Shortly before Thanksgiving, I made out all my lists of everything that had to happen before the end of the year. Punkin's birthday, Buddy's birthday, all the Christmas preparations... but, as of November 30 I hadn't made out our Christmas Wish lists for the circus. This little fact was hammered home when three out of four Grandmothers had asked for ideas on what to get the kids in a span of two days. It wasn't even December 1st yet! Sheesh!
To ensure our kids were appropriately
A lot of thought went into this year's wish lists. I tried to balance what we wanted the kids to have (and more importantly, what we did NOT want the kids to have) with what the kids wanted and needed. Not only did I have vague items like "Barbie stuff" on the lists, but I got specific "The I Can Drive Dashboard". Also on the list were ideas for Hubby and I for those individuals who had our names in family name draws. Ideas that would compliment some of the things we wanted to accomplish in the coming year (finishing off the basement, learning how to make grilled cheese sandwiches) and some of the more 'etheral' wishes like "World Peace" and "Goodwill towards mankind." The last two were added just to see how many people actually read that far in the list.
After the list was complete, I emailed it to all the grandparents, aunts, and uncles that had asked or would be asking for the list. I also snail-mailed the list to my Mom, one of the original requestors.
I was pleased with the list, pleased with the methods I'd chosen to disseminate the list, and pleased with myself for getting it all done in a timely manner.
That's when I got the phone call from Mom just before I left work for the day. "I'm at the store... would the kids like ____ or ____ ..." I mentioned the wish list to her, and told her she should be receiving it soon.
"Oh yes, I got that. That list doesn't help me..."
"Well, that list doesn't help me."
"That list doesn't tell me what they have."
"You want a list of what they HAVE?"
Mom, joking "Yeah, can't you give me a list of every toy they have?"
Sheesh. I was flabbergasted. Enough so that I looked at the list again after I hung up with her. "Doesn't help her?" I thought... "I was specific!" I just shook my head and continued to be stunned during my commute home.
That's when I decided to have the kids call Mom.
As I was making dinner, I dialed Mom up, and instructed the kids to tell her what they wanted for Christmas.
First off, Punkin got on the phone. Punkin didn't really have a clear idea of what she wanted and muttered something about "sewing stuff" and "horse stuff" to Mom. Pretty vague, I thought.
Next up was Buddy. His response was "Toe matah burday. Toe matah truck." I got on the phone to translate for him. "Mom, Buddy wants a Tow Mater (from Disney's Cars Movie) birthday party, and a Tow Mater truck." Not a lot to go on from Buddy.
Lastly was Sweet Pea. "Sweet Pea, tell Grandma what you want for Christmas." Sweet Pea's reply was one word. "Boogalaga." "Boogalaga" is a word that Sweet Pea made up and it means nothing and everything all at once. "How are you today, Sweet Pea?" "Boogalaga." "What do you want for dinner?" "Boogalaga." "What do you want for Christmas?" "Boogalaga."
As I listened to my kids' side of the conversation, I could tell there wasn't a lot of outgoing information... Sweet Pea's answer made me laugh out loud.
After the kids were done, I got on the phone again with Mom. Thinking Mom would still be stumped on what to get the kids, I asked, "So, Mom. Did that help you at all?" Her excited answer stunned me. "Yeah! I got a lot of great ideas!"
Heh, that's when I had an ephiphany. What Mom really wanted was to talk to her grandkids. I guess it pays to know your audience, huh?