When "I Love You" isn’t enough

It was Cal’s birthday yesterday. For weeks, she campaigned for a rock tumbler.
Instead, I got her hand soap. (a.k.a. the gift of life and the best way to say I love you).

Is it just me, or do household items run out allatthesametime? Take toilet paper. When you don’t have it in one bathroom, is it even a surprise when you shuffle to another bathroom and find nothing there either? We ran out of hand soap over the weekend. In every bathroom, natch.
Did I do anything about it? Not really.

I never, ever say “yes” when my child asks, “Can I tell you something?”

The next sentence usually begins with:

  • I broke…
  • I didn’t know…
  • Is it true…
  • Well, (insert name here) said…

Early Saturday morning, she started the ominous string of words. Trouble was a’comin’, I could feel it.

“I don’t have any hand soap in my bathroom.”

I sighed deeply, then told her to get the body wash from her tub and use it as hand soap. It’s called innovation, folks. 

That’s what she did for three days. Take the body wash out of the tub, wash her hands, put it back, repeat, repeat.
On Monday, she forgot this process and had to leave mid-bath to retrieve her wash. Thank you, Jesus, that she didn’t slip.
On her birthday, I gifted her with hand soap. I gave birth to her and now I’m ensuring she stays alive. Lathers of love, I call it.
_____
By the way, she got the rock tumbler. Since she loves to read, I surprised her with a trip to the bookstore and told her she could pick anything she wanted. Sixty-seven books later, we went home. I wanted to ask her to put sixty-two back, but I figured the extra was her “bonus” for putting up with me, so I stayed silent. Shitness, me and my stupid mouth.

Have you ever gotten a funny/unusual/crazy birthday gift request?
Have you ever been given a funny/unusual/crazy birthday gift?

photo via Pretty Swell Shop @ etsy.com

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  • http://scatteredintime.livejournal.com/ scatteredintime

    I applaud your thinking. You never know when hand soap might come in handy.

    Hm, as for unusual birthday gifts. Not a birthday gift but a Christmas gift a couple of years ago? An electric toothbrush. I still don’t know why my parents thought I would desperately want that (I had asked for a book).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16489592695993949578 Marinka

    What is a rock tumbler? I’m pretty sure that I need a dozen.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12707231876699186906 Miranda Kaye

    Haha lathers of love…hilarious. I cant think of anything unusual I’ve gotten. My mom used to make sweatshirts for my sister and I, those were pretty hideous.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12707231876699186906 Miranda Kaye

    and omg i just had a genius idea…Lathers of Love could be a kick ass charity! LOL

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06565969088071477612 Robin

    Sixty seven books?!

  • http://penelopelife.com/ Penelope

    I love the truth of “Well (insert name) said…” Ha!

    And 67 books for real?! Oh, I would love to have been her as a little one. I devoured books.

  • http://onestrangechick.blogspot.com/ Karen

    I once got an English saddle for Christmas. I was so excited, I ran out to put it on my horse, and he was too fat for the girth to go around him. I’m looking forward at next year and thinking maybe I should just ask for hand soap.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10245599062507705190 Sara @ Domestically Challenged

    I like your daughter already. 67 books? She rocks. (you know, and not as in a rock tumbler) Unusual gifts? Ugh, I am a teacher. I’ve got millions of ’em.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10245599062507705190 Sara @ Domestically Challenged

    Body wash mittens? So I am able to scrub myself with my hands…
    Last week I was given a squished “angel” made out of some type of (dirty) ribbon
    bad teacher pins, ugly ornaments, all the regular fun teacher stuff. My MIL? Has gotten me a book “WInnie the Pooh on Success”

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13866057740157426001 Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    scattered- the gift of dental health is almost as good as the gift of life.

    marinka- it’s a place to stash nuggets of crack. actually, it’s a little machine that polishes rocks. Cal’s got a wicked rock collection.

    miranda- ahh, the gift of homemade sweatshirts. brings me right back to my youth in texas. also, yes, an excellent idea for a charity. won’t those children be thrilled with their own little hand soaps.

