We’ve tried hard to not spoil our children. Strike that. Jeremy has tried hard to not spoil our children. I’ve focused my efforts on teaching them that “What happens at Target, stays at Target…or at the very least in our car trunk until mommy can find an opportunity to sneak your new shoes and your new toy into the house without daddy finding out.”
My children still have yet to learn the fine art of hiding purchases from my husband. Reese, our almost 2-year old, I totally understand. She’s too young to grasp the concept and she gets so worked up when she has her little hands on anything shiny or pink or anything that vaguely resemble shoes. (Ladies, can I get a witness? Also, Captain Dumbass, can I get a witness? I bet he looooves shoes too.)
But Henners? What’s up dude? You’re 4 and a half years old. You should really know better by now. Oh don’t get me wrong, buddy, I know you get that you're part of a covert operation and that it’s super-dee-duper top secret and all that stuff, but WHY can you just keep it to yourself?
Just last week I rewarded Henners' good behavior at the grocery store with a cheap matchbox car. My son COULD NOT wait to get himself home and send his father cryptic messages for forty minutes straight about “something small and green that has wheels and goes vroom-vroom! and it's behind my back and mommy doesn’t want you to see it because it's a secret from you.”
Now, I’m sure many of you out there are thinking I’m a horrible person for teaching my children to hide purchases from their father. But to those of you that think this way, answer me this: How will these kids ever learn the importance of befriending the UPS man so that that he leaves all online purchases on the side of the house instead of the front porch so that my husband doesn’t see them on the off chance he beats me home from work?
The trick of making nice all delivery the delivery men, I learned from my mother, an expert online shopper. Over the years, every UPS or FedEX man she’s ever had knew to bring her purchases all the way around to the back porch of the house. Well, they used to, that is, until my father retired and is now home most days. I imagine shortly after my dad retired and he was spending hours combing through his social security paperwork, my mom was frantically texting all the delivery men in her life with new instructions on where to leave her packages. Texting them? you say. Yes, texting them. She's that tight with the shipping and delivery men in her city. Not because her town is small or anything, but I'm sure the sheer volume of deliveries my mom has coming to her on a weekly basis keep at least two UPS delivery men very gainfully employed.
Soon my mom will find herself in a precarious situation. You see, she's a few years from retirement herself. And when that time comes, she won't be able to have her packages sent to her office and then hide the packages in the truck of her car and wait to sneak them into the house when my father's not looking like she does now. Where, oh where, will she stash her goods?
Mom, if you're reading this: I think I might be able to help you out. For a nominal “handling fee” of say, maybe a new pair of shoes every now and then, I’d be more than happy to be the “safe house” for your secret purchases. I see this as a win-win situation for us both. But mostly for me. Now, when my UPS man arrives with those beautiful brown boxes and Jeremy gives me the old arched eyebrow, I can look him in the eyes and half-truthfully tell him “Don’t worry Lover, it’s just another package for my mom.”
Any arrangements to keep your grandchildren from spilling the goods is between you and them. They are tough little negotiators. Their still blackmailing me for the time I gently kissed the garage door with the car bumper.