Did It For The Wrong Reason
My kids only get toys on their birthday and Christmas.
Occassionally, Grandama will show up bearing gifts. But lets be honest, there is no stopping a force of nature like a grandmother.
Tonight, I took the boys to Target to buy a few things we needed for the week. It has been a long weekend filled with soccer practice, soccer games, tantrums, Boy Scout events and fundraisers. My wife had spent half the day with my oldest helping to supervise the Boy Scout annual pizza fundraiser. I could tell she needed a break and her fibro was bad. We both needed a break.
So wanting to be Superman, savior of the day and an overall good guy I scooped the kids up and off we went. I got a bit frustrated and confused in the hair care aisle trying to juggle coupons and searching for a certain styling gel. As a bald man, this concept is completely lost on me. My youngest was knocking things off the shelf saying "uh oh" while my oldest was continuing a sentence that he started on thursday about the virtues of Pokemon . As I bent down to pick up the items the baby had knocked down I almost passed out from the aroma radiating from his posterior. I swear his diaper looked swollen to four times its normal size. I looked up at him and he smiled as he said "hi there". Soon panic set in. You guessed right. I left the diaper bag at home.
Off I went streaming through the store and the rest of my list. I needed to get out of there before somebody picked up the scent and reported me to the Depratment of Homeland Security for hiding a chemical weapon in my sons pants. My oldest boy was struggling to keep up, never skipping a beat in his description of his latest Pokemon battle. All the while I was searching for an Air Wick scented oil refill, deodorant and diaper wipes. The baby meanwhile was not quite aware of his predicament and was saying "hi" to every cute girl that walked by. As soon as they paused to smile at him the lovely baby essence would strike their nostrils and I got the stink eye for being a bad daddy. Such is the plight of the uber domesticated man.
Anyhizzle, by this time I'm sweating and I still can't find the toothpaste that was on sale that I have a double coupon for. No bother, I'll get it next time because by this time it was 7:30 and I've still got to get the kids home, bathed and showered, have our bible time and get them in bed by 8 p.m. I manage to slow to a jog and put a little more interest into the conversation that my oldest boy has been basically having with himself for the last twenty minutes. We happen to swing by the toy section out of pure coincidence and he asked if he could see if they had the new Bionicle series. He loves to build things, it is just the way his mind works. I love that about him. We found the right aisle and they had one last version of the thing he had been looking for for some time. He stared at it longingly. To his credit, he never asked for a thing. He knows the rule.
Something inside me said "Come on, just buy it for him".
I wanted to buy it for him because I wanted to do something nice for him that I knew he would like. I wanted to do it because I felt bad we had not spent a lot of time together this weekend, because his mom was sick with pain, because I rushed him around the store on a school night. I wanted to make it all up to him and I saw the toy as a way to accomplish that.
Visions of the episode of the Brady Bunch where Mike and Carol are on the verge of buying Bobby the coolest bike in the world to "win him over for life". They pause as they think about their motives. The Bradies were wiser than me for they resisted the guilt purchase.
I did it for the wrong reasons. Guilt. Self-loathing. Pick your descriptor.
I promised myself that I would never be that kind of parent. I have failed miserably.
Peace to all.