Monday, December 04, 2006

So you think you've got a new idea, then...

Yesterday Madeleine went to a birthday party for the little guy that lives next door. He's a good friend of hers, and his mom is a good friend of mine. We had a busy weekend, and in place of regifting something crappy that Santa brought last year because he couldn't read Madeleine's Christmas letter very well, we did some last minute shopping for a gift, wrapping paper, tape and Clicky Black Shoes on the way to the party. There were no Clicky Blacks, which wasn't a heartbreaker, considering it was a gymnastics party and I doubt Clicky Blacks are especially helpful in the giant foam pit. But we did find some Lego thing and a racecar thing and all the rest. It was slightly stressful because we were late and I had to wrap the present in the front seat of the car. My wrapping job was so alarmingly shitty that I purposeful scrumped up the tape and wound torn paper around the batteries so it looked like Madeleine did it. I should be embarrassed by this, but it's not the first time it's happened.

Anyway, after the screaming - er, I mean the gymnastics part - was done, we migrated to the meat locker for the cake and presents. It was 34 degrees in the party enclosure. It's a joyous area, with a cement floor and 7-foot ceilings. Instead of blowing out the candles, the blue-lipped children huddled around them, nervously eyeing the dark corners of the room as if a skinned cow was going to come shooting out on meathooks. Pretty standard for winter parties in Montana. Ho-hum, can't feel my toes again.

So the best party of the party? The gift opening, of course. Not just because of the mob scene of kids pressing forward despite the Event Staff trying to keep them back with tasers and plastic forks. And not because of the cracked-out expression of the birthday boy as he shredded Madeleine's cute attempt at wrapping. It was IO's gift. Yes, I confirmed. Her name was IO. [Insert your own joke/shrug/confused frown here.] She gave him A ROCK!! No, you misunderstand - I'm not shocked or appalled. I'm completely and utterly fucking in awe! The birthday boy was not particularly interested, because the second gift was a noisy, clanging sword, which made me realize what a freaking chump I am. Every party, every year, last minute shopping, trying to be clever, trying to disguise shitty wrapping jobs, trying not be one of the tossed-aside-toys-in-lieu-of-a-noisy-sword people. From now on, it's all rocks, all the time. Maybe we'll mix in a stick or some pea-gravel on occasion, if we're feeling frisky, but from here on out it's gonna be earth. In fact, I bet the whole thing will catch on. Other parents will see the rocks and think, dammit! I'm such a freaking chump - I'm doing that next time! Maybe we'll even name our gifts - they can be like pets! Pet rocks! Brilliant! And then my mind goes EEEERRRRRRRRCH! Oh. Well, we're still doing the rock thing. But we'll call 'em iRock. Because I do.


Blogger meno said...

This made me think back to the time when i suddenly realized that i could use my child as the excuse for many things.
Don't want to go to some social event at the last minute? My child is sick.
Don't want to dress up? Em spilled something on the outfit i WAS planning to wear.
Crappy present? Em picked it out, isn't that sweet?
And etc.

I like the rock idea. You could even mix it up by painting a face or a bunny on it. The kid will never remember who gave them what.

12/04/2006 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer W. said...

I don't know why I didn't think of this before. Rocks are Parker's favorite thing to collect and giving them as gifts could help slow his collection and save me a lot of money on toys other kids probably already have or don't really want. Heck, we could even paint them to make them more festive!

12/04/2006 2:06 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

My college roommate's name was Io (short for Iolanda). I think it's also the name of one of Jupiter's moons ... a quick check of Wikipedia reveals it to be the name of one of Zeus' (also known as Jupiter) many lovers, too. Oh, those wacky parents!

12/04/2006 2:17 PM  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

I have the urge to leave this comment on your blog three times. Hmmm, wonder why?

Okay, trying to understand. A person at the party named IO gave a wrapped rock as a gift? That's fucking genius! Geez, now I can tell everyone I am all finished with my Christmas shopping!

12/04/2006 3:06 PM  
Blogger spellconjurer said...

now I feel so darn silly for the time I put a gift (can't even remember what toy it was) at the bottom of a large gift bag and layered on top, a set of 4 wrapped plastic icecube trays, 2 wrapped cans of spinach, and a wrapped package of 4 rolls of toilet paper, and some tissue paper serving as the icing on top. I guess it was fun to watch the 7 year old open the TP, the veggies and the icecube trays while trying to be polite and happy looking. At least after all that, it didn't matter WHAT toy I'd bought it was a relief to the kid. I have to remember the parties are for the children's enjoyment not mine. Oh and I must remember rocks. "Hi Jimmy, nice rocks you got there!,,,,,,,,Hey Jimmy can I play with your rocks?,,,,,Jimmy! How many times do I have to tell you to not kick the rocks in our house!". I should have stayed afraid to comment!

12/04/2006 3:18 PM  
Blogger Ortizzle said...

You rock.

12/04/2006 3:36 PM  
Anonymous LetterB said...

Maybe Madeleine can make one of her beautiful rock piles and you can glue it together and call it a day.

Also, do they spell IO in all caps or was that your emphasis?

12/04/2006 4:05 PM  
Anonymous TB said...

Think about the possibilities. Mud pies that Quinn makes, Madeleine's found rocks, sticks, a piece of toast with the Virgin Mary's image, a potato in the shape of one of the Wiggles... you may never have to buy useless birthday presents again.

12/04/2006 6:13 PM  
Blogger SUEB0B said...

Is IO's brother's name EIE?

12/04/2006 7:32 PM  
Blogger Feral Mom said...

A rock...brilliant. Because you can't run with scissors, and paper just leaves a trail.

12/04/2006 8:12 PM  
Blogger Arabella said...

Reminds me of children's parties where the children cast all the gifts aside and happily play with the empty boxes.

Do you have any idea how funny you are? The meat locker description is priceless.

12/05/2006 6:32 AM  
Blogger Tink said...

LMAO! Omg I want to wrap rocks for all my family members now. Can you imagine their faces Christmas morning?

12/05/2006 12:45 PM  
Blogger V-Grrrl said...

Mignon, you missed my post that mentioned Specky, E-Grrrl's pet rock who had his own terrarium AND a place set for him at the table.

Do what we do for our son: screw shopping at Toys R Not Fun Anymore and go straight to Lowe's.

12/05/2006 11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My coworker has a nice little line of rocks on the edge of her cubicle. Every so often, someone brings her a new rock or stacks them on top of each other. It is oddly fascinating.

12/08/2006 5:05 AM  

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