Thursday, May 14, 2009

Honestly, I Had To...

I’m sorry.

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.

“’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.


  1. Musical instruments do indeed raise the IQ of children who play! They also raise the bloodpressure of the parent who is forced to listen to the noise over and over and over! You had no choice! You were about to stroke out and leave the child motherless! I so understand!

  2. Nah, it's kind of like Natalie's toy that you have to hide because it plays an irritating song.

  3. I wonder about the musical IQ thing because my mom makes me play the piano and I swear everyday I get stupider and I wonder if it is related. Maybe I could tell her that but I doubt it will work. That is so funny that you hid it from him.

  4. I can't believe that you did that.

  5. There have been several noisy toys over the years that I have silenced by hiding them deep within a closet or cupboard. I'm totally okay with it. Sanity is a good thing--sometimes you've just gotta do what you've gotta do!

  6. LOL You are most likely saving his hearing at the same time ... good mommy!

  7. I've been known not just to hide annoying toys, but to throw them away. When they ask I just say "I don't know what happened to it, where did you see it last?" and that usually ends the questioning.

  8. A musical instrument correlating to a high IQ.

    ... is like correlating people who wait in doctors office are likely to be sick.

    Probably because I am a math teacher.... but I rarely believe any "study" Kids who play musical instruments have parents with some $$$. People with $$$ usually have a college degree.... I think you see where I am going.

    I am trying very hard not to buy any impulse purchases. They really add up :-)

  9. I'm just going to laugh. Don't even get me started on percent off sales.

  10. Coming from SITS. I don't hide from my child who is almost 1. Right now his toys don't bother me. However, I do hide things from my ADHD husband, all the time.

  11. Its ok! I hid my sons busy ball popper ages ago. He would constantly bring the thing to me to turn it on but would ALWAYS shove other things down there causing the stupid balls to get stuck and then he would start whining until I fixed it. I hated to do it because he really enjoyed that toy, but I couldn't get anything done! I was constantly having to get things unstuck from that stupid thing! LOL!

  12. I hide stuff all the time.

    Thank God for the short attention span of two year olds.

    Good luck.

  13. You are so not alone! We have about every kid-sized instrument known to man in our, bells, drums, harmonicas, an accordion, maracas and of course a recorder.

    I have earplugs...

  14. Oh my God! I'm having a flashback to elementary school...

  15. We had to hide my niece's DVD of "Phantom of The Opera". She would watch it ALL DAY LONG.... over and over and over and over and it was driving everyone bananas. So somebody (not me, I swear) took it and hid it. She eventually found it. The DVD disappeared again. She looked and looked and gave up and used her allowance to buy another DVD. We just couldn't win, hahaha

  16. Oh my... I too buy things becauseI feel sorry for them all alone on the shelf.

  17. Hahaha! We ALL hide stuff! Mine happened to be a recorder to but we were forced to buy it for music class at school! I know exactly where it is though! That way, I won't have to buy one for #2 or #3!

    Thanks for stopping by today! Love your blog!

  18. At Christmas I bought not one, but two recorders. One for each kid. I'm so glad that I'm exposing my kids to music at an early age. At least, that's what I keep telling myself. Over and over and over again. To drown out the sound of the records. The awful, horrible sound of the recorders.

    P.S. This comment was typed from the mental institution where I was admitted shortly after Christmas. Because the record music drove me batshit insane.

  19. My son was obsessed with his recorder. I bought him an Irish whistle to switch to because it seems cooler and somehow sounds less annoying.

  20. Amber you just crack me up. I think you should let Tommy take the recorder over to visit that annoying friend Blake. Do what you have to do to keep your sanity. Sanity is very important to have hold on to it.

  21. My kids began to read music in a kindermusik program at their preschool. Their dad and I have no other explanation for their brilliance (just ask them) than the music from an early age thing. Give him the recorder, but only "encourage" (allow?) him to play it if he's reading notes. And don't allow him to practice at home if he takes up the violin. Ever. Unless he's some kind of prodigy - there's good reason why violinists are mostly only found in orchestras. (come link up one of your shopping post sometime if you want - even if you do buy :) Okra - only good fried.


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