We are talking about presents:
Every year The Joshua makes two lists. The first list is started on Boxing Day which carries him through the not quite six month period to his birthday. The second list begins on the day after his birthday and takes him through the just over six month period to Christmas. In theory, he is meant to add and subtract from the lists according to whether the items he places on it decrease in popularity. If they do, the items are removed. That’s the theory. In practice, Josh never goes off an item and the lists become longer and longer each year.
About four weeks before Christmas and about four weeks before his birthday, negotiations begin. Joshua, DH and I sit down and go through the meticulously prepared list item by item. Discussions are usually conducted without argument and, to date, we haven’t had to contact ACAS to help us reach agreement. DH and I are somewhat wary of the notebook that Joshua brings with to the negotiations because this comprises The Very Frightening List that we are sure he will present us with when he’s about 18 and that is when we will discover the going rate for the sale of parental souls.
There are, as you will have read in the first paragraph, items on this year’s Birthday List that have been purchased in advance of Joshua’s 12th birthday. He has been using a Wacom Pad at school which allows him to draw straight to computer. He is on the Gifted and Talented register at his school and attends a special Arts diploma class after school each week with other boys two or three years his senior – so he really is a talented kid and if he really does need and will use something that has to do with his art and drawing, we cut a bit of slack and buy it for him. He has wanted a Wacom pad for quite some time and since its purchase he has rarely been away from it whilst he’s at home.
Other items on this year’s list include an X Box 360 along with several games or programmes for it, some boxed DVD sets of his favourite programmes, various books that he want to read, a long leather coat so that he can (he assures me) just “look” like a Goth and he would like to have his hair dyed red during the Summer holidays. His ideal colour would be similar to Jane Goldman’s and that item meets with a maternal “We shall see”!
I have a fairly bad habit of encouraging Josh to write items on his list because I want to play with them. This year, I have been gently suggesting that he may like a silent drum kit because I want to play the drums. Josh has been adamant about not wanting one and I am forever destined to drum my fingers on most hard surfaces or, if I’m lucky and we eat Chinese, I occasionally get to syncopate with chopsticks.
On the whole, Josh isn’t a particularly sporty kid so DH and I were very pleased when the item that I mentioned at the beginning of this blog appeared on the list.
Nobly, I also thought it would be a great opportunity for me to get a little exercise, too. I used to be quite good at trampolining when I was at school, so when it arrived, for the first time in 37 years, I had a go and was much chuffed that I could still remember how to bounce and not too many bits of me wobbled too much! Ignobly, I agreed to the purchase of the trampoline because it will give me a marvellous opportunity to spasmodically take a look at our neighbours’ gardens!
Joshua, having such expensive tastes, will prevent me from ever being able to say that I’m “too rich” but since the advent of the trampoline I may at least bounce my way towards being “too thin”!