Goodie bags – kids love them, parents hate them. Kids think, “I wonder what cool stuff will be in this goodie bag” while parents think, “I hate buying goodie bags. Should I go with the bag full of sugar or the bag full of crap?” Yes, I hate coming up with ideas for goodie bags. Some of the things I’ve filled goodie bags with include canisters of bubbles, boxes of crayons and miniature tubs of Play-Doh. Great parental minds must think alike because over the years we’ve accumulated quite a collection of canisters of bubbles, boxes of crayons and miniature tubs of Play-Doh. Not all parents are goodie bag slackers like me. Some enjoy party planning and put time, effort and creativity into the goodie bags my kids bring home from birthday parties.
Back in June, my 3-year-old was invited to the birthday party of one of his preschool friends. The birthday boy is a fan of the Disney movie Cars, so the party had a Cars theme. There was a big Cars banner on the wall, the paper goods were Cars themed and of course good old #95, Lightning McQueen, graced the birthday cake. In keeping with the Cars theme, the goodie bags also featured Lightning McQueen in the form of a large hand decorated cookie. This goodie bag received high marks from both me and my son. I was thrilled the goodie bag was free of crayons, bubbles or Play-Doh and we wouldn’t be adding to our already overflowing stash of those items. Like the birthday boy, my son loves the movie Cars and he also loves cookies. When he received the goodie bag it was like love at first sight. He held on tightly to that goodie bag, salivating over the cookie the entire car ride home.
It was lunchtime when we got home from the party but my son had no interest in eating lunch. He was still drooling over the Lightning McQueen cookie and wanted to eat it.
Me: No, you have to eat lunch first.
J: No. I want cookie.
Me: You can have the cookie after lunch.
And that’s when the crying started.
J: I WANT COOKIE DAMMIT!
OK, he didn’t really say that, but he was definitely thinking it.
J: I WANT COOKIE NOW!
My older son heard the crying and came to the kitchen to see why his brother was having a tantrum. He immediately noticed the goodie bag containing the Lightning McQueen cookie.
R: Where did that come from?
Me: It’s the goodie bag from the birthday party J went to.
And then the green-eyed monster appeared.
R: Can I have it?
Me: No, it’s J’s goodie bag.
R: Please can I have some?
Me: No. This is J’s goodie bag, not yours. You never share your goodie bags with him.
R: I’ll share them from now on. I promise!
R: I absolutely have to have that cookie!
R: If I don’t have that cookie I WILL DIE!
Oh, the drama! Between J’s hysterical crying and R’s Academy award-worthy theatrics and whining, I was getting quite the headache. Damn cookie! A goodie bag full of crayons, bubbles, Play-Doh or other assorted crap looked pretty good right about now. I’d had enough of the fighting over this stupid cookie, so I finally just gave in. I told J that he could have a little bit of the cookie before lunch only if he let R have a bite. And I told R that he could only have a bite of the cookie if he promised to share his next goodie bag with J. That made them both happy and it made me very happy because it put an end to the crying and whining. But I couldn’t help but wonder when the next fight would break out over the highly coveted Lightning McQueen cookie.
This is the Lightning McQueen cookie….. today.
Yes, the cookie has sat untouched in our pantry for 4 months. After the initial cookie brouhaha, my kids lost interest in it. They completely forgot about the cookie. For the last 4 months that Lightning McQueen cookie has been neglected, passed over for other crackers, chips, even other cookies. So, the next time your child begs you for a toy/electronic gadget/clothes and they tell you, “I absolutely must have it or I’ll DIE”, just think of our once loved now forgotten cookie, poor lonely Lightning McQueen, sitting alone on the pantry shelf just waiting for someone to come and eat him.