Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Kid Stuff: Buddy the Elf in the Hizzouse
The long-sleeved version of this tee followed the Big Kid and me home on Saturday. In the Little Kid's size. Because it just seemed APPROPRIATE.
If we compared him to Buddy once this holiday season, we did so a thousand times. And I kept waiting for a backlash that never came.
I thought it was coming yesterday, when we were leaving Sherwin Williams, and I asked, without thinking, "Can you carry the sample piece of wood for me, buddy?" Note the lower-case B: I actually wasn't using the term in the elf context, but rather in the context of "pal." But I expected that, given our frequent holiday usage of the name, he might assume that I was referring to the Will Ferrell character.
Sure enough, I got an eye roll:
"Mom, Buddy is not my name."
"It's my nickname."
Um, so, to clarify, we are OWNING the elf thing?
Apparently, given the following interchange on the car ride home.
Me (via cell phone) to spouse: So, at Sherwin Williams, PJ expressed a distinct preference for a green room. As in, a really green room. Like, bright. Practically glowing.
Spouse: Interesting. Is he going with an elf theme?
Me to PJ in the backseat: Dad wants to know if you are aiming for an elf-themed room. He said that you can have green walls as long as we paint an accent wall in red and white candy stripes.
PJ: Cool. It's a deal.
By the way, we added another shirt to our Buddy collection on the way out of the paint store. See, Sherwin Williams is next door to a toy store called Miss Molly's, that, for the longest time, was a toy store called Designs for Children. For a brief period after the ownership (and name) change, my boys refused to step foot in the store, because there was a girl's name in the store name, and the marquee sign had too much pink in it.
"Mom, it's a store for girls now. We can't go in there."
I was ultimately able to convince them that Miss Molly sold, essentially, everything that they sold under the prior ownership, with an additional emphasis on candy.
Guess which child thought that that was an excellent business plan?
(I should probably point out, if I have not done so before, that the child who doesn't particularly like sugar - that would be the Big Kid - was born with his mom's naturally porous "blonde teeth," so he's the one who's prone to cavities. The Little Kid has white teeth that are hard as nails and, apparently, impervious to plaque. So, if you have a vision in mind of a child with all of his teeth rotted out, think again. I should be so lucky. I had to retire the "you'll rot your teeth" argument early on, leaving my arsenal seriously depleted.)
So it occurs to me on the drive over to Sherwin Williams that a detour to see Miss Molly is pretty much unavoidable. Fortunately, there it is on the front door in big letters: "AFTER-CHRISTMAS SALE: 40% OFF EVERYTHING EXCEPT CANDY AND JON HART LUGGAGE." Excellent. Buddy selected a not-on-sale lollipop (and a duplicate item for his brother) and three 40% off Uglydolls - a wind-up Ox, a plush keychain version of Dave Darinko and a small plush Suddy. (If you are asking yourself, "Dave Darinko?" you probably don't have an Uglydoll fanatic in your house. Google Dave. He's a cutie.)
Suddy was a new one on me, and, for a second, I swear that I thought that her name was Buddy with a B. Because I have Buddy on the brain. Anyway. In a weird way, I view PJ's Uglydoll as an extension of his elf persona: elves are whimsical, and so are Uglydolls. I think that they would be friends. It is entirely possible that one or more Uglys are employed at the North Pole. I envision Wage, the Uglydoll who started it all, as the head barista at the North Pole Starbucks. (Silly me, thinking that there is only one Starbucks at the North Pole. There have to be at least two - and they have to be immediately opposite one another.)
As we were checking out, I noticed a display of t-shirts behind the cash register. The front of each shirt had the Miss Molly's logo on it (the name of the store next to a swirly lollipop), and on the back the words:
KEEP FORT WORTH SWEET.
O. M. G. See, Spouse has a thing for "Keep Austin Weird" t-shirts. He has had one in continuous rotation since we left Austin, which would have been in 1996. And every time we return, and have lunch at Hula Hut, the kids acquire new tees in their current sizes.
Spouse and I get into debates about what Fort Worth's version of the shirt (he is adamant that there should be one) should say. "Keep Fort Worth Funky?" I continue to advocate "Keep Fort Worth Socially Incestuous." On account of how everyone here is 2.4 degrees of separation away from everyone else. Spouse says that my slogan might be misconstrued, so I have also proposed the more palatable alternative, "Keep Fort Worth Uncomfortably Familiar and All Up In Each Other's Bidness."
Miss Molly had a different slogan idea. And I had an idea of my own. T-shirt: not candy. And definitely not Jon Hart luggage.
"Are the shirts on sale, too?"
"Um, yeah, I guess they would be. Want one?"
"Yes, please. PJ, pick your color."
He picked a radioactive yellow - with letters in elf shoe green. Naturally.
Spouse approved of our purchase. It fit our family - and it fit our little elf boy, figuratively and literally.