Back when I was a newt of a person, the big thing before Christmas was to get my hands on the Sears and JC Penney’s holiday catalogs. My brother and I would scour them for hours, circling, checking off or otherwise denoting the things our lives would be completed by if only they would appear under the tree. I was fortunate to receive many awesome gifts in my lifetime. One that stands out in my mind was the chalkboard. I went down to see what Santa had delivered and there it was, in all its black, unused beauty. Just waiting for the hours of drawing and playing school to commence. There were also Barbies, a rock tumbler, a microscope and a pottery making kit as well.
To be sure I did not receive EVERYTHING I marked off in the catalog. That would have been silly. However I am still waiting for the day I get one of those spin art things. You put a card in the center of this round machine, and when you turn it on it spins the card around while you drip paint onto it. Why I think I want one, I don’t know. There really is only so much spin art one person can have in their lives. I suppose you could make your own greeting cards. Recently, I got to use/see one in action for the very first time in my life, with Cooper. They had it at a carnival at his school. He made a card, in the manner he does many artistic things. Which is to say he squeezed, randomly, copious amounts of lots of different colors onto his card, making a card covered in mostly a slate blue sludge. No consideration for complimentary colors or design. Really, I am working on letting it go.
When Cooper was old enough to realize he desired things in his life, and could ask or demand them, depending on the moment, a friend of ours introduced him to the concept of The List. He could ask for anything, and it would go on The List. For years now, and I do mean years since this started when he was around 2, I have been the keeper of The List, in my head. He has never been given a guarantee that what was put on The List would eventually be acquired, just that it was indeed, on The List, not to be forgotten or ignored.
Which of course DID happen. 90% of what has been put on The List has been forgotten. But that is OK. Anyone who has been in my living room can attest that the child has not been lacking for super hero related toys.
Recently Cooper figured out that he could browse for items on Amazon. He has watched me do it for items for myself, to send as gifts, or to order for him. So the other day he asked if he could use the iPad to “look for super hero toys.” I said sure. I got him onto Amazon and did a search for super heroes in the toys section. He began to say “PUT THIS ON THE LIST” frequently, and then The Bob had this bright idea to create a wish list on Amazon. That way Cooper or one of us could tag an item for The List, for real.
That phrase “like a kid in a candy store” has never been lived out quite like it was for the next 20 minutes. Cooper would tap the screen, see an item, ask me to read the details to him, and then he would giggle, look at me and say “put it on the list” and tap the wish list button. There are about 30 items on The List now. For real items, on a for real List, that cannot fall into the recesses of my addled brain. It was amusing to watch.
But the most amusing/slightly heartbreaking moment came, as he was getting ready for his bath, and he asked “So when are those toys going to come in the mail?” The disappointment was bitter.
I had to explain, again, the definition of a WISH list. And how it can be used in the future. We can share it with grandma and grandpa, and daddy, and others who might want to know the inner most desires of his little 5 year old heart.
I will NEVER be sharing my password for any site where this kid can buy things with one click. Otherwise I will be pushing through piles of boxes with big smiles on them at my door when I get home every day.