Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Joe's Unfortunate Birthday

Once again it was time for Joe's birthday.
Once again he started in with his expectations of receiving the new Call of Duty game for his birthday.
Each year the new game comes out a couple of weeks before Joe's birthday and he spends the entire year letting us know THAT is what he wants for his gift.
Every year we tell him that we will NOT buy that game for him. Then we find some way to hide it at gift-giving time (last year it was in the bottom of the box of the shoes he received) so he spends a little time thinking he really did not receive the game as a gift.
This year he absolutely refused to believe me when I told him we would not buy him the game.
It was time to take it to a new level.
We got the new game, Modern Warfare 3. We spent a long time working very carefully to open the thin plastic wrap around the case without tearing it. Finally accomplishing that goal, we slid the MW3 game out and replaced it with Joe's copy of Modern Warfare 2. Using a little double-sided tape we got the plastic wrap closed back up all neat and nice.
We wrapped the old MW2 game (now in its shiny new plastic wrap) in gift paper and put it with the other gifts we got for Joe. We took the copy of the new game, MW3, and put it way down inside one of the muck boots we were giving him. We wrapped the boots back up in their plastic and boxed them back up all nice and new.
Hee hee hee
Thanksgiving morning, after breakfast, we brought all the kids in and explained that we wanted to give Joe his birthday gifts a few days early. He was born on Thanksgiving morning so even though it is a different date this year, we can still give him gifts on Thanksgiving, right? Besides, we wanted him to have time to enjoy his gifts while he was out of school a few days since he is not allowed to play video games on school days.
Joe saw the gift shaped like the video game and his hand went to that one immediately. We slowed him down and made him open his other gifts.
First, a MW3 promo pack they handed out at the release of the game: cool t-shirt, stickers, dog tags, etc.
Joe was very excited about that.
Then came the big box with the muck boots. Joe opened the box, laughed at the boots, and set it aside.
Now the big moment! Joe reached across the table, picked up the video-game-shaped gift and began tearing the paper. A few seconds later he became very quiet. I looked down and asked him what was wrong. He tilted the game towards me so I could see the cover. There in beautiful brazen lettering was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2!
A million emotions shot across Joe's face in a half second.
Jason took notice and a doubtful look began to form on his face (Oscar moment!).
I began to apologiz to Joe, explaining that I told Dad to get the "new" Modern Warfare game, I didn't explain it well enough I guess. Jason looked all confused and asked if that wasn't the new game... he saw that it had a 2 on it... that's the new one, right?!
Joe was bouncing between severe disappointment and concern for his dad's feelings.
Jason started carrying on about feeling like such an idiot and how sorry he was. Joe immediately launched into reassuring his dad that it was o.k., it was no big deal, don't feel bad dad.
Seth stood behind me, whispering into my ear what horrible, sick, twisted parents we are.
I just don't know where he'd get such an idea!
After a bit Jason and Joe decided that they would go to the store in a couple of days to see if they could get a refund on the "wrong" game--since it was still in its nice, new, shiny plastic wrap.
Oh well, Joe wasn't going to get to spend the weekend glued to his new game afterall.
Everyone kind of wandered out of the room and Joe sat at the table looking pretty dejected for a while.
Finally Jason came back through and reminded Joe that the boots looked a little big and he should try them on.
Joe put a foot into one of the boots.
The WRONG boot!
He wiggled his toes around and checked it all out.
Seemed to fit o.k.
I suggested he put the other boot on and walk around to make sure they didn't rub his heels or anything.
The other foot started to slip into its boot when we were suddenly met with accusations of being the most horrible parents in the world and how Joe could NOT believe we did that to him AGAIN, etc.
But, ya know, after spending the last several months hiding around corners to jump out at me--shoving pictures and video trailers of this game in my face, or talking relentlessly about it, or trying to tell me why I needed the game, or filling up my DVR with commercials for the stupid thing, JOE DESERVED IT!
And yes, we are sick, twisted parents but he will never forget his birthdays, will he?!

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