I wrote this blog entry all in fun. Even though it's true, I hope you get a giggle out of it.
This started as a FB post but I soon realized that I had way too much to say and I had just as well make it a blog post. So, here we go.
I recently made a trip to Hobby Lobby which is about 2 hours from my small town. I was on a mission. I had a list and 3 printed 40% off coupons plus a mobile coupon on my phone. With my 3 sons in tow, I had it all figured out which boy would purchase which item. As any serious Hobby Lobby shopper knows, you can only use one 40% off coupon per customer. And I was prepared for this. My sons are all capable of making a cash purchase on their own and they know how coupons work.
When we arrive at our destination, before shutting the car off and allowing my sons to exit, I give them a quick run down of how things will go. "OK guys. I don't want to spend a lot of time here and I'm going to need your help." I explain the coupons and that I will give them each one item to buy with a coupon and enough cash to cover the purchase. Then I throw in the usual "Now watch for cars. No running around and goofing off. Behave, be polite and PLEASE no arguing." I just now realized that I forgot to add, "And don't ask for anything." This could be exactly where things started to go south.
We enter Hobby Lobby and after a quick restroom break, I go into shopping mode and swiftly begin adding to my cart and checking off my list. We were moving at a good pace and even though they apparently forgot the "no arguing" part of my instructions, the boys were staying close and sticking to the plan. Until........we reached the "toy" section. First we find a rock tumbler. Since our recent move, the boys have been into rock collecting and not being one to discourage my children from hobbies, I agreed to the rock tumbler. There went coupon #1.
Immediately one of the boys spots a Snoopy Snow Cone Maker. In a true moment of weakness I say yes and there goes coupon #2. This is where the 'Stop Stealing My Childhood Memories' comes into play. The reason I was so easily swayed to purchase the Snoopy item is because I had one as a kid. And I have a very vivid memory (not common for me) of how fun the snow cone maker was, how delicious the snow cones were and how few times I was allowed to use it. I assume that ice, or ice trays, were expensive in the 70's. No matter because now I could share that amazing memory with my boys and they would have unlimited ice to use !!!
My first problem with this Snoopy Snow Cone Maker is that the mixture they give you to make the snow cone syrup has aspartame in it. I'm not a complete freak about what my kids eat and drink but I do not allow anything with aspartame. No worries, we grabbed a bottle of snow cone syrup at Walmart. Hmmmm. Please wait while I google the ingredients. It seems I did not check that out and the bottle has already been tossed. ..........OK, no aspartame but has some ingredients I can't pronounce so probably not any better. Ugh.
Anywho. I was actually excited for my kids to use the snow cone maker. Having such great memories myself, I wanted to share with them. But, every time they asked if we could use it, I found myself with an exasperated excuse. "No, it's almost dinner time. No, I'm in the middle of something. No, I can't have another mess started." Wow ! That all sounded a little too familiar. When the time finally came to unpackage the infamous Snoopy Snow Cone Maker, we were all excited. First, a little assembly. Not a problem. Snap a few plastic pieces together and we are ready to roll. Secure the maker to a countertop with the handy clamp. How cool is that ? I'm pretty sure MINE did not have that. Maybe that's why my mom never wanted to use it. Well, thanks to the new and improved version, I was sure that wouldn't be the case for me. Then we add the ice and I instruct one son to hold the much much smaller than I remember, paper cup up to the spot where all the shaved ice will be dispensed. I instruct the other 2 to stand back and watch the magic happen. I was about 3 cranks of the handle into it when I realized that the clamp wasn't going to hold and one of the boys would have to help me brace it. Must be because our kitchen has old countertops.
25 or so more cranks of that way too tiny plastic handle, my fingers and hand hurt, the handle came apart and we had about 1 tablespoon of ice. I wasn't happy but I muscled my way through a few thousand cranks and all 3 boys had a 'refreshing treat'. I did not have the stamina to make enough for myself. Besides, there were only 3 cups and I'm really not a fan of snow cones.
I probably don't have to tell you that this was not the wonderful, memory making moment with my children that I had hoped for. Not only that, it slaps me with the reality that some of my own most precious childhood memories are a farce. Who knows, maybe all of them. If I want to keep my cherished memories safe I can only do one thing. I must beg toy manufacturers to discontinue making replicas of, let's call them vintage, toys and games. Please let our children make their own memories with toys and games of the present not the past and stop stealing mine.
Be well and have a splendid day !