Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Pink Flop Birthday

When Phoebe turned six, I decided it was time she was introduced to the magic and wonder that is Barbie.

But first, here's a bit of backstory:

Phoebe is the baby of the family, behind the oldest big sister who is the ultimate, hyper tomboy, and then a middle child brother who is also a tomboy.  Meaning he likes all things boy.

Phoebe was raised with cars, not dolls.  Going topless, not fairy dresses.  Burping and farting, not twirling and giggling.


She really does like dolls, fairy dresses, twirling and giggling.  Or so I thought.

So in my infinite mom-wisdom, I advised all of the grandmas and aunts, great-grandmas and friends, to bombard Phoebe with the pinkest, most Barbie birthday imaginable.

Paige and Josh were under strict orders not to tease, harass, or make-fun of Phoebe and her Barbies on pain of loss of iPad for a month.

Upon opening her over-abundance of Walmart pink-aisle gifts, Phoebe was a good sport and pretended to be happy.  She delighted in assembling the Barbie car, boat, and cottage.  She dressed Barbie and the little girl Barbie chick.

It was just how I imagined it.  A little six year old, awash in the glow of pink Barbie fantasy awesomeness.

It was great.  Greatness that lasted all of 6.4 minutes.

Then Phoebe and Josh started undressing Ken and Barbie, throwing them around by their hair, and stuffing them in the Barbie convertible in all kinds of uncomfortable positions.

Lesson learned.

Can you see it?  In this last photo?  The pleading look on Phoebe's face?

"Mom, please.  No more pink.  No more Barbie.  Please get me a gun, a holster, a stuffed vulture, and a dress up costume of something only mildly cute, like a jaguar.  But NO MORE BARBIES!"

I've learned my lesson.  So this year, at least for Christmas, she personally picked out every toy and plaything she wanted online, with nary a suggestion from me.  Except that it be "Prime".

Let the stuffed animals and boy toys arrive!

Barbie and Ken?  Get back in the bathtub nekkid where Phoebe left you.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Opposite Vacation

 As with just about everything else with us, we do things a bit differently than everyone else.

Where do most people go during the week?  Shopping, to places like Walmart, Target, IKEA, and the toy store.

Where do you we during the week?  A tropical island beach.

Where do most people go on vacation?  To a tropical island beach.

Where do we go on vacation?  Shopping, to places like Walmart, Target, IKEA, and the toy store.

See?  Different.

On our island, we don't have name brand stores.  Not one.  No Walmart.  No Target.  No Dollar Tree.  No McDonald's, KFC, Sonic, Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, Publix, or anything.

We do have a "7 to 11", that is, ironically, open from 6am to 10pm.

So when we have an excuse to go back to the States, usually Fort Lauderdale, we take advantage of all of the inexpensive 'Merica prices and hit the big-name stores.

This trip, during July of 2014, was in honor of Phoebe's birthday.  First stop, Toy-r-Us!

Phoebe wandered the aisles in a haze of indifferent indecision and left with just about nothing.  Yes.  My children say they love toys, but they don't.  They just don't.

Toys-r-Us was a bust.  But you know what is never a bust?  Walmart.  Wally-World always brings a smile.

Ah, I remember well, the days in Del Rio when I scoffed at buying produce at Walmart.  The ONLY place to buy decent produce was at HEB.  Walmart was better of course than the commissary, but still.  Yuck.

Ha!  When comparing the barely edible produce we can buy here on Eleuthera with the produce of Walmart, I am forced to eat my words; literally.  When we go back to the states, we hit the Walmart for everything, including the huge, colorful, well-stocked, high variety produce section.

Oh, the berries.  The fresh apples that aren't squishy.  The oranges that aren't wrinkled and pitted.  The lettuce that won't turn brown and mushy in 1.2 days after purchase.

Walmart produce section, I'd like to offer you my sincere apologies.  I was mistaken, spoiled, and ignorant of the condition of "produce" sections of other, poorer parts of the world.

We buy a million clam shells full of every berry ever discovered, and then gorge ourselves to the point of disgust.  That way we won't want to even see a berry for the next 2-3 months before we go back to Fort Lauderdale.

After Walmart, we always stop by IKEA a few times for fun.  What could be fun about a furniture and home accessories store when you're not buying furniture or home accessories? 

The meatballs.

And the kitchen gadgets.  And the daydreaming that can be done by a stay-at-home-mom who doesn't live in her own house and dreams in IKEA. 

Another fun find in IKEA, on this particular trip, was this artistic figurine chorus line and greeting party.  That's always a fun surprise.

But mostly it's for the meatballs that we love IKEA.  And the kitchen gadgets.

There's one more feature to any good vacation, and that's the hotel swimming pool.  Nothing is better than this when the kids are full of pent-up energy after following you around stores, up and down aisle, repeatedly hearing, "No.  We're not buying that for you." 

All you need is water, a swimsuit for the kids, a bottle of wine or two for the tired out parents, and you've got yourself a grade A vacation. 

Repeat every 2-3 months as necessary. 

And that's how we do an opposite vacation.