I know Rose's birthdate - like any woman could possibly forget the day she pushed a child out of her vag without pain medication - but for some reason I didn't compute that her birthday was today. I kept thinking that I had plenty of time to buy her some birthday gifts, but all of the sudden it was July 3rd at 5:45pm and I realized that every store would be closed on July 4th and that I had nothing to give Rose.
In my defense, I've been talked into throwing her a princess party (Lord help me) and I've been focusing on getting ready for that this past week, so shopping for presents for her to open on the actual day of her birth sort of slipped my mind.
Epic #momfail moment right there.
The good news is that there's a really great CVS in our neighborhood. The bad news is that nothing says "you're a second child" like having all of your birthday gifts come from the 24 hour drug store.
Here's the funny thing: I'm pretty sure that Rose loves all of the last minute gifts I bought for her at CVS even more than she would have loved a bunch of expensive toys purchased in advance with plenty of forethought. Toddlers may be a pain the ass overall, but when it comes to gifts they're usually happy with the simplest things.
Bandaids. Giving an adult a box of bandaids for a birthday gift will surely result in your being removed from the guest list the following year, but kids love a new box of bandaids almost as much as I love my wine. I guarantee that your child will be filled with glee when she rips the wrapping off of a box of her favorite Princess or Super Hero bandaids. Chances are she'll use an entire box of them on the first day despite having no actual owies, but bandaids are considered accessories when one is under the age of five.
Bubbles. I have yet to meet a kid who doesn't love bubbles, and my daughter is no exception. A giant jug of bubble solution, a few different bubble guns and bubble wands, and you've got the makings for at least 10 minutes of fun. Throw in a package of pipe cleaners and help the birthday girl (or boy) craft her own bubble wand shapes for extra creative mom cred.
Sand toys. If your forgotten birthday child happens to have been born in the summertime, you'll be fortunate enough to find a great selection of sand toys in the "seasonal" aisle. Even if you don't live near a beach or even have plans to go to the beach, buckets and shovels are great for the park or for playing in the water at home. I scored a bright purple plastic bucket and some giant shovels at my local Rite Aide, which are sure to be the subject of some epic arguments between my two kids.
Cleaning supplies. I have yet to meet a child who doesn't love to clean; if only they were a bit more thorough I could save a lot of money on my housekeeper. I cruised the cleaning supplies aisle and picked up a giant cleaning bucket, a broom and pan combo, and a few packages of sponges which, at first glance sounds like a shopping list from my housekeeper but happens to be an incredible gift in my kid's eyes. Forget all those kid-sized pretend mops and brooms marketed to unsuspecting first time parents, your kid wants the real thing. Lucky for you the real stuff happens to be about half the price!
Barbie. Thankfully, my kids are too young to care how much something cost, they just care that it's fun to play with and something they want. The toy aisle of my local drugstore has a pretty decent selection, including Rose's favorite item: Barbie. Yes, I know Barbie is bad for girls self esteem or whatever, but tell that to my daughter who screams "I want that!!!" every time we pass by one of these plastic ode to the (impossible) female form. I did try to subtly push my feminist hippie agenda by purchasing the Doctor Barbie, but she'll most likely take off her scrubs and try to put her in a princess dress. You have to pick your battles when it comes to parenting.
Chapstick and nail polish. Girls will be girls, and despite my best efforts to keep her sheltered from our "beauty culture", Rose wants to put on makeup and have her nails done. I've caved to her pressure and purchased a bunch of different chapstick flavors as well as some non-toxic nail polish to use when I take her to have her nails done. Hey, I enjoy a good birthday mani/pedi as much as the next lady, and who am I to deny my daughter a little pampering on her special day?
Besides, it will help assuage my guilt about having forgotten to order some gifts in time for her birthday, and I could really use a pedicure; my feet are starting to resemble hooves.