• J Mess


I want that damn roller coaster.

Kids are expensive. And their stuff takes up a lot of space. These are just the facts of life. But I've already got one kid and another on the way, so I better make my peace with it quick. And Nathan has plenty of toys. Trust me he's good. In fact, they have taken over our house. But sometimes I'll see something that I think he'd like, or something his cousin or another friend has and I'll consider getting it for him. Until I see the price or realize I literally have no where to put it. Or usually both.

For the first time this summer Nathan can actually do things outside. Last summer he couldn't even walk, so we had no need for outdoor toys like water tables and slides. But this year I wanted to make the backyard fun for him, even though I'm terrified of mosquitoes and ticks and would much prefer to stay indoors. After we put on our full body protective gear, no I'm not that crazy but I've definitely considered it, we can go outside to play on the treehouse slide we got him, or sit at the picnic table my parents got for him, or play in the house I found online for free and the nice lady down the street dropped off in our driveway.

These outdoor toys are ridiculously overpriced and huge. I feel terrible when the landscapers come to mow the lawn and are probably like, Jesus Christ this kid got another giant toy I have to move every week??? And also my grass is definitely dying underneath these monstrosities. So every time I see someone post a used Step 2 roller coaster for sale, I consider it and then I pass. I'm not paying $50 for that thing. $20 maybe. And every time someone is giving it away for free on the town's Freecycle group, which is the best group literally ever, I miss it by 30 seconds. Which I announced to a bunch of my friends the other day when I saw it in one of their backyards, and everyone made a pact to alert me if they saw someone giving it away again.

Let's be honest, I really don't need this thing and the landscapers might actually quit, but now it's become a mission. I must have it. I will have it. It shall be mine.

So the other night Josh had left to drive his father to the airport and I had some friends over to play mah jongg. In between games I checked my phone and noticed my friend had tagged me on a "curb alert" for the Thomas the train roller coaster. Someone was giving it away and had left it outside their house. First come, first served, or the garbage guys get it the next morning. My friends urged me to leave the game and go grab it, but instead I took a screen shot of the listing and sent it to my husband with the directive "GO AND GET THIS!!!" He was on his way home, it would have been easy for him to swing by this person's house and dumpster dive the roller coaster right into his trunk. He texted back "oooh!," so I figured he was all over it. My friend told me I should have called him, but of course I didn't, I continued playing mah jongg until Josh walked into the house and didn't say a peep about the coaster.

After "oooh!" his next text was "do you want Ralph's ices?" No, I want that free roller coaster.

Possibly 10 minutes went by and then I decided to inquire. "Did you get the roller coaster?," I asked nonchalantly. To which he replied "What? No, what roller coaster?" OMG. The one I sent you a photo of with an address and told you to go and get? He said he was driving and thought "go and get this" meant that I had gotten it. Hard to be mad about him not reading my text thoroughly while he was driving, but OMG. So he put his shoes on and went over to the house, but I knew it'd more than likely already be gone.

When my phone rang, I knew the outcome. Some guy was literally loading it into his SUV when my husband pulled up to the house. I missed it by 30 seconds AGAIN. In my frustration I half jokingly told Josh to get out of the car and rip the pieces out of the dude's hands like the chicks used to do with the wedding dresses at Filene's Basement, but he just quietly said the guy was bigger than him. What!? MAN UP, dumpster diving for free stuff is ruthless! Clearly I should have just gone to get it myself when I was first tagged. I will not make that mistake again. In the meantime while I wait to pounce on another one, we'll just (not) play with the 40 other toys we have in our backyard and go on the coaster at camp. Sorry dad ruined your life kid...

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