I had to do it.
I was going to lose my mind.
He’ll be okay, right? He’ll get over it.
The truth is I shouldn’t have bought it in the first place.
But it was 75% off. It’s really difficult for me not to buy something that is marked 75% off.
It’s why one of my kitchen cupboards is stuffed with packages of pens.
It’s why I bought a baseball mitt and bat which confused my husband Tom when he found them sitting on the garage shelf.
“You don’t play,” he pointed out.
“I might. Someday,” I answered wistfully. “I may wake up one day and decide that I’m in the mood to play baseball.” I gave a sharp nod as my husband stared at the mitt in confusion.
“But....you’ve always said that you’re awful in sports. I mean, when we played tennis that one time you shrieked every time the ball came in your direction,” Tom reminded me.
Well excuse me! It’s a little scary when you see a yellow object whizzing towards your head! Am I supposed to just STAND there and let it smack me in the face?
“You’re supposed to HIT it,” Tom told me dryly.
So yes. I have issues with saying no to 75% off things.
I should never have bought it in the first place. I know this now.
Why did I buy it?
Why did I buy this?
I think back to when I spotted it at Target, hanging on the shelf, all alone. I tend to feel sorry for inanimate things. Once I bought a bag of okra because everyone else was going for the corn and the peas and the okra was sitting there like, “What’s wrong with me? Why is no one buying me?”
So I bought it.
And I learned that I did not like okra.
But still. I felt like I did a good deed even though the only thing I did was purchase a vegetable that tasted like leather.
I also bought the recorder because I had read that there is a chance that playing a musical instrument can raise the IQ a few points. As I stood there gazing at the instrument, I pictured Tommy being rejected from the college of his choice because he missed a perfect SAT score by a few points. Then I’d be thinking, “Oh no! Would he have gotten those points had I bought him that recorder? It’s all my fault!” Then Tommy would refuse to talk to me and it would all be because of some woodwind musical instrument.
So into the cart the recorder went and I gave it to Tommy for his birthday. He wasn’t interested at first. When he opened it he wrinkled his nose and said, “What’s THIS?” in a horrified tone.
“A recorder,” I said grandly. “I played the recorder in elementary school.”
But by the time I explained that to him he was already opening his next gift.
A month flew by and Tommy was suddenly was eager to try out his recorder. He took it out of the package and....
...okay, I’m sorry, but the noise that he made sounded like a pissed off banshee.
It was awful.
He blew into it with all of his might and the neighborhood dog started to howl along with him.
He played for an hour straight.
“Maybe you should give it a rest!” I shouted over the noise hopefully. My eardrums felt like they were about to explode and I was paranoid that Natalie would go deaf since she has such tiny ears.
Tommy has been playing the thing every single day.
I started to feel like I was going to lose my mind.
So yesterday I hid it when he went to school.
When he came home he looked around for his recorder.
“Oh,” I said. “I had to take it to get fixed. I, er, stepped on it. It cracked.”
I know lying is bad. But I swear, if I had to sit through the squeaking one more day I honestly felt like I was going to snatch the recorder from Tommy’s hands and throw it out the window.
“The recorder told me he wanted to fly,” I imagined myself saying to Tommy as I tossed it out.
But Tommy is seven now and he doesn’t believe things like that. Plus, that sort of behavior will send him to a therapist's couch when he's in his twenties and he'll be asked to pinpoint the moment when he first felt betrayal and he'll be all, "Well, there was this time when my Mom threw my recorder out the window...."
So for his mental wellbeing, I had to fib.
Tommy wasn’t pleased when I told him but he accepted it. I’m hoping that he’ll forget all about it.
Please tell me that I’m not the only one who has hidden stuff from their kids.
I swear, I’ll give it back.
I just need a few days to....recoup.
And relish in the fact that my home doesn’t sound like twenty angry monkeys live here.