For the past few weeks, Kiddo has been asking for some bigger dinosaur toys. He's got a couple handfuls of the mini ones, and has recently enjoyed some fun times playing with other people's big dinos, especially his cousin Eli's while camping and those in "The Cave" at Fossil Cartel. In preparation for the garage sale I offered him an opportunity: he could sell some of his toys and then use the money to buy some dinos he wanted. Sounds reasonable, right?
It sounded reasonable enough to Kiddo. He agreed to this idea, and kept asking when we'd get his dinosaurs. He's four, and a wait time of a week can be tough--for everyone, I was beginning to realize. The more I thought about this, the more I could see the wrinkles in this idea. What if there weren't a lot of takers for toys at the sale? What about the experience of having "x" amount of money to spend at a toy store without the math skills to back this adventure up? He's just learning about three fingers on each hand together making six fingers total. As I thought through this more and more, other aspects stood out as problematic. At four, I'm not sure it's right that a child's expectations hinge upon the market. It didn't seem quite right for him to wait all week for a lot of possibles. Truthfully, too, I did not want to do the complicated math shopping trip to the toy store with him. With all this in mind, I came up with a more age-appropriate and far simpler idea:
Kiddo would trade us his toys, pre-sale, for two dinosaurs. This seemed more cut and dry and we could get said dinos and move on. Joe and Kiddo agreed, and so our plan was set into action. Last Saturday, Kiddo had scored big-time at a garage sale with the purchase a styracosaurus for a dime. On Sunday, we asked him to chose two companions for "Styro", he wanted an triceratops and a Tyrannosaurus rex. Monday lunchtime, dear Joe was kind enough to run to the toy store: triceratops was waiting, but the only T rexs were those of the elite German Schiller descent and very expensive, so he settled for an Allosaurus. Kiddo was delighted; he didn't care that his creatures were from different periods (the ceratopsians are Lower Cretaceous; allosaurus is Jurassic), he was just so happy. From that point on, a lot of inter-period dino combat has been happening in our house, which sounds like this:
Allosaurus: I'm going to eat you.
Styro and Triceratops: Uhhhhhaaaooooohhhhhhh. (the sound of bellowing dinosaurs) Poke! Poke! Poke!
Two against one for poor Allosaurus. He's totally out of his period and now he's cornered by two roaring creatures who gore him constantly....and yet he doesn't run away. Maybe not all that smart, huh?
It is also now a house rule that we cannot play "Dino Fights" until every member of the family is awake.
Well, the universe took to spoiling my boy a bit, because yesterday during the garage sale, I gave him three dollars to go buy rocks with at Fossil Cartel, which Joe tells me he held onto in awe for the entire car ride.
As my friend Kathee and I tended our sale, Joe called me from downtown. Not only had Kiddo purchased two rocks (agatized coral and turtilla fossil jasper), but Joe had taken him to the toy store and bought him a parasauralophus. "Sucker!" I gleefully chortled into the phone. "Now you have to stop by your work so that 'parasauralophus can go to the office'." This is a nonsense rhyme question that we ask each other from time to time, and yes, yesterday, parasauralophus did indeed go to the office. Then back home to make friends with Allosaurus, who was likely delighted to have some not-too-threatening and period-correct prey.
Lastly, as my dear friend Lissa came to clear out our leftovers to sell for her church's Missions fundraiser sale*, she brought along another friend and his daughter, a playmate of Kiddo's. Said daughter brought Kiddo three more dinos to add to his collection because she had moved on past them...but she had no problem giving them a 'bath' with Kiddo, in pans of collected rainwater and stirred around with sticks, as if they were being made into dinosaur stew.
So, all that to say that within a week, we have become rich in dinosaurs. The garage sale went well; all of Kiddo's toys did sell, and most of our stuff went away forever. A few things did return to the house to be sold later (cds will head to Music Millenium, our old coffee table and funky lamp will be making an encore appearance at a Vintage Sale next month) and I think we've decided to keep the lava lamp. Silly us, but it's somehow blobby and enjoyable and we all like it. It's a little weird pretend prehistory in a glass tube, but we like it all the same. And it kinda goes with the dinosaurs, if you know what I mean.
* If you live in the Portland/Gresham area and love a good sale, or just have some things in your own house that need to move on, please come to the BRING and BUY Sale on August 6th. This is a fundraiser for East Hill Foursquare Church's mission trip to Esperanza Viva Home for At-Risk Youth in Puebla, Mexico. There will be a great selection of books, clothes, house wares, furniture, toys, games and many other items for you to purchase. Come shop for things you need or fun finds! All proceeds will help team members minister to kids in need in Mexico.
Please bring your used items in good condition to donate to the sale as well!
What: Bring & Buy Sale
Why: Fundraiser to support East Hill’s Mission Team to the Esperanza Viva Youth Home in Puebla, Mexico
When: Saturday, August 6, 2011 from 9am to 6pm
Where: Grassy area behind the East Hill Office Complex (near N Main Ave & NW 5th St in downtown Gresham)