You Get What You Get

by Allison @ Alli 'n Son on March 16, 2011

Last weekend Hubs and the kiddo had a date. Hubs would kill me for saying that, he gets all weirded out when I call it a date. But that’s what it was. A dad and his son, out on the town, living it up.

McD’s style. Playland, yo!

Of course on this date, dinner was bought. Along with the ever popular, collectible Happy Meal toys. Can I just tell you how many of these things are lying around the house? Scattered under the couch. More likely than not, wedged in the couch cushions. Probably buried in the back of my car, plotting their revenge.

More than I can count, that’s how many.And I swear to you, SWEAR, that we don’t go to McD’s, that often.

Once a week isn’t often is it?

On this particular date {now I’m saying it just to annoy Hubs} the toy of the evening was from the Young Justice collection. This group of young super heroes includes the most talked about super hero in our house: Batman. He is coveted.

Now, we don’t actually own a Batman toy. The kiddo has never seen the movies or the shows, real or animated. We’ve never read a super hero infused story. But, at my part-time job, there is a Batman toy. This toy is beloved by any boy over the age of 2 who enters the doors.

And there’s only one of him. There are a like a million Superman toys, but only on Batman.Which I believe must be part of his charm. Because really, Spiderman is way cooler. He can shot webs from his wrists!

Anyway, back to my story. As the kiddo and Hubs walk up the counter at McD’s, the toy display loomed, beckoning to the kiddo. They put it there on purpose, in the direct sight-line of kids. Just in case their parents were even considering ordering something other than a Happy Meal, this display seals it. With whines and cries and big, giant puppy-dog eyes, no parent can resits the call of a child who wants a Happy Meal. Scratch that, a child who can not live without a Happy Meal.

Smack dab in the middle of this display is Batman. Calling out to the kiddo. Breathing his name. Promising hours upon hours of crime-fighting adventures. If he would just order a Happy Meal.

Only Batman lied. The kiddo got Robin. Lame old Robin. Not nearly as cool as Batman.

For the rest of the evening, that was the theme. “I really wanted Batman, but they didn’t have Batman, and I got Robin instead, but I really wanted Batman, so we’ll have to go back and get Batman next time.” Now imagine this on repeat about a million times in a munchkin’s voice.

When I returned home from my free evening on the town {shoe shopping!} I was given the same sob story. On repeat, without even a pause button. Ten minutes in, it finally dawned on me: teachable moment! Teachable moment! And these oh-so-wise words tumbled out of my mouth:

“Well kiddo, we don’t always get what we want. We just have to be happy with what we have.”

Brilliant, I know.

I was so proud of myself, taking the moment to teach, or begin to teach, such an important life lesson. Learning to be happy, love and appreciate what you have, instead of focusing on what you don’t have.

Then, as I was telling Hubs about my mom-of-the-year moment, he slapped me in the face. With his words. Not his hand.

This great life lesson isn’t something that we necessarily follow.

Damn. He’s right.

How many times do I fall down the well of self pity because of something that we don’t have? We don’t have a giant house with rooms to spare. We can’t afford two mortgages so we’re stuck in our ever-shrinking house. We don’t have the latest and greatest technology {hello iPad2 envy}. We can’t go out for dinner every week. We can’t buy the kiddo toys every time we’re at the store. I couldn’t get pregnant the second I wanted to. I couldn’t be a stay-at-home mom as soon as I hoped.

I couldn’t…

We can’t…

We don’t…

The list gets longer the more I think about it. Too many have-nots. Too many disappointing Robin toys. Not enough Batmans.

This is by far one of my favorite moments in motherhood When a lesson shared with my son is actually a lesson for myself. And for Hubs. And really, for everyone.

Be thankful for what you have. Focus on the love surrounding you.

And let all of the other things melt away.

This post is proudly linked to imperfect prose and Simple Moments that make up the Bigger Picture.

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1 Rebecca March 16, 2011 at 10:58 pm

What a great post! I call those “internal temper-tantrums” when life hands you one to many Robin’s and not one Batman. Thank you for sharing this I needed to hear it today.

2 Allison March 18, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Internal temper-tantrum, that describes it perfectly.

3 Maggie March 16, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Not having all the Batman toys you want though, gives you a reason to live each day. Always looking forward to one day getting that Batman toy helps to go on. Pointing out this lesson will help him to learn how to deal with disappointment. That even though he didn’t get it right now doesn’t mean he won’t ever get it.

4 Allison March 18, 2011 at 3:14 pm

True, although I don’t want to send the message that he will some day get everything he wants. That’s why I tell him that maybe next time he’ll get Batman, but if he doesn’t, he should be happy with what he has.

5 Maria @BOREDmommy March 16, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Great post.

My son just got the Batman today – seriously, I will happily go pick one up for your son if you like. DM me and let me know and I will go in search!!!

6 Allison March 18, 2011 at 3:14 pm

You’re too sweet! I’m sure we will be back before too long, if we’re lucky he’ll get one then.

7 brian March 17, 2011 at 8:40 am

great bit of truth in that story…hit me where i needed today as well…

and batman is the coolest superhero…smiles.

8 Sugar Mama March 17, 2011 at 9:00 am

You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit… I say that to the daycare kids and my own kids. But you are right, ALL too often I’ve thrown a fit because I wasn’t patient. I wasn’t content.

It’s something I work on on a regular basis.

(but I have to agree with your son that batman is WAY cooler than robin. oh well, maybe next time)

9 Allison March 18, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I knew I was missing part of the phrase. I’ll have to use that next time.

10 Jamie March 17, 2011 at 9:22 am

Great Post! I am sadly learning the same lesson, or should I say my life feels like it’s stuck on repeat mode of this lesson ever stinking day. I have to keep telling myself over and over we have what we have because of the descisions we made so that I could stay at home and someday that big expensive house and car and endless shopping trips will come…….just not now.

11 Allison March 18, 2011 at 3:16 pm

I don’t know if it’s ever a lesson that we completely learn. That’s just part of life I guess.

12 Hyacynth March 17, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Um, I love this anaology. And I’m going to use it frequently when I feel like I’ve gotten too many Robins and not enough Batmans. Priceless!! And it’s really, really catchy and easy to remember. :)

13 Joybird March 17, 2011 at 6:04 pm

How often have I thrown my very own pity lua because I got Robin instead of Batman? Way, way too often. I love those moments when I am ready to teach (or criticise) someone and the Lord holds up a mirror and says hello sawdust meet 2×4. Those moments seem to go deep, right where they are needed.

14 Allison March 18, 2011 at 3:19 pm

So very true.

15 Paula March 17, 2011 at 8:44 pm

So very true and so very well said. Great post!

16 imperfect prose March 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm

wow… you have a BRILLIANT way of telling a story… don’t stop, okay? i could have read so much more… thank you, allison, for how real you are. it’s so, so refreshing.

17 Allison March 18, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Thank you! That means the world to me.

18 Kelly March 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm

My mother says I’ve never been able to handle disappointment. Perhaps that’s a problem our society has in general? I’m trying to do a better job of accepting what I have — enjoying it even. Trying (and trying and trying).

19 Allison March 18, 2011 at 3:29 pm

I think you are right on.

20 julie March 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm

SO TRUE. sometimes it is so hard to remember. focusing on what we don’t have is so easy to do and so self-defeating. Thanks for the reminder to be thankful for my Robins.

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