It’s that time of the year again…Veteran’s Day!
This means present-searching for Zach. I picked up a Veteran’s Day card for him an entire month ago, and ordered him some Smart Wool socks a few weeks ago. Luke was shown the presents, and sworn to secrecy. He helped hide the socks, and promptly forgot about the card.
I also wanted to get Zach a really nice gift (wool dress socks are lovely but not very exciting), and consulted with Luke.
“Luke, do you want to get Dad a reading tablet or a nice watch?”
Zach hasn’t worn a nice watch in ages, and has mentioned a few times that he would like one. It would really dress up his wrist. He could wave his arm around, while giving presentations at work, and look…managerial-ish.
“Oh Mommy, a nice watch,” Luke replied.
“Excellent,” I thought. I started making mental plans of how I would keep Ben from having a meltdown, brought on by the bright lights, shiny bits of metal and reflective glass cases at the jewelry store. Visual stimulus at its worst.
Luke continued, “A nice, BIIIIGGGG watch, Mommy.”
I nodded, “Oh, yes, well, Daddy has a big wrist. A big watch would make sense.” I say the most nonsensical stuff to my kids.
He then took the idea in a completely different direction. “Yes, Mommy. A nice, BIIIIGGGG watch, to replace the nasty one by his bed. It is a not good watch. It does not work well and looks bad. He needs a new, big watch, with loud music, to wake him up in the morning.”
Obviously surprised, I agreed anyways, “Oh. You mean an alarm clock. Okay, I guess we could get that instead.” After all, the present was from the boys too.
We went to the store when Zach was out-of-town. Ben and Luke rode in one of those carts with two steering wheels. Benjamin tried to push Luke out of the cart with his hip, grabbing both wheels and shoving all of his weight onto Luke. Luke manfully took the abuse, while I chose an alarm clock that did not have an iPhone docking station. My choices were slim. Luke cried for help, and Benjamin was rebuked. He ceased hostilities, but remained unrepentant. In his mind, both steering wheels were rightfully his.
I told Luke not to tell Dad about the alarm clock. Luke agreed. I didn’t think there would be any problems keeping it a secret, with Zach out-of-town. Of course, that evening, I overheard Zach asking Luke over the phone if he ran any errands today. Zach was immediately entertained with tales of purchasing an alarm clock.
I mentally bonked my head on the wall. Thanks, kid. Luke assured me that it was still a secret, because even though Dad knew, Dad could just surprise himself with it. I told Luke that didn’t make any sense. No wonder I never say anything coherent to my kids. I am met with nothing but logical gibberish.
Zach came back from his work trip. We gave him the clock. I was a little bummed. No watch, no surprise, and not on Veteran’s Day.
Happy Veteran’s Day, Zach, from all of us. For tomorrow, I will wrap your socks. I hope you like them.
(He already loves the clock.)