Tis the season for my mother to start holiday shopping. Granny Fry, I am convinced, starts shopping for next year's Christmas on December 26. Sometimes, she is so ahead of the game that she often forgets what it is that she bought until she stumbles upon it when hiding the latest thing she bought for one of her grandkids. Mainly this applies to my niece who is very easy to spend money on because she loves girly girl stuff. If glitter and sequins cover it, buy it. My older nephew is the video game king and there is always a latest game to get around that time. It's the kiddo that is the challenge to her. Well, frankly to me too. What else is new?
She's been asking. (Yes Mom, as you read this, I do have a list, I swear. I will email it to you.) I've discussed this here before. Shopping for gifts for him is tough. Just freaking hard. I don't know what he'll want half the damn time and I gave birth to him. Now I have all these well meaning relatives that want to buy him presents too? Good lord, you all are driving me to drink. (P.S. Buy Mama Fry more boxed wine. Easy to wrap!) As much as I want to say "Please he doesn't need anything." or "Gift cards/cash", I know it will be countered with "But he has to open something!!!!"
So I'm thumbing through the latest catalog from Fun and Function. (Go google them. They do have some cool stuff for spectrumy quirky kids. They didn't pay me to say this. I just honestly like them.) I'm making my list and I'm reading all the online reviews, trying to figure out what he'll actually like. I started to dismiss something as not "age appropriate" for him. Not that he wasn't old enough for it. Quite the opposite. I'm constantly catching myself doing this. Deciding not to get something. Or getting wrapped up in this idea that something is too young for him. Babyish, if you will. You know what? I'm a big old hypocrite for even thinking that.
As I thought "Oh he's too old for this.", not an hour earlier I had texted a friend of mine a link to a cartoon ad we both liked. I did this next to the Star Trek Enterprise toy that belongs to my husband, not our son. I enjoy watching The Polar Express with my son all the freaking time. Going to new Pixar movies excite me more than him. My husband builds forts and hangs out there with our kiddo. I tend to get annoyed at those bouncy house places that adults aren't allowed on the slide. I want to go on one! On vacation, my husband and I engaged in a battle royale with an air hockey table at an arcade. Kiddo wasn't even playing. He was to busy stuffing his face with popcorn. Acting our age? Not even close. So why am I so wrapped up in this? Why does it matter if a puzzle is considered to be not in the right age bracket for him. Does it make him happy? Will he use it? That's all I really need to worry about here.
Recently, I started to see him rediscover some of the old TV shows and cartoons that I guess you could say are more in line with a five year old than a nine year old. I started to see it's because he can actually follow the plot. It's not just noise on in the background anymore. So big deal if he wants to watch them. Even the really trippy ones, like Yo Gabba Gabba. (I'm still not sure what FooFa is and I'm not sure I want to know.) My husband is still searching for a copy of "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol". If I ever find it, I'm buying it for him. Why should I care if the kiddo wants to watch the Weird Al Yankovic "Circus" episode daily? (I think we can all agree that it was a superior episode of Yo Gabba Gabba. Minus that whole making Broobie a clown because clowns are creepy.)
New this holiday season, the kiddo has started a list! He's never done that before. I'm kind of stoked about that. One item, well I guess they are what a lot of nine year old kids would want. A skateboard and all I can think is "Oh he's way to little for that. Nope. No way. Too small. He'll hurt himself! Not my teeny tiny baby who weighs 74 pounds!" Man I like moving that whole age appropriate argument around to suit me when I need it. I wonder if I can get one with the Plex the Magic Robot on it? Cause why not balance it all out? We do as neurotypicals aka "Muggles". And here I am referencing Harry Potter, a book series for kids. See my point? :-)