Emma and I still needed to do some shopping for April, so we snuck away, just the two of us, to find some gifts that she could give her, because we were having our family Christmas this morning before we left for Oklahoma. She INSISTED on using her own money, no matter how hard I tried to convince her to let me pay for it…..she wanted the gifts to be from HER.
As most of you already know, Emma has a style that is 110% all her own. The crazy things that she wears look cute on her, somehow, when if someone else were to wear it, they’d look like someone that should have their own episode of Criminal Minds.
Well, when she is shopping for others, she still picks the things that she would like to wear. However, April and Emma don’t exactly have the same sense of style.
It takes constant coaching and manipulation to keep her on the right path, because she will pass a sparkly, hot pink tutu with wiener dogs on it and say “AWWW, Stoney look! This is so cute, she’ll love it!” You have to politely remind her that “yeah…..that’d look real cute on YOU…..but maybe we should keep looking for something else, for your mom.” And if she does buy you something a little bit funky, she doesn’t forget it, and she expects you to wear it, and wear it often. If you don’t wear it, you will be relentlessly chastised and ridiculed.
For instance, a couple of years ago, our friend Kristin took the girls shopping for April’s Christmas gifts. Emma found the perfect gift. She just KNEW that mom was going to LOVE it! They were long, purple, clip-on hair extensions. And they had these big silver beads every 2″ or so. I’m not talking about some nice extensions. I’m talking about some Dog the Bounty Hunter style hair extensions, with a few purple feathers on them. They were SWEET.
Of course, April did the obligatory “mom” thing, and told her how much she loved them and how pretty they were, while Kristin and I laughed our butts off, and April gave us evil glares, when the kids weren’t looking.
So then last year, when I had taken the girls Christmas shopping for the first time, I was a little nervous. As we drove to the mall, I said “do you girls know what you want to get your mom this year?” Without hesitation, Emma said, “well, I know what I’m NOT going to get her, and that’s some purple hair extensions, cuz I bought her those last year, and she hasn’t worn them anywhere! Not one single time!”
So, last night, as we roamed the aisles of the store, as usual, I was having to pull her away from her normal funky tastes, bright fluorescent colors and glitter, while trying to find something that April would actually like.
She found a cute little necklace and earring set. The necklace had a key pendant on it, that had a heart at the top. She said “I’ll get this, cuz it’s like she has the key to my heart!”. Cute and sweet. Perfect. Great idea, Em. High five.
Ok. We still had a few more gifts we needed to get her. So, I recommended buying her a movie. We like movies. Yeah, let’s get her a movie.
We walk into the movie section, and she RUNS straight over to the rack and yanks this one movie from shelf. I think she must have found one of her moms favorites, right off the bat. Sweeeet! This isn’t going to take long, at all.
She walks over to me and proclaims proudly, “I’m gonna get her this Beaver and Butthead movie! She loves Beaver and Butthead!”
Beavis and Butthead: The Movie. That’s what she picked. For her mom. For Christmas. Out of everything in Walmart to buy, she picked Beavis and Butthead: The Movie. Or Beaver. Whatever you wanna call him.
That took about five minutes of solid negotiation to change her mind. I negotiate for a living, and I’m pretty good at it…..but negotiating with a hardheaded 9 year old girl is like brokering an international hostage situation. I thought I was going to have to cut the power to the building, and not feed her to change her mind, but thankfully, I did finally win out, and convince her that This is 40 is one of her favorite movies, and that she would love it. And she did.
Well now, after having delivered the gifts to our adopted families, and the girls opening all of their gifts that were under the tree, we now just have a giant pile of boxes, bags and wads of wrapping paper in their place.
I loved Christmas as a child, just like most kids, but never having had children of my own, before the last few years, the holidays weren’t something that I got too excited about. But now, having these girls, and seeing their faces brighten up with happiness as they open a box with something that they had been wanting, it definitely brings the fun and excitement back into the holidays.
And even though it was a lot of work (for April hehe), and a lot of money, it’s just a little bit sad to see the empty spot under the tree, and to think that we have to wait a whole year before we can do it all, again.
But that’s probably how long it will take for my pocketbook to recover, so I guess that’s a good thing.
Merry December 21st, everyone.
-by Stoney Stamper
I am the dad of 3 beautiful girls, and the husband to another beautiful girl. I deal with a lot of estrogen. And it’s usually pretty entertaining. Enjoy.