It's that time of year. The retailers see the Halloween candy moving off their shelves and so they're sneaking in the Christmas goods. You can swing between howling ghouls and angelic little cherubs in the aisles of nearly any store. It's quaint.
Take your pick.
It's also the time when the holiday catalogs start arriving in my mailbox. Which, of course, means it's time for two little redheads in my house to hover over said catalogs with crayons in their hand and dreams of wrapped gifts under the tree.
Logan gets an extra half-hour of "quiet" time each night after we tuck Megan in and turn off her lights. He can read on his own. He can draw. He can do whatever he feels moved to do as long as he's quiet and in his own room. Tonight that meant he was armed with a crayon and the Lego catalog.
About 15 minutes in he came hustling down the hallway. "Look what I found!" he called out much too loud for the "shh-your-sister-is-sleeping" time frame. He was waving his catalog around and gesturing to a build-it-yourself Lego robot.
A $250 build-it-yourself Lego robot.
"Umm, Logan," I said, expecting his usual response to follow, "That robot cost $250. You are not getting the $250 robot for Christmas."
And yet, instead of the usual, "Santa can bring it" reply. (Damn that man in red!) Logan cocked his head to one side and pondered this new wrinkle. "Oh! I know," he said and gestured to both Dad and I. "How about you two put your money together and then you can get it for me."
Right. Yeah. Ok. Been there. Done that. You're still not getting it.
Dad filled the space left by my almost gaping mouth. "Why don't you start saving up your allowance? In a few years you can buy it."
Logan didn't like that idea. He thought some more. "Oh! I have an idea. How about you start putting away a little money in a box now then you can get it for me on my last Christmas getting toys. . .
You know, when I'm in 5th grade."
The problem, my friends, is that in 5 years this kid is going to remember we didn't say no and look for that thing under the tree.