I'm usually actively pleased by the speed with which Amazon ships me things via UPS. As often as not it seems like things arrive before the guaranteed-by date, and even when they only show up on time as opposed to early, the boxes are waiting for me on the front steps when I get home from work. Of course, if there were ever going to be an outlier data point that pushed things to the limit, it would have to involve a child's birthday presents, wouldn't it? To be fair, a lot of this was on me: it took a while to decide exactly how crazy we were going to go trying to tick boxes on the little guy's birthday wishlist (ultimate answer: kinda-but-not-completely crazy) and then I think I pulled the trigger on Saturday, but of course both Sunday and Monday were days when nothing moved on the order thanks to the Labor Day holiday. Still, the items were guaranteed by September 4th (no later than 8 p.m.), which was good enough. Except that this was the one time when, for whatever reason, the UPS route didn't swing through our neighborhood in the early afternoon. The goods did not, in fact, arrive until 6:45 p.m.
When I picked the little guy up from daycare on Thursday he said the very first thing he wanted to do when he got home was open his birthday present (singular), just like Mom had said he could that morning. Having not been home yet myself, I assured him that was no problem, only to be somewhat dismayed by the barren stoop visible as we pulled into the driveway. To the little guy's immense credit, he took this turn of events in stride, with minor disappointment but nothing close to a total meltdown. He was further mollified by his special pancake dinner and the bonus surprise of chocolate ice cream for dessert. (When the gifts didn't show up a day early as I had been hoping, I made a late run to 7-11 for ice cream just to make sure I had some cover - whew.)
Anyway, it was nerve-wracking stalling for time in the six o'clock hour after dinner in the hopes that the little guy could open his present and have time to play with and still get to bed at a reasonable time; the closer it got to 8 p.m. with no delivery, the less feasible all that would be. But it all worked out in the end. Still, I really must remember to factor in the holiday gaps in shipping calendars in the future.
Relatedly, one of the first things the little guy has acquired in first grade is a notebook pre-printed with a two-page spread for every week of the school year, including spaces for nightly homework assignments and weekly spelling lists and so on. At the front of the notebook are various reference tables and such, and there's also a page each child can personalize with their name and age and interests and whatnot. There is of course the requisite "When I grow up I want to be a ______" space, and as I was looking through the notebook I asked the little guy what he wanted to put there. In the past few years he has envisioned himself as everything from an astronaut to a race car driver, but this week his answer was "Lego store owner." Obviously.
But in what I thought was a highly amusing sign of his growing maturity and awareness of the working of the real world, he turned to his sister and elaborated to her. "If I had a Lego store, it would be the best job ... and I would take the money that I made working there, and I would use it ... to buy myself Legos!" And he laughed at himself and the circularity of it, but I was impressed that he understood that owning a store doesn't mean you get everything in it for free.
Finally, to prove that I am still aware of things that have nothing to do with children's birthdays and/or highly sophisticated interlocking brick systems, it's football season and the Pick'em Pool has begun! After I registered my picks for the week I went to the page that shows everyone else's. Of course, before the games start, it doesn't really show the picks (that would give an unfair bet-hedging advantage to people who picked closer to the deadline) but it does show whether or not someone has made them at all. I was hoping to see what the odds were of at least getting a leg up on people who had forgotten to make picks for week 1's Thursday kick off. And I was pleased to see that my dear old 89-year-old grandma had her picks already locked and loaded. She picked the Seahawks in the opener, as it turned out, so she's off to a red-hot start once again! I will post updates on her dominance as appropriate throughout the season.