On his real birthday he opened his gift from us-- quite possibly the most successful, appreciated birthday gift ever to be given in our family. A gumball machine. A nice one made of glass and metal-- not cheap plastic. It is substantial and takes real money.
The downside is that it dispenses gumballs (or other candy), which then can be spit out on the floor, swallowed, stuck in hair or carpet, etc.
So why, you may ask, would I choose to give such a gift to a 5 year old?
I will only say, it is the most perfect gift imaginable for George. As part of his never-ending collecting of trinkets and such, he is an avid collector of money. All kinds of money. In my recent decluttering project we found some Italian money and ancient Roman facsimile coins. He has been very troubled by the fact that he had nowhere to spend his Roman money. It's something he has rather perseverated on.
The absolute BEST moment of his entire birthday was when he realized the gumball machine would take coins of all sizes. "HEY! IT TAKES ROMAN MONEY!!!!"
Joy beyond measure!
The entire family was enthralled. You'd think this was the latest and greatest technology finally come to our home, rather than a gumball machine. As soon as it was unveiled, every single child (except Peter) ran to their rooms to retrieve their coins to try out the miraculous invention. What a thrill! And every single time it worked. They put in a coin and out came a gumball, whose flavor lasted for less than 15 seconds. George made bank!
And now George has something to do with all his money. When he comes and asks what he can buy with the few coins he holds in his hands I can reply, "Go buy yourself a gumball!"
I mean, really, this gift alone would have been more than enough.
But with a mouth full of gum, he shows off his other gift-- portable, pot-up soccer goals. Not that I think these will get me out of sitting through little league soccer games this fall, but maybe with a bit more practice it won't be so painful.
We had one other box of goodies to open. It didn't have anything to do with George's birthday, and it had come in the mail several days earlier, but we hadn't had a chance to gather as a family and divy it up. My brother's family (Matt and Misty) sent us a box of summer fun for the whole family. We all took turns choosing and it fairly entertained my peeps for at least 24 hours. Three cheers for Matt and Misty!
It contained beauty masks for the ladies.
There is a mask for Clark as well, but I'm thinking he probably won't try it.
Where is his sense of adventure?