  • http://ohnoa.com/ ohnoa.com

    Cal is so undeniably lucky. Once, I got a half used jar of vaseline. Hand soap would have been a better gift.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13866057740157426001 Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    robin- to her credit, she did put one back.

    penelope- i’m guessing you’ve heard that one before?=)

    karen- saddle? horse? my daughter may want to trade her childhood for yours.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13866057740157426001 Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    Sara- this makes me want to seriously consider a career in teaching. I NEED a body wash mitten. Also, dirty ribbon gifts are awesome, and maybe make me want to be blind.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06432397460041356445 Jennifer Clark

    Hint to Elizabeth – Put that rock tumbler in the garage. Those things make an unholy noise! Cal sounds like a kid after my own heart. If you took ME to the bookstore for a shopping spree, it would cost you hundreds of dollars. And three people to carry the loot!

    The ONLY time I EVER got what I asked for on my birthday was the year I asked for a pogo stick. I think I was 8.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13866057740157426001 Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    Noa- Sadly, coming from you, this does not surprise me. Look at the jar half full rather than half empty? That’s the, um, Christmas spirit.

  • http://www.oncemore.typepad.com/ jenfromboston

    My husband (then fiance) gave me oven mitts. F*CKING OVERN MITTS. We needed them, true, so he said “they’re from Santa” to cover his ass.

    Also, my MIL gave me this top. I was almost 33 at the time, and I think my MIL was trying to be hip and/or thought I shopped at Forever 21 (she tried, bless her). I don’t know if the pics clearly does it justice, it’s a cover (it’s not part of the tank) that ties under the boob and is heavily bedazzled. So, I brought this to the New Year party, and that night we all wore it for our karaeoke solos, a later my friend’s dog was found wearing it.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/once_more/80706533/in/set-1730703/

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13866057740157426001 Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    jennifer- and where were you before I purchased this little noisemaker over the weekend? it did end up costing a pretty penny. unfortunately, i had to lug all five bags by myself. i guess i didn’t need that gym membership after all.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13866057740157426001 Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    jenfromboston- oh my sweet jesus, that is an attractive top. also, i like that you are on your knees, it really brings out your true emotions about how you must have been feeling to receive something so special. oven mitts…clearly, he has his best interests at heart.

  • http://www.oncemore.typepad.com/ jenfromboston

    btw, that’s my friend, not me, wearing the whatever you’d call that top (shrug bikini?)

    Here’s her dog:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fancypants1/81061258/

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13866057740157426001 Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    jenfromboston- oh, then your friend was brought to her knees by the beauty? awesome. it’s just the gift that keeps on giving. the dog seems really happy to be wearing it…(and that’s how your MIL’s gift got re-gifted).

  • http://justmakingconvo.com/ bschooled

    This is why you’re the best mom ever.

    I probably would have just taken my kid to Sephora and let her clean herself with make-up remover while I walked around and sampled all the products.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14699674732274478502 Maggie May

    i bet my Lola would love a rock tumblr.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p00d83451d7bd69e2 Elle Case

    My children’s birthdays come only a couple of months apart and they are besties. I used to throw them a huge ball of a party (200 balloons, minimum), at our house, and then one year it was too ridiculous and I decided I would rather go to St Barths than ever have to track down RSVPs ever again.

    I got them to say yes to a “birthday trip.” Anywhere within 2 hours’ drive for two nights, one trip for each child. Our son (anywhere, within 100 miles, 2-night stay) asked to go to see the Yankees’ farm team play a game, 25 minutes from our house. I thought that was pretty weird.

