A quick note: we’re still a family of four as we patiently wait for Linds’ water to break or for her to start having contractions. It’s a weird feeling of knowing it could happen at any time and being comfortable as a family of four. Weird.
We celebrated Nolan’s 5th birthday this past weekend with some family and a few of his friends. We got a few RSVPs saying their kids couldn’t make it, a few saying their’s were coming. But we got mostly ignored – a bunch of question marks. It’s cool, I get it, I hold no grudges.
He got a bunch of cool gifts, most of which were dominated by a few things. First, Minions, whether it be awesome Mega Bloks sets or a set of 4400+ Perler beads. Minions ruled the day. He also got a batting tee and bat so he can practice more than once a week at tee-ball practice if he so chooses. He’s 5 now, I’m not gonna go all crazy sports dad on him. He got a laminator from Staples, a shit ton of laminating pouches, Rolodex laminating cards, luggage tags, you name it, he can laminate it.
And then there was a $25 gift card to his favorite spot in the world – Staples.
We headed over there today since the package of 52 assorted laminating products was down to just six. The kid’s a maniacal laminator.
We got there and immediately headed to the restrooms, since we both had to go.
We then went straight to the laminating section and despite it paling in comparison to our “home” store (the one we went to was closer to his school and we’d never been). There were no laminators besides the ones in boxes, the pouch selection was paltry as many of the sizes were out of stock, and 80% of the stuff was self-laminating – in Nolan’s words, “Dad, why do they even call it laminating?” And he’s right.
He settled on a pack of 50 Staples-brand letter size laminating pouches which ran him a cool $19.99 plus tax. I told him he could look around some more but that after tax, he could only get something that cost around three bucks. He asked what tax was and then rattled off a bunch of office supply questions. Until he decided what he wanted: a purple highlighter.
Maybe it’s crazy or maybe it’s genius, but why doesn’t Staples sell Dry Erase and highlighters individually? A buck apiece. Bam. You’re welcome.
That’s when he had a decision to make. There was a pack of highlighters consisting several yellows, a few pinks, an orange, a blue, a green, and the elusive purple highlighter. It was ten dollars. I explained he could get either or but not both. Then we found a pack that he could afford along with the laminating stuff. It was six thin highlighters, two yellow, one pink, green, and blue, and purple. It was three bucks, which would’ve allowed him to get both but why spend three dollars if all he wanted was a purple one?
Long story short, I convinced him that Linds or I could find him a single purple highlighter or he could spend his entire gift card on these two things. I explained that if he decided against purchasing the 6-pack of highlighters, we could go to the store we usually go to and look to spend the rest of his gift card another day. “Dad, good idea, I think you or mommy could get me a purple one.”
I followed him on his march to the register where he plopped the envelope of pouches on the counter and slapped his gift card next to it. He was brimming with excitement but did what he usually does when he’s really excited: holds it in and nuzzles into mine or Lindsay’s leg.
Naturally, on the car ride home, he asked to go to the other Staples but also told me he knew “you or mommy can get me a purple highlighter.” I told him he did a good job not freaking out as I dissuaded him from buying the 6-pack (he’s got over twenty highlighters at home already).
I tried explaining money to a 5-year-old today and he told me it grows on trees. But seriously, Staples, $1 highlighters and dry erase markers, look into it.