Clark and I go to Target pretty regularly, and we always stop by the Cars section of the toy aisle so he can admire all the characters. For months they've had the same inventory there, so it isn't too hard to stop by, say hello, and then move on with our errands. A few days ago I bought him one of the little figurines (Doc Hudson, in case your world is as doused in Cars as ours is) and it came with a pamphlet of all the Radiator Springs toys Mattel makes. Oh boy. He's been poring over it, pointing out the ones he already has, the ones he recognizes from the toy aisle, and asking me to read the names of the ones he doesn't know.
This morning, Clark fixated on Red, the fire engine from Radiator Springs. He asked if we could go to Target and check to see if Red was there, and then maybe bring him home if he was. I needed to get some groceries (mostly ice cream for David, who is sick), so I saw it as an opportunity to get Clark quickly and happily out the door. I told him yes. "Can we bring him home?" "Sure," I said. "If Red is at Target, we'll bring him home." You guys, I said this knowing that our Target didn't have a Red toy. We've been visiting that aisle for months and their Cars inventory has stayed the same.
Of course, it's Christmas time, isn't it? And I didn't factor that into the evil plan that made me a fun mom who didn't have to spend money on an unnecessary toy. Since the last time we'd visited Target, that section had been stocked, and stocked well. New Cars figures left and right, and who was front and center? Of course. Red the fire engine...on a rack marked $15. I believe I let an under-the-breath curse word fly. Clark was overjoyed. "Red! You are here! Mom, you see Red? He's so big! And he has a ladder! And we can take him home with us!" What could I do? I suppose I could have used it as a lesson in disappointment, but I'd promised him at home and over and over again for the whole dang car ride to Target. And so we headed to the check out, Red hugged tightly to Clark's chest.
And now it's time for the Christmas miracle! We got the the checkout and Red rang up at $6. Maybe $9 isn't a miracle to you, but a $6 toy (bought for no real reason, honestly) feels so much more doable than a $15 one. $9 is dinner at In N Out! I was thrilled. Red is home, part of our Radiator Springs fleet, and has already responded to several emergencies.
Fireman Sam Jupiter fire truck) a few weeks ago. It shipped overseas and the delivery estimate on it was between December 20 and 31. I'd been crossing my fingers it would get here in time to be given by Santa. When a box came in the mail today, I thought it was the pack of Larabars I'd ordered from Amazon (not the fire truck, which still had another week or two) and cut it open right in front of Joony...to reveal Jupiter, the Holy Grail of toys. I slammed the box shut so fast he only got a split second peek, but he knew instantly. "Mom. That's Fireman Sam. That's his truck. MOM!" I was scrambling. "Um...why don't you go in your room and we'll open this in a minute?" I quickly chucked the truck into the dryer and replaced it with a box of cheese crackers. When he wandered back into the kitchen we opened the box and he instantly yelled "Wow! Can I have one?!"
Disaster averted. Faith in Santa preserved. Kid...is still spoiled. And I need to up my game.