Amidst protests by H that the birthday boy would not like a bottle of wine, I indulged him in the under ten dollar purchase of the Transformer, Scalpel, (a creepy microscope/flying insect) with a matching Transformer card, of course. Oh, did I mention that this was a 30th birthday party? For one of J's co-workers?
Luckily, said birthday boy is probably one of the most gracious and genuinely nice people you'll ever meet and he took the time to open the gift with H, take it out of the packaging and then 'transform' it...which, I don't know how many of you have tried that lately, but it's not exactly an intuitive process. It's the little things, like seeing them acknowledge how excited your child is about something that may not be exciting to them, that makes you genuinely like someone.
Cake consumed, a ball-game playing in the back-ground and a party foul perpetrated by H (who quickly pronounced over the spillage of beer 'It's okay! It was empty!') I decided it was time to tuck the kiddos under my arms and head home so that J could enjoy some much-deserved social time with his friends.
Before leaving, Birthday Boy suggested to H that they 'share' the Transformer, and that H's shift would start tonight. Of course, you could tell from the shifting of his eyes and sly smile that this was what H had planned and hoped for all along. The car ride home was spent with me reinforcing to H that this was a very special exception and he would never get to take a birthday gift home with him again.
And, yes, it's tucked in with him right now.
As the evening wore on, I was plagued with questions; Did I do the wrong thing? Should I have allowed him to get the gift even though I knew it was completely age-inappropriate, and kind of a gag gift even if H wasn't in on the gag?
I hope I didn't set him up for disappointment at future parties where he'll get the hairy eyeball if he presents the guest of honor with a parenting plan for joint custody of the gift. Then again, I think we'll just cross that bridge when we get there.