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Conspiracy Theory, Parenting Advice Completely Unrelated

So, I weigh myself compulsively. I see a scale, I step on it. I know, I know, people have opinions about stuff like this, but whatever, I am who I am. At the gym, there's a scale like they have at a dr's office. I stepped on it my first day there and it weighed me like 17 pounds more than I "thought" I was. I was horrified and panicked that maybe the scale I have at home only weighs to a certain point. After 127 pounds, we're all the same. Then I asked around and they said the scale was screwy. The next couple of days I'd weigh myself on it, just for kicks, and get the same results.

Then I had the idea to start lurking around the scale. Teenage boys who want arms they can't put down at their sides, for the bulging muscles, are the only other people I see weighing themselves. I have stopped several of them on different days, after stepping off the scale to ask if it was accurate for each of them. They have ALL said yes. The first one was this skinny, skinny kid and I just shrugged and figured he WANTED to weigh 16 pounds more, so he'd believe it. Another guy said last week the scale was totally off, but today it was fine--it actually weighed him a pound less. That got my interest and I jumped on the scale. LONG after the area had cleared. It weighed me 22 pounds more. You'd think I'd stop already.

Yesterday I went to Bed Bath, etc, Tarjhay, and TJ Maxxeroni looking for some bathroom accessories. I had to pass the scales in two of those stores---so of course I stepped on some. They weighed me, on average, 10 pounds more. Do you know what this did to my sense of security? If 98 pounds isn't actually 98 pounds, what's next---lettuce is fattening!?

Then I figured it out. It's totally a conspiracy. The gym scale is a no-brainer. It's right by the locker room. You step on it on the way to your workout, you see a number that's appalling and you work out like mad and become a success story for that gym. Or you get wildly depressed, bypass the machines, go home and eat 4 pints of Ben and Jerry's and never return to the evil scale-bearing gym. And the gym gets all your money in start-up fees, first and last month charge, etc. It's a win-win for them.

At Target, you weigh yourself and see you are actually 12.7 pounds more than you thought. You either don't own a scale and realize that if 12 pounds can creep up on you like that, it's time you own a scale. Or you own a scale and realize the $12 piece of Womart crap you own isn't really your friend and its time to move on. Either way, you walk out of Target with a $54.99 scale that tells your weight, body mass, water content, menstrual cycle, and mood.

It's brilliant. Thank you, I know.

Onward to the second portion of my post. Shortly after Benja's 3rd birthday, in which he was entirely indulged and had 2 fantastic parties and got tons of presents---we attended the birthday party of cousin turning 1. Naturally, when Benja saw all the presents, he assumed they were for him. As he lunged for them in a crazed frenzy with his mouth foaming, every adult in the room said something to him. Pretty much at the same time. Loudly. His parents not excluded. It was harsh. And sad. And J and I both had a "wow, we suck at parenting for not preparing him for this" moment. I had two. Because that's what motherhood has done to me.

Now we are going to another birthday on Saturday. And have one on the schedule for a little later in the month. Both for little two year old boys who will undoubtedly be getting things Benja is very interested in. We picked out one of the presents already. Benja holds it about 7-10 times a day and rubs the box and drools a little and talks about how complete his life would be if he could play with it. He hopes the birthday boy will be advanced in the art of sharing at age 2 and suggests perhaps we could let other people bring the presents, and we just keep this tractor set.

I tell him about his birthday and how he was the only one who got presents and now it's his friend's turn. And how it's fun to give presents just like it is to get them. And blah blah blah. I don't even fool myself when I say junk like that. Whoever heard of someone actually liking to give more than to get? Puhlease. Not in our house.

Anyway, I feel like there's some good teaching that should be going on, and that I'm not quite cutting it on the preparation aspect. Is it just something he has to go through, the hard way, or is there a gentle way to teach and experience this. Part of me wants to go buy him a tractor set and let him have his own and give another one away. The other part of me doesn't want to have to tell my husband that I have yet again coddled our son beyond the point of no return and he WILL in fact be living with us until he's 37, at which point he will get married and his wife will join him. And they will have many tractor sets to keep them happy.

And how come "preparing your child for birthday parties after they have been indulged beyond reason" isn't in any of my parenting books? Oh wait; we don't have any parenting books. We like to wing it around here. Or just post questions on our blogs.

Let's have it---you have until Noon on Saturday to save our children from us. And win brownie points with me.

I haven't read the blog yet BUT I see that I am first so I must comment. Great topic ( I hope)

Ok I read it.....just buy two presents and give one to Benja and one to the birthday kid and if Avee insists make it three. I think that is best. As for the scale.....IT IS THE ENEMY.. just dress scantly and hope someone enjoys it.

Just post ideal weight on scale and so when you look at it you always see what you want to see.

see why i don't have a scale!

Hmmmmm, now I know why I weighed 10 pounds more than I thought when I joined WW. They WANT me to lose more weight (and pay them more money).

Leave the kid home next time. Just go, eat cake, drop off a present and say "It's too bad Benja couldn't come, but he tends to go so nuts at other people's parties that it's really embarrassing and not a little scary." This will be a suitable excuse for not bringing the person actually invited to the party. If anyone gives you the hairy eyeball, throw cake at them, swear, and leave.

This may not seem like helpful advice, but if you follow it, I foresee no more birthday party problems. ;)

I try to get my kids to imagine what it would be like if everyone came to their party and cried the whole time, etc. Maybe Ben's a bit young for that stuff though. You can always spoil him now and punish him for being spoiled later, like when he understands the concept more fully. Yeah, that's my advice... be inconsistent.

On the one hand, I'm sort of validated that there isn't a clear-cut answer to dealing with the birthday present situation. On the other hand....remind me not to hire any of y'all as parenting consultants. Except, Millie---having an excuse to swear is always appealing. And I think you speak with absolute confidence when you say following your advice would eliminate future birthday party problems.

Emily, advice to be inconsistent. Too funny. I think your suggestion is actually a good idea---Ben doesn't cry, he just has this bewildered expression and I feel his pain that the super-robo-dyno-mega-hefty action figure isn't going in HIS pocket at the end of the night. But I could always introduce eating disorders and offer him ice cream as a consolation...

Is it Ok if I don't have any advice and just say I was SO entertained by your post? :D

I know I'm too late for advice, but I don't have any anyways, I have yet another 15 years before I need to bother thinking about that :-) I just wanted to say that Katherine and my Mom just got a Ben nd Jerry's and gave me the remains. The good part about that is that you don't have to fight with your spoon and get your white T-shirt spluttered with chocolate, but the bad part is that you get a sloppy half-melted lump of salyva infested chocolate goop, and a younger sister hovering over you quizing you about the ice cream and why YOU got it and checking to see if your answers are true or not by going to the people with the less-wet brown lipstick on their faces. Anyhoo, I just wanted to say that even though that was COMPLETELY random and has nothing whatsoever to do with your post, Ben and Jerry's reminded me of you:-) Now I have liquid ice cream and a hyper sister.

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