    Also, my mother-in-law once harassed me forevah for a Birthday Gift request and finally, I asked for a staple gun. She got me a stapler. Typical. I try not to run her down on the internets, so I zip lips now. :| xx

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00782183723607923501 MOV

    ok, my grandmother was the most generous woman of the universe: I got a new car the day I turned 16.
    Now for gifts that were not as well received: you guessed it, soap. When I was about 20 and home from college, instead of making a normal Xmas list of all the loot I wanted, I decided that people could get me whatever they wanted (which was really just a test on my part to see if these so-called friends and family members had been paying attention. hint: they weren’t). So, pretty much everyone gave me either poupourri (sp?) or some version of soap (maybe Body Works was having a sale?). That Christmas sucked.
    Sorry, Elizabeth, the money you saved by buying her soap will be spent on her future therapy bills (oh, I just went back and re-read your post: good save! 67 books! You rock after all!).
    http://mothersofbrothersblog.blogspot.com
    MOV

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04519714210354478057 Nenette AM

    Happy Birthday to Cal! Yep, rock tumblers are cool. Freakin’ LOUD, but cool.

    My boyfriend-now-husband gave me a Cheez Whiz jar full of new thong undies for my birthday. I opened it in front of his mom. sigh. he didn’t tell me it was a “personal” gift. he didn’t mind — his mom had a good laugh. I, of course, was mortified.

  • http://hravenrose.com/ H.

    Ah, I’ve had a former friend re-gift me, not realizing that I had given her the fabulous stuff (gifts cards, chocolate, body products etc.) that she was giving me back… or did she? That bitch :(. Lovez that you bought your precious girl soap and load of books! Yaye~*

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07113307510907969520 Tay Talk

    Sixty-seven books????? Woman, are you nuts? While I’m all about edumacation and such, I would never! But I’ll still give you *high-five for the cool idea.

    No crazy gifts here. I make lists. While I appreciate the thought that goes behind the gift, 9 times out of 10 it’s something I have no use for. So I just help those around me out with a list of things I want and or need. I know…I miss the point of a “true” gift. But hey, at least this way, everyone wins. They know I’m going to love the gift EVERY time!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13866057740157426001 Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    bschooled- oh, you would do that too? it’s just one way we save water around here.

    maggie- and i bet baby ever would love all the noise.=) had i known it was going to make such a racket….

    Elle- a child who enjoys the simple pleasures. i bet some mamas would beg, borrow and steal for a child such as yours. although, if i was you kid, we would be hamming it up at the nicest resort within a 100 mile radius.=)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13866057740157426001 Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    MOV- Cal will only be getting more hand soap for her sweet 16th. i like to keep the expectations low.

    nenette- thanks for wishing Cal a happy birthday! While the thongs are nice and all, after being mortified, I’m not sure how long it would take before my BF saw them if he presented it in front of my MIL. awesome gift, though. glad it wasn’t really cheez whiz.

    H-Nooooooo…..that bitch! Well, you got the goodies and she needs to get some manners.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13866057740157426001 Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    Tay- it was a good idea gone bad. she’s usually a really conservative kid, so i thought i would have to force her to get more than one or two. man, i was so wrong. i like your style…seriously, that is a win-win.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16488483947168168144 Annah

    I honestly think I would love toilet paper for Christmas. Mainly because I’m a toilet paper hoarder and can’t conceive when a bathroom is missing it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00650764598599832814 Rainyday

    Wait – you happy multiple bathrooms? Lucky bitch. Though I’m glad I’ve only got one to clean. Then again, I do have 2 boys that will eventually grow into teenagers. I’m doomed.

    And happy birthday to Cal!

  • Kristyn

    I don’t necessarily know if it was a gift request, but I did have a short man with a mustache at a Christmas party ask me to step on him with my patent leather stilettos. Tis the Season!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16107214079237461141 areyoukiddingme

    Happy Birthday to Cal!

    My daughter likes to say “Mom, I need to tell you something” all the time. Then she follows it up with something random like “it’s Baby Bear’s birthday today” for the 17th day in a row. So far, even with the dramatic delivery, I have yet to find fear in that starting phrase…I’m sure my time will come!

    67 books – awesome!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05134348512629558645 Amanda

    For Christmas a few years ago, my husband gave me a motorized bathtub scrubber. I told him I knew of a very special place he could put it.

    Good job on the 67 books! Happy Birthday to Cal!

