It was the Monday before Halloween.
A Monday following a full weekend of NO SLEEPING IN.
A Monday following a week on my first-ever-old-person medication (at least that's what Amanda told me. Yep. If you HAVE to take a medication EVERY DAY, you are officially OLD.) Anyway, this medication kicked my tail. Side Effects = Dry Cough + TOTAL EXHAUSTION.
So after work Monday, I was basically a walking zombie without the cool costume when we stopped by Henry's office on our way home. Or so I thought.
Amanda: I want to go look for my Halloween costume, but Mom said 'No'.
It's true. I said 'No' because not only was I "Dead Mom Walking", but I'd also told her that we needed to wait for payday to go shopping for an over-priced costume. Of course, that didn't stop her from pleading her case to her father.
Henry then says to me WITHIN EARSHOT OF AMANDA: Well, maybe you'll get inspired to shop for a costume a little later.
So much for the spouse's support.
So we headed across town, because Amanda had been studying Egypt in school and wanted to be Cleopatra for Halloween. To her credit, she'd gone online and googled "Inexpensive Cleopatra Costumes", and saw that K-mart had what she wanted. Unfortunately, I turned into the wrong parking lot and ended up at Party City, instead of K-Mart. And there was no way in you-know-where, that I was going to go back out on the road, wait at a stoplight and make a u-turn just to shop at K-mart. The way I was feeling, driving across the country would be equally taxing.
We walked into Party City, and I was instantly reminded why I hate Halloween. It's all that icky stuff ... skulls, scary masks, bloody whatevers ... just being in a store like that makes my skin crawl.
Nevertheless, we make it to the wall-o-costumes, and after Megan picks out a $10 set of cat ears & tail, I tell Amanda that she has to find a costume for $30 or less. (The reason for this is because I had been given some birthday money, and had purchased something that I'd changed my mind about, and had returned a couple days prior, and the $43 from that transaction was still in my wallet. Of course, I had no intention of telling Amanda this. I'm just letting YOU know how we had money to shop for costumes when I'd originally said we'd have to wait for payday to do so. No, I didn't lie. I just didn't think that I wanted to spend my birthday money on Halloween costumes for my girls. Apparently I'm selfish like that.)
So as we're staring at all the costumes, Amanda sees a Cleopatra one for $50.
Me: Sorry, that one's too expensive.
Amanda sighs. Then points to a Wizard of Oz 'Dorothy' costume for $30.
Me: That one's fine, but it doesn't come with red shoes. So as long as you're okay NOT having red shoes ...
Amanda sighs again. And again. Aaaand again. So I decided to give her a quick lesson in gratitude. I hadn't stooped this low in a while, but I was desperate AND ON MEDICATION.
Me: Just so you know, the only reason you're even able to pick out a costume tonight, is because I happen to have some of my BIRTHDAY MONEY in my purse. That's right. I'm going to use MY BIRTHDAY money on a COSTUME for YOU. So THAT is why you only have $30 to spend. That is ALL the BIRTHDAY MONEY I HAVE LEFT.
As I stood there with my arms folded across my chest, waiting for the weight of my words to sink in, I saw her heave a bigger sigh than even before.
YES!! Mission accomplished!! GUILT TRIP TAKEN!!
Amanda: Fine. But there's nothing good here for $30.
Oh. My. Word.
If there's a "Parenting through Manipulation" course out there, I definitely need to enroll, because I'm obviously doing it ALL WRONG!!