came home with one additional item. A fishing pole. It was raining outside, and Connor told Ed they needed to keep it dry on the way to the car. Because, uh, I guess fishing poles that are in their new plastic container are really precious and rain might make them melt. Sensing that keeping the pole dry was probably not possible, Connor looked up at Ed and said "I can dry it off with my shirt", which he did once they were in the car. Problem solved.

Connor's first words out of his mouth when he got home were about the fishing pole, and when I looked at him and asked him if it was on the list, he got a very worried look on his face. He looked at me knowing he had violated a very important shopping rule, and he was probably wondering if Ed was going to get in trouble for violating this very important rule. Rather than taking the opportunity to lie (which he is totally willing to do in other circumstances when he is caught red handed) and tell the that it was on the list, Connor just stared at me, because I guess he knew since I can read and he can't, he doesn't have much standing in the debate about whether an item is on the list or not. I then looked at Connor and said "don't worry, Connor, you can keep that super cool, groovy fishing pole, Daddy must have seen it and decided to add it to the list". Relief appeared on Connor's face as he went on to tell me about his tackle box, and the worms, and can you help me open this, pleeeease?

And yes, Eamon, we plan to share the precious fishing pole with you so we can all enjoy fishing in a few weeks, along with camping. Because two toddlers near water with a pole and a net? That is such a good idea!



  1. Uh oh. I'll have to go shopping (with a list) 'cause I'm seeing a spot of bother with two toddlers and only one fishing pole.

  2. i'll be watching to see how it goes. i am going camping with my family and the Brownies. did i mention how much i hate camping? and i am trying really hard to hide it from the kids so that they have a shot at liking it.

    i hope i survive.