Sunday, December 09, 2012

It was a dirty, low-down trick to pull…

…but I just couldn’t resist…

So, it was Boo Bug’s fifth eleventh birthday today. She had been asking for an iPod for her birthday. Repeatedly. It was, in fact, the only thing she had asked for – even though every time she brought it up, I snarled, “NO! TOO EXPENSIVE! TOO DELICATE! PICK SOMETHING ELSE!”

I continued doing this even after I had the Nano safely hidden under the bills in my desk drawer.

Because I am evil.

Oh, you don’t believe me. Read on.

This morning, I had to run to the drug store for the usual two things that had completely slipped my mind until, like, an hour before Everybody was supposed to arrive. (If I ever didn’t do this, I’m pretty sure the world would end.)

As I walked through the door, my eye fell on a floor-to-ceiling display of toys. You know, the kind that are a) for babies and b) really, really cheap.

Not only were they on sale, they had enormous, red-and-yellow, 400-point font stickers on front of them declaring that they were half-price and also buy two get one free.

I began to giggle to myself. OH yeah, it MUST be done...

I combed that toy section looking for the most perfectly awful thing I could think of for my Boo. Something that would horrify her, but be juuuuuuust close enough to reasonable to have her thinking that dear Gah, her mother REALLY DID buy THAT for her birthday present.

Finally, I found it: A set of My Little Pony knockoffs, with horrifically cheap little brushes and other accoutrements and grins on their horse-faces that were all like, “HI! WE ARE SO HAPPY IT IS RIDICULOUS HOW HAPPY WE ARE! WE ARE GOING TO BE CHEERFUL LIKE THIS, LIKE, FOREVER! BECAUSE HAPPINESS IS OUR THING! GROUP HUG!!!!!” – because, of course, your average fifth grader is all about the fake My Little Pony with enormous plastic grins.

And I left that damned ‘half off / buy three get one free’ sticker on the front of the box.

Also, I got the kind of poofy-princess gift bag your average five year girly-girl type old would die for, and the fairy-castle tissue paper.

And a super-sized Kit-Kat bar. And a super-frilly blue ribbon. Which I stuck more-than-a-bit off-center onto the candy bar before dropping it into the wadded up tissue on top of the ponies in the bag.

And then…I waited. Like a malevolent spider tending the web. I watched her open her friend’s present. I watched her pull out the new pajamas from Grandma (who also had gotten her an iTunes card, which I’d hidden in the office with the Nano).

And then…then…she picked up the bag. An eyebrow raised over the Princessy Princess of All-Star Pinkity-Pink Princess (now with more princess!) bag, but she made no comment.

She pulled out the candy bar, and looked at me suspiciously.

I attempted to look innocent while inwardly choking half to death on laughter.

She pulled out the Plastic Ponies.

There was a long pause.

“Oh. These are…really cute…” she said politely, surreptitiously peering into the bag. Empty. She made a couple more passes at acting like she liked the stupid things, before zinging me with a typical example of Boo Bug humor.

“Oh. And they were on sale,” she observed, drily, tapping the ENORMOUS sticker.

“Ooooooooooh, no! Did I forget to take the stupid sticker off?!” I shrieked.

“Ya, I think you did,” she smiled serenely. Zzzzzzzzzzzing!!

Now, the really awesome thing is: She actually bought it. For the, like, thirty seconds that I let her suffer before bringing out her real present, she actually thought that her poor, obviously-not-altogether-with-it mother had really bought her a $6.99 $3.50 set of cheap plastic not-my-little-ponies, complete with unusable brush and three-pronged comb.


Oh, yeah. Giving the Denizens things to tell their therapists about in years to come…it is my mission in life…

I’m rather proud of her, though. I suspect in that moment when she was looking at this thing and thinking that this had to be in the top ten worst birthdays of all time, she was half-ready to ask for a divorce from this whole family. And when I was eleven, I’m not sure I would have handled that sort of disappointment so handily; at best, I would have pulled an immediate and thorough disappearing act.

But she handled it so beautifully, with grace and good-nature and by the way a side-helping of teasing me right back.


Yeah. I like the woman she is growing to be. Sweet and spicy. Kind and (a little) sarcastic.

Loving but don’t mistake her for an emotional boot-scraper.

That’s my girl.

Happy birthday, kiddo. Hope you enjoy being able to listen to your music, without arguing with your sisters (or your parents, for that matter) about whether it is cool or lame or too loud or too soft or theirs or yours or anybody else’s.


terena said...

she is so awesome!!!!!! and you are evil, plain and simple.

Steph B said...

A mother after my own heart! And kids too....gotta love it!

CeltChick said...

Let's hear it for "evil" Mamas! My darling child will turn 30 next spring; I'm already planning a plethora of "over the hill" presents and maybe a stripper....

PipneyJane said...

Happy Birthday Boo!

(I remember when she was born. How did she get to be 11 already????)

- Pam

Anonymous said...

LOL! OMG, you’re Evil, but Funny Evil. Great kid, that she was so gracious. Do you think she'll get you back for it? If so, will you tell us that story too please?