Hello, my name is Tenor Dad and I am an American. As a citizen of the United States I feel as though I am entitled to all of the things at all of the times in all of the places. The idea of choosing some things while not choosing others is only acceptable to me if those things I didn’t choose were things I didn’t want. If I want both of the things, I should be able to have both of the things. I should, if desired, be able to do everything I have ever wanted to do. I should have time to read every book, see every movie, listen to every album, and visit every place that is in any way slightly interesting to me. These are my core beliefs. They are quite strong. But they are nowhere near as strong as the belief that my children should have everything as well.
In my American brain there are certain childhood milestones that ought to be observed: birthday parties, Disney on Ice, Dr. Seuss books, learning to ride a bike, Candyland, Christmas morning, Easter baskets, and many, many more. There are so many things that I want my children to experience that I can’t really keep track of them all in my head. But just because I can’t remember all the things, doesn’t mean I don’t want my kids to experience all the things. Sometimes I will wander through a store, or a television commercial, or a memory, and I will see something previously forgotten that I neeeeed to share with my children. And sometimes it is too late.
It is a strange sort of melancholy that settles upon me when I realize that my children have outgrown something that they have never even heard of. While it really makes no difference to them, in my mind I count it as a loss. My children’s childhoods will not include a sit-n-spin. They will have no knowledge of such a thing, and it will not be a part of their memory. I have denied them something. We will never dance to “The Farmer in the Dell.” I just forgot to sing it to them.
Edward will be 5 in two days. What he really, really wants, and what he has really, really wanted forever really, is a car. A car that he can drive. A Power Wheels. Something he can sit in and steer and accelerate and move. Now, we have no room to put such a thing in our house, and they are many hundreds of dollars, but it is the only thing that he really, really wants, and so of course he should have it. I went to the store to make an ill-advised purchase, but I was met with a devastating bit of information. The weight limit on all of these types of cars is 55 lbs. Edward weighs, currently, 55 lbs. It wasn’t going to work. I had missed it. For years he had begged and begged for this thing, and I had always said “I never had one when I was a kid, so you don’t need one,” or maybe “someday.” But someday was not going to come. He was going to run downstairs on Birthday morning, look under the Birthday tree, and see that Birthday Claus had not come. It would be a catastrophe of American proportions.
Fortunately for our great country, and my great son, BMW makes a high end model that will carry up to 77 lbs, and they happened to have had one just coming in off the truck at Toys R Us. But it is no longer at Toys R Us. It is currently upstairs under a blanket, taking up half of my bedroom. Sorry, that is an exaggeration. It is actually taking up more like 90% of my bedroom. He is going to flip his schnitzel. I am so excited! I may not be able to give my children the exact childhoods that I have carefully constructed in my mind out of every available material, but at least I can cross one more thing off of the list that did not pass us by.
Also, putting Edward behind the wheel of an actual motor vehicle seems like a good idea, right?