Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Here are my heartstrings. Go ahead. Pull 'em.

It's getting to be that time of year again. You know. Christmas. When the toy catalogs start rolling in and the toy commercials so cleverly spaced between the cartoons really kick it into high gear. Bubba has already made a list of about a gazillion things he wants, most of them either knight, Transformer or ninja related (that boy, he definitely has a one track mind).

On top of Christmas you have to throw Bubba's birthday into the mix, which means more opportunities for toys. Bubba, on the whole, is not an "I want, I want" kind of kid. He can usually be pacified with a Hot Wheel car, which you can usually get for around 97 cents (THANKS, Mattel!).

But when Bubba really wants something, he really wants it.

Last year Bubba had his heart set on this:
THAT, my friends, is a Lionel Polar Express Train which retails for, at MINIMUM, $245. Well. We didn't have $245 to spend on a Lionel Train for a child who JUST turned 4, so I bought him a lovely train set for about 1/6 that price from Wal Mart. Bought it early even. But see, we live literally right around the corner from an amazing train store. AND one of our favorite activities is to walk over there and have the very nice old gentleman run the trains for us. So Bubba was a bit spoiled as far as trains go.

One night close to Christmas I was putting Bubba to bed and we were talking about what Santa might bring.

"I hope he brings me my Polar Express train."

"Well, Bubba. Santa might not be able to bring the Polar Express train. I don't know if he has that kind in his shop. It might be another kind of train."

Cue the heartbreak. No tantrum. No screaming. Just a quiet welling up of tears in the eyes and the crumpling of his sweet little face.

I couldn't help it. I started crying too. That was the first Christmas that he was really excited and it just broke my heart to know that he was going to be disappointed by Santa (of all people!) on Christmas morning. I hugged him and said that maybe Santa would bring the Polar Express train. We'd see.

When I told my mom this story it broke her heart too, and being the angel that she is offered to help us pay for the Polar Express train. And you've never seen a more excited child on Christmas morning.

And now we've started in this year. Last week I signed Bubba up to have his 5th birthday at the fire station. When I told him he didn't seem all that excited.

"Did you sign me up for my birthday in pencil?"


"Did you sign me up in pencil? Cause I want you to erase it and sign me up for my party at Pump It Up." So polite. So restrained. So wistful. And there goes my heart again.

Bubba loves Pump It Up almost as much as he does ninjas/knights/Transformers, but a party there is just out of our price range at the moment. I know he'll have a good time at the fire station once he gets there -- especially since he wants everyone to come in costume.

I also know I can't give in to every request he's going to make over the next 13 or so years. But that sure doesn't make it any easier.


AndreAnna said...

Awww, that's the sweetest story. Made me wish *I* could throw him a party at Pump It Up.

Lulu said...

Oh sweet Bubba! I've never even heard of Pump It Up...sounds like something to do with Arnold Schwarzenegger or something. Hmph.

I'm sure that he'll have a great birthday at the fire station! I didn't even know that you could do that kind of thing. Pretty cool!

Esme said...

What a little sweetheart -- but poor you! It kills me when I have to say no to things like this, for budget reasons -- especially when the request is for something so innocent (and made so sweetly!)

Now, when my 14-year-old asked for a blackberry (!!!!) for her birthday, that was much easier to say no to!

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Ahhh . . . that makes me just want to hug you both! Him for being so sweet as he hoodwinks you into what he really wants and you for going to such lengths to make him happy. So sweet!

Lauren said...

It's so funny that he understands the whole "penciling something in" concept...what a little man!