  • http://www.i-mami.com/ Theresa

    hardly any unusual gifts here, except for our wedding, one of my aunts got us the ugliest sheet set i have ever seen in my life, and after one use, the elastic on the fitted sheet was so stretched it fell right off the mattress. i am very tempted to just throw the whole thing out, but for some reason i can’t bring myself to do it.

    BUT i was talking to my kid’s preschool teacher the other day and she was telling me that she got her secret santa a 40 oz. which told me that we really need to party with her.

  • http://www.i-mami.com/ Theresa

    also happy birthday cal!!! yay for smart, badass sagittarius girls!

  • http://ducksmahal.com/ Audubon Ron

    Some friends (loosely so described) took me to a fancy restaurant in the French Quarter and one of those nut balls slipped me a mickey. You know, spiked my drink with a drug. I don’t remember dinner, I don’t remember leaving, I remember awaking in my bed the next morning and I don’t remember taking pictures with that goat.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00986231358585797741 Elizabeth – Flourish in Progress

    Annah- a down-to-earth girl living in Miami…how did this happen?!

    Rainy- Thanks for the birthday wishes! Not such a lucky bitch when I’m wandering from bathroom to bathroom looking for things that don’t exist.=)

    Kristyn- save those man-stepping stilettos for this weekend. *wink*

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00986231358585797741 Elizabeth – Flourish in Progress

    areyoukiddingme- it’s never anything pleasant like baby bear’s birthday in our home…ever. maybe let’s trade kids for a while. =)thanks for the birthday wishes!

    amanda- i’m laughing my ass off. that is the most special-est gift i have ever heard of. where do you even find such a gem? thanks for Cal’s birthday wishes.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00986231358585797741 Elizabeth – Flourish in Progress

    theresa- bring that sassy 40-ounce giving bitch along. i can tell we’re all going to get along famously. damn, your aunt gave you an ugly gift to? what is this…some sort of secret club?? thanks for Cal’s birthday wishes!

    audubonron-i just….i just….i ummm….don’t even know what to say, except that you may have the coolest friends on the planet. frame those pics.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11371713800889286955 RollerScrapper

    I can’t really remember, since my birthday is near christmas, all of the gifts meld together in my mind…partly because most people give me the dreaded happy christmas birthday present…did you know hallmark makes a card specifically for this purpose…nothing says I love you like being too cheap to buy two greeting cards…or hell, just leave off christmas!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17210832629299621129 TheBabyMammaChronicles

    What’s a rock tumbler? I better google it. Or maybe I should have googled before I asked. Happy Birthday Cal!

  • http://citymom.ca/ City Mom

    How cute! 67 books for real? Wow!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13866057740157426001 Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    roller- hey girl, missed ya! ohmygosh, so Cal was due on Xmas day and i dreaded her having to go through a lifetime of Birth-mas gifts. Now, I think we overdue it just to make sure she doesn’t think she has shitty parents. Ha! I had no idea that Hallmark tries to captalize on this shaft.

    babymamma-it spins a not-smooth rock over and over in a little canister until it becomes smooth. whatever the kid wants, i guess. =)

    citymom- she had 68, then decided to be generous and put one back. HA!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11371713800889286955 RollerScrapper

    Cal is one lucky girl! I remember my friends going so far as to wrap a present in half birthday and half xmas paper just to poke fun at me. I’m going to read some older posts now, we have been moving and it is a lot of work! I think next time I will have to pony up the cash for real movers!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13866057740157426001 Elizabeth-Flourish in Progress

    Roller- oh man, moving is a special kind of crazy. good luck with that, lady. bad joke and seriously a brilliant idea about the wrapping paper. seriously, seriously brilliant

  • Ann

    For someone with a lifetime of birth-mases, I was really pleased when around 20 my best friend decided that my birthday celebration should have a different date. Hence the March celebration of my birthday, which I learned after the third round of drinks, was actually my conception day celebration. (she did the math) I do not need to know the exact date that happened.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00986231358585797741 Elizabeth – Flourish in Progress

    Ann- i only hope Cal’s friends have enough consideration to throw her a “different day birthday” when she gets older. seriously such a good idea.