I'm not gonna lie...I totally stole this idea from Kelle over at Enjoying the Small Things. (I couldn't find her actual post, so I just linked to her home page.) Gotta give credit where credit is due, ya know?
Yesterday was Brian's birthday. I took the kids to the Dollar Store and told them they could each pick out three things, plus a card, for Dad. That was the end of my guidance or direction. From there, I let them take the lead and browse the aisles for whatever they thought would make their Dad happy.
Cans of Silly String were discovered early on, and were contemplated for quite a while. I think they were thinking things like, I know Dad would really want this - that's not the question. But what color?
Emma has a collection of snow globes. That's why I'm sure it made total sense to Noah that his Dad would probably love a Garden Snow Globe.
But the globe was quickly forgotten about when we wandered over to the candy aisle. Now I'm sure that Noah only had Dad's desires at heart when he was contemplating which bunch of lollipops to get. Although he did try to make a case for getting both - one for him, and one for Dad.
Isaiah was also lured by the lollipops, and I began to wonder if this plan was going south.
It definitely went south when Noah decided that he had found the perfect three items for Dad: a bag of Tootsie Rolls, a bunch of Lollipops, and a bag of Sugar Free Lemon Drops.
I ran into a friend while we were shopping who commented, "wow, you're patient" as I stood back and let my kids have their fun. Truthfully, it was fun to just sit back and watch the kids do what they do, without any sort of agenda.
Somehow, their agenda kept landing us back in the balloon strings.
Emma was way more reserved than I expected. She followed the boys around and watched them make their selections, and carefully checked things out herself. She spent a lot of time pondering which silk leaf her Dad might want the most.
The kids were amused and slightly grossed out by the bloody fingers in the Halloween display. Thankfully none of those made it into the cart.
The card selection was fun, since of course the boys can't read. They took about nine seconds each to scan the rack and pick out the card that best represented their feelings for their Dad.
The inside of Noah's card read, "Happy Birthday, Girl!"
But then the boys turned around and at the same time saw Dinosaur birthday cards. Yep, Brian ended up with two of the same dinosaur-shaped cards.
Emma was about to put the white flowers in the cart, because she knew "Dad would like these". But just to be sure, she wanted to check the candy aisle one more time.
Isaiah had selected a nice pair of red reading glasses. But in the end, he was also tempted by the candy selections. He did manage to hang on to the shiny, green, palm tree. Emma kept commenting on how glad she was that Isaiah chose the tree, because "that's a really nice tree, and I think Dad will really like it".
The kids were SO excited to give Brian their presents. They just wanted to bless him on his special day.
"Maybe Daddy will share with us!"
Brian thanked Isaiah for the shiny tree, and promised to display it on his desk at work. True to his word, he took it with him this morning.
Dinosaur card #1.....
Dinosaur card #2.....
Box of Dots #1.....
Box of Dots #2.....
...wait for it................
...Box of Dots #3!
Sweet Braxton enjoyed the party with the company of Grandma and Great-Grandma.
And, in the classiest move of all, I asked Brian to pick up his own cake on his way home from work. Yes I did. He had requested a Tres Leches cake from Costco, and I had every intention of picking it up myself, when I went out to pick up dinner. But Costco is way out of the way. And I have a nursing baby that I have to schedule things around. And three other little kids* to keep track of, too. And the more I thought of it, it just made sense to have Brian get it. And bless his heart, I really don't think he minded. But I still made him promise not to bring it up years later, like he still does over the spoken "card" I gave him a few years back.
Brian, you are a fantastic husband and father. I hope we made you feel blessed, in our own weird way. Next year, the cake's on me!
*I actually have four other kids, but one isn't "little", and he's in fact in Chicago visiting friends and family. Otherwise there might have been four boxes of Dots.