Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The stay-at-home dad Wild requests and practical gifts for a 7th birthday

| August 5, 2020 12:29 PM


Coeur Voice contributor

My son turned 7 this week, and he didn’t get what he really wanted.

He asked for a parrot.

We’re not letting birds into our house. NEVER.

He wanted a parrot because “they’re colorful” and “they talk to you.” I told him to put a rainbow shirt on his little brother and talk to him - our 3-year-old is in speech therapy and needs the practice anyway.

After we told him no, he said, “I’ll just ask Santa for a parrot for Christmas.” I told him I’d be writing a letter to the North Pole to explicitly block that request. No. Birds. Ever.

Second request: He wanted a bunk bed. Nope. I see how he sleeps. Rolls around like a caffeinated armadillo. Even with a guard rail we’d be headed to the ER after one night.

After these unrealistic demands, our son got everything else he wanted for his birthday, and that’s because he otherwise wanted boring things. He’s never been one to want extravagant, unnecessary gifts. For example, we got him a bunch of new clothes, some that include images of Minecraft characters and cool, vicious-looking sharks. His favorite shirt out of the bunch (the one he’s been wearing for three days straight now) is a plain, white T-shirt.

He wanted new sunglasses because his little brother keeps taking his current ones.

Me: “What kind of sunglasses do you want? Any special color or character?”

Him: “I don’t care. I just don’t like it being so bright outside.”

He wanted more socks -- plain ones so he doesn’t have to take time matching them. He wanted “tennis shoes that fit better.” He wanted more “soft pants.”

He wanted a weighted blanket, mostly because his older sister got one for her birthday last month. No color preference.

He didn’t really ask for toys. He did ask for a new Funko Pop to go with the Spider-Man one he already had, but only because he wanted to “have a collection” like his dad.

Me: “What character would you want?”

Him: “I don’t care.”

Me: “Batman? Superman? The Hulk?”

Him: “It doesn’t matter.”

The big present of the day was a new scooter. We already have several scooters in the house, but our son was looking for one with a bit more functionality.

Him: “I need a scooter with a wider base so I can fit my whole foot on it. I need a brake on the back so I can stop better. It also needs to steer when you lean on one side or the other.”

This gift wasn’t a surprise. It couldn’t be, because he had to help me browse all the different options on Amazon.

Him: “That one’s not wide enough. That one has a brake but it looks cheap.”

This consultation reminded me of the summer of 2005, when my now-wife insisted on going engagement ring shopping with me just to make sure I picked out the right style - “Not too gaudy. It can’t be too wide. We might as well see what size we need right now.”

She even suggested a certain day for the proposal.

“You want to pick the 10th or 15th just so it’s an easy day to always remember,” she said.

Back to the present day. Our soon-to-be-first-grader struggles with reading, so we decided to give him some books on subjects that interest him. We settled on a few guidebooks for Minecraft, the video game he spends 90 percent of his life thinking about. He exploded with joy when he opened the gift, and it was incredible to see him so excited about wanting to read a book.

Sure enough, after all the presents were opened, his first choice of activity was reading, and he ran up to me with the guidebook in hand.

Him: “Look, Dad! There’s all these pictures for how to do things so I don’t even need to read the words!”

How practical of him.

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Tyler Wilson is a freelance writer and stay-at-home dad to four kids, ages 3-9. He is tired. He can be reached at twilson@cdapress.com.