Saturday, October 02, 2010

You Know Who Can't Keep a Secret?

Four year olds. That's who.

For a long time, Husband has been saying he wants a guitar. Which works out great for me, because I've been wanting a guitarist. Perfect!

So I decided that for his birthday this year, I'd surprise him with his very first guitar. Every 36 year old needs a guitar and a new hobby, am I right?

I thought the wisest thing to do would be to just go to Guitar Center one morning while Ethan was in school, pick the right instrument and secretly sock it away so that neither Ethan nor Husband knew of it's existence until the second it was time for the big reveal this morning. Wisest thing, yes. Most fun? No.

See, if you've been reading this blog for more than five seconds, you know Ethan's got a thing for music--particularly guitars and drums. Letting him loose in Guitar Center (aside from being the worst nightmare of every employee there) sounded like as much fun as letting a kid loose in a candyshoppetoystorebouncehouse. What? Those exist, don't they? I knew it would probably lead to a big pain in the ass for me, with the "it's time to go now"'s and the "don't touch that!"s, but I also knew it would be so much fun to watch Ethan's face light up as he set eyes on the walls of guitars--seriously, it's his Disney Land. And if at some point I had to be "that mom" amongst the aging hipsters talking shop and pimply-faced teens hunching secretively over guitars, dragging my screaming tantruming preschooler out of their irritated and judgy midst, then so be it. It's been a long time since I've walked into a place like that and at this point in my life, I don't really have anything to prove--I just wanted to see my kid's face light up as he helped pick out the perfect guitar for Daddy.

Granted, every guitar he wanted to pick out for Daddy either looked like something Eddie Van Halen played in the early 1980's, and/or cost $2000. So as far as an actual shopping companion? Not so great. But he is definitely who I want with me for all my exorbitant window shopping excursions in the future--he's got some fabulous tastes--vintage and expensive. That's my boy.

He had to stop and test out several of the guitars:

Which one to break choose....which one to break choose...

It is a gorgeous guitar. I forgot how gorgeous guitars can be...

but it seems like there will be a lot of guitars in my future....

And then of course there were the drums...

Take a second to note how lovingly the four year old is looking at the drums. If I'd told him to protect those drums with his life, he'd have fended off Tommy Lee himself (or maybe, more fitting for the preschool set, Animal from the Muppets?), I swear. He had a very hard time parting with the drums.

But he got off the drum set so that we could go back to see the guitars one more time (this was of course after I'd already purchased the acoustic Fender I'd decided on for Husband, and I was walking around the store with it, looking like a nervous shop-lifter while my kid flitted from one musical instrument to the next.)

After he played three different ukeleles while I awkwardly nodded and smiled at the sales attendants, I thought we'd be on our way, but Ethan had to venture into the room with the black velvet walls (um, really, Guitar Center?!) so that we could look at the $3-4k guitars, mounted and back-lit on the walls--you know, like art. "whooooooaaaaaa, mom; these guitars are so coooooool," Ethan purred. So he's clearly going to be in an 80's hair band tribute group at some point in his adolescence. I just hope he stays away from girls like the girl I tried to be when I went through my adolescence in the 80's (all my attempts at being a bad girl groupie type were foiled by my own goodie-two-shoesness and an overly protective best friend).

Aaaaaanyhooo, I eventually got him out of the store by promising him that he could come back on Saturday with Husband, who would inevitably need something for his new guitar--some accessory that I hadn't thought of or whatever. We spent almost the entire drive home talking about how the guitar was a surprise for Daddy, so we wouldn't talk about it with him at all until we gave him his present on Friday morning. It was a secret and we don't want to tell the secret because then it's not as much fun to watch someone open their present because they already know what's inside. We want Daddy to be surprised, right? Right???!!

I let Ethan help me wrap the present and he was even the one who decided on the hiding place for his the guitar--inside his very own closet. Personally, I think he was hoping I'd somehow forget it was there, never give it to Husband and then he'd have it all to himself. Or maybe he was planning on holding it hostage. There was a lot of "Remember, honey, this guitar is not a toy; this is Daddy's present. I'm sure Daddy will let you play with it sometimes, but it's Daddy's, not yours, okay?," on my part. And a lot of earnest head nodding on his part, closely followed by "I can't wait to play Daddy's guitar! I'm going to play Daddy's guitar ALL THE TIME!!!!" So, you know, that went well.

Keeping the 4 year old from vomiting up, "OMGDADDYWEGOTYOUAGUITAR!" was easy last night, as Husband was at work until after Ethan's bedtime. Taking over the bedtime routine for the peace of mind that there would be no, "Daddy, go look in my closet at your present!!!!", which was shaped exactly like a gift-wrapped guitar, was a fair trade off.

But this morning, as Husband was helping Ethan get dressed in the living room, I heard the word "present," and reminded Ethan to keep it a secret. He came over to me in the kitchen and said, "But I already told him about the guitar" in an exaggerated whisper loud enough that our next door neighbors could have heard him.


Husband was a good sport, and acted surprised. Later he told me that he thought we'd just gotten him another guitar for his Wii Guitar Hero, but since we already have two guitars for that, it would have been a pretty lame present. So I kind of hope he was just humoring me and not thinking I was that bad at gift-giving. Either way. Now Ethan's he's got a guitar.

Since Husband tends towards the camera-shy, Ethan, clearly without any joy whatsoever, volunteered to model the guitar...

I should probably start looking into sound-proofing the garage now...


Becca said...

Ooh, fun!! Ryan's been learning the guitar and we've been having so much fun with it.

Once on the way home from somewhere in the car the day before my birthday Charlie shrieked "WE GOT YOU AN IPOD!!!!" Hilarious.

cicadalady said...

such a great gift. can't wait to hear pedro play some tunes! :)

Jamie said...

I laughed while reading this. I've gone shopping with my little ones and have begged them to remember that what we bought was a SECRET. It worked out the same way your secret did. ;) Now i shop on-line and everything shows up in unlabeled boxes.