Friday, December 28, 2018

Christmakuh 2018

You know what I don't care about? Fluoride. That's the issue du jour I saw today on social media. The dangers of Fluoride. Not that this is a new assertion. I remember it coming up when it was time to give my son vitamins. To Fluoride vitamin or not. I think I first opted to not. Then I opted in. I've had fluoride and I'm fine. This isn't like- well, we lived without seat belts and we're fine. No, I just think there are bigger things to worry about. Just felt like telling you all my feelings on this today.

I realized writing this blog, whether zero or thousands read it, is my therapy. I need to get the stuff out of my brain or it all bubbles up inside until I'm uncomfortable. Like gas. I don't get gas from it, but I get angry. I'm still angry but maybe just not "as" angry.

So, the gift giving holidays are over- Hanukkah and Christmas of course. We attended two Menorah lightings, had friends over for Christmas Eve. Ethan got some stuff. I'm not into spoiling him with "stuff". I'd rather he have camp and whatever creative outlets he's into like guitar, voice, etc. And we NEED swim or the kid doesn't sleep. But we do have a little gift giving.

We got him a Chromebook for "the holidays". I told him that would be pretty much his only gift because it was two hundred dollars. He was fine with it. Why did we get him this when he is barely allowed to use an iPad, he has virtually no access to the internet on purpose and no video games? Because SCHOOL. I don't know what makes the school or teachers, or whomever is responsible for these decisions, think every kid has a computer or internet access, but they keep sending home "links" for the kids to go to study this or that. Extra math, or Word-something (literally Word something- I have no idea what it's really called) - I get links to this. Then I'm like, in my head, "what pray tell is he supposed to do this on?".

I'm not giving him my laptop. And he needs to learn to type, so I'm not giving him the iPad. I know they use Google Chrome, which I don't really get, but I know it's Windows and on Chromebooks. He can get to whatever he's doing in school on there so that's what it's for. However, I do still think it's pretty presumptuous for teachers to assume kids all just have access.

I found a good Black Friday deal at Target for an HP so I bought it. I think I gave it to him right away- not waiting for Hanukkah, because the holiday was coming in days anyway, and he already knew what he was getting.

The jig is up. He asked if Santa was real in the summer, B gleefully told him the truth, and that was that. I didn't feel any need to make any holiday magic then. He's almost ten. It was a good run, but really, call me Scrooge, but isn't it magical to have all an only child in a nice town, with good schools, and parents who love him already has? I mean, he got a computer. He certainly isn't underprivileged in any way.

I did also get him headphones, because he listens to music in his room at night like he's DJ Pauly D. It's so loud, you'd think he had a full D'Jais happy hour going on in there. I thought maybe he could use the headphones so I don't have to hear Marshmallow/Bastille one more time on a loop.

Since Hanukkah and Christmas had a long break in between each other, I did have time to grab him something small for Christmas if I felt like it. I'd bought my friend's daughter Gymnastics Coach Barbie and he saw it before I wrapped it. He said that it was cool and he likes playing Barbie and Ken with her when he goes to their house. He said- "It's kind of fun". He's an only child with a close girl friend. He's going to play whatever she wants to play and he's a roll with it kind of kid that way. He just wants to play and doesn't care what. He'll find a way to make it fun for him.

He never really liked action figures or superhero figures. They don't have clothes, cars, houses, bikes, and other accoutrements though. Barbie and Ken have a whole world of crap that they can do and use.

When I was in Target, I saw they now have "Fashionista Ken". This isn't the the blonde eunuch Kens of yesteryear. These are hot, buff, fashionable Kens of today. Ken has cool-ass clothes too. It's a whole new world.

So I picked up a Fashionista Ken, in a camo shorts, a jersey type shirt, and sunglasses. Oh, and dyed tips. It's still plastic hair, but it's cut, styled, and colored like any proud Jersey shore fist pumping summer resident. And Ken himself is only just under ten dollars.

The clothes are expensive though! No way I was buying Ken an outfit for ten dollars a piece. I went on eBay and bought a decent used lot for ten dollars instead. B just shook his head and said E would never play with any of this.

You know what WAS magical? On Christmas morning when I sent E downstairs for something, he saw gifts, and asked who they're for, since he didn't think he was getting anything. I said they are for him and he was surprised and happy with his two gifts. 

HA! Au contraire, husband. All was quiet for forty-five minutes Christmas Day evening, with not even the tv on. I didn't even know where in the house E was, when B called me into the sunroom. E had taken all the Ken clothes and organized them into color and activity coordinated outfits. BINGO. THIS, is how I'm going to teach him to match and pick things weather and activity appropriate. I hadn't had much success with this prior with his own clothes, but this, for some reason, putting clothes together for someone else, he found fun. He had- High School Ken, Surfer Ken, Date Ken, Work Ken, etc. And everything matched!

I love that my kid is so versatile. He was putting clothes on Ken in between watching Cobra Kai on tv with us, and doing his own versions of wax on, wax off, and the crane. I'd also much prefer he play with a hundred Kens to one game of Fortnight (which he doesn't have and probably would be playing on if he did).

Ken was hit. What was not a hit was what he was going to store these Ken clothes in. I'm gearing up to write one of my famous angry letters to Mattel. Old school Ken had a brown armoir back in the day. There was also a vinyl ken carrying case back then too. Today? They make a Barbie Ultimate closet a Barbie and all her clothes and accessories can fit it, but no Ken closet! Ken has to keep his clothes in a baggie like he's perpetually doing the Walk of Shame, but Barbie gets a whole closet? I know in the doll world, women rule, but come on. If you're going to give us Fashionista Ken with ten bucks an outfit clothing, then Ken deserves an Ultimate closet to hang up his designer duds too.

I hunted too- I Googled. I looked on regular toy store sites. I scoured eBay, Mercari, and anywhere else that came up. I found collector cases that ranged from tattered to usable in all sorts of price ranges for used items. So I know a current new closet doesn't exist. Is there a call for it? Well, I don't know if there are a lot of boys playing with Kens, but GIRLS do. Maybe Mattel's marketing department is looking at it incorrectly. As in, thinking, there probably isn't a call for it because there aren't many boys playing with them. Not taking into account that girls might want a closet for their Barbie male friends and/or boyfriends/husbands.

I wasn't buying the Ultimate Barbie Closet for Ken because it's thirty dollars and already filled with Barbie clothes and shoes. That would be a complete waste. So what's a mom to do? Write a letter. Hey- if it got the EZ Bake Oven gender neutralized from pink to silver, then maybe I can get a Ken closet to store his wide aray of cool kicks and club clothes.

A male friend from school came over the other day with his mom. The first question they asked is what he got for Christmas. I didn't know if he was going to tell or not, because you know, boys + dolls = stigma. I think he was a little nervous to tell but he also has me in him so I think he partly wanted to be like- "a doll, AND??". But this is a close friend of his and a REALLY nice kid. I guess he showed his friend because the friend's mom texted me later that now her son wants Fashionista Ken too. I'm more than happy to start a Fashionista Ken movement for the boys. It's safer than what I hear is being looked at on the internet by boys only two school grades ahead of them!

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