We dashed through the front door. Andy grabbed the van keys and disappeared back outside. I shouted, “Sophie, have you finished tidying your room? Dad’s going back to town with the van to pick up your birthday present. We couldn’t fit it in the car.”

Sophie appeared, her eyes big and round. “My present couldn’t fit in the car? What is it?”

“You’ll soon find out. We’ll have to give it to you a few days early because it’s too big to hide.”

Andy and I had just spent a couple of hours looking for suitable presents for Sophie’s birthday. What do you give an eleven year old who owns years' worth of gifts plus all the inherited toys and books and other possessions that used to belong to her older brothers and sisters?

“Sophie doesn’t need anything… but we can’t have a birthday without gifts.” It is our usual birthday dilemma.

I decided we’d buy clothes. Sophie is growing like a weed. She has almost caught Charlotte up in height (much to Charlotte’s dismay). Sophie can't expect too many more hand-me-downs from her older sister. Clothes… something pretty… a skirt or two, a jumper… But we couldn’t find a single piece of clothing worth buying.

We walked down the street thinking about other possibilities. We walked down the street towards the furniture shop, and then I had sudden inspiration.

“A mattress! Sophie needs a new mattress for her bed.”

Andy looked at me rather doubtfully. What eleven year old girl would like a mattress as a gift?

“I want to buy something Sophie needs, not something that will disappear into the cupboard and never be seen again. A mattress is something she’ll use every night for years. I’m sure she’ll like it. And besides, we haven't money to waste.”

Andy bowed to my judgement and soon I’d chosen a ‘plush, pillow-topped’ mattress. All we had to do was drive home in the car, and then return with the van to pick it up.

So...

“Dad’s home!” yelled Gemma-Rose. “He’s got your present!”

Sophie appeared, quivering with excitement. Would she be surprised? Would she still be excited when the present came through the door? She was and she was!

Soon we’d hauled the old mattress off the top bunk and replaced it with the pristine white, twice-as-thick, pillow-topped, dream mattress. Sophie climbed up and tucked in the sheets, threw over the quilt and then laid back.

“Wow! This is a wonderful mattress. Can I go to bed early tonight?”

The next morning: “How did you sleep, Sophie? How was the mattress?”

“Wonderful! Thank you, Mum. It’s a great birthday present.”

Sophie’s birthday is today. I do have a few other small gifts for her. She will have little packages to open on her special day and she's also going to have her ears pierced: it's an Elvis girls' eleventh birthday tradition. Then there's a cake and a birthday outing... There's still lots of birthday excitement to come.

“What are you getting for your birthday, Sophie?”

“I've already got my present. It's a mattress.”

“Your Mum and Dad bought you a mattress for your birthday?” Sophie’s friend can’t believe it. Surely we could have thought of something a little more exciting?

Exciting? Practical? Luckily Sophie thinks practical is exciting.

Does anyone else experience similar birthday shopping dilemmas?
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  1. This is Hilarious...and wonderful! I also know people whose gift is to take a child and their friends to do something special. And the children are fine with that...much better then "stuff" that clutters and the child doesn't need ...Or the Gift is a Party with friends over, no extras needed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karla,

      "Stuff" - that's the right word. It doesn't take long for the house to overflow with stuff. I like the idea of a special outing. In a couple of months' time we are planning to go to the zoo in Sydney as Andy's birthday gift. It is an expensive trip so it will be a treat.

      Personally, I'd be happy if my family gave me Kindle books as gifts. They take up no space at all but I would enjoy them immensely!

      God bless!

      Delete
  2. Our boys once spent 6 months sleeping on mattresses on the floor when their bunks got too rickety to trust, anymore, so I can understand the excitement over a nice mattress. It was a big occasion when we arrived home with a brand new set of bunks!

    Happy birthday, Sophie!! {{{}}} xoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vicky,

      I can remember sleeping on a mattress on the floor too! Actually I liked it. I felt like I was camping out without the inconvenience of being away from home. For a child down at the lower end of the family, anything bought new just for them is special. Sophie and Gemma-Rose are used to hand-me-downs.

      Thank you for the birthday hugs and kisses. Sophie will enjoy them!

      Delete
    2. Sorry I have to comment...

      My eldest girl Amy was on the floor once for a while. She liked it at first... she thought it was quite Japanese and was happy. But then she was tired of it.. we were quite broke at the time, and our roof was in bad repair... it was terrible. One of my happiest days was getting that roof replaced and going out and buying my girl a new bed and dresser. I think once you go without, you have a new appreciation for things that too often others take for granted. Vicky and Sue, I am glad you both understand! :) ♥

      Delete
    3. Susan,

      Yes, we can't always buy what we want for our children. But when we do have the money, our kids certainly get excited and have a real appreciation for things. We've 'made do' so many times. It's not every day we can walk into a furniture store and walk out with a brand new mattress! No wonder Sophie was thrilled!! I bet Amy was thrilled with her new bed too.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Thank you,Erin. I will pass on your greeting!

      Delete
  4. Happy Birthday Sophie and many many happy returns.

    God bless you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Victor,

      It is kind of you to take the time to wish Sophie Happy Birthday! Thank you.

      With prayers... God bless you!

      Delete
  5. Oh, and P.S. Happy Birthday, Sophie! Many Blessings from the Baca Family on the other side of the Globe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karla,

      How lovely of you to return to wish Sophie a happy birthday! Thank you so much. It is wonderful having friends on the other side of the world.

      Sending our love to the Baca family!

      Delete
  6. Love it. Practical and yet something she needed. And obviously loved it!

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    Replies
    1. Colleen,

      Sophie does love her new mattress! And the small packages she opened on her special day provided some extra birthday magic.

      God bless you!

      Delete
  7. I remember last year we got Amy a new box spring and mattress, and got Robyn a new mattress.... my girls acted like they'd won the lottery they were so happy! LOL

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    Replies
    1. Susan,

      I'm glad we're not the only family who gets excited over new mattresses. Actually, I'd love a new one of my own but I can wait. Years ago we had a water bed which was wonderfully comfortable but a real pain to empty and move from house to house.

      Sophie did have a wonderful birthday. Thank you for asking!

      Delete
    2. That's what Mark and I have now is a waterbed... we've had it for about 6 years I think... it's very very comfortable and we've only had to move it once. My girls adore sleeping in it whenever they get the chance. Matter of fact, if they are sick, they will use that as an excuse to get to "sleep with Momma". :) For some reason, Mark is not as touched by that as I am. :) LOL Perhaps because they are more than willing to boot him out of his own spot. LOL!!

      Delete
    3. Susan,

      I would LOVE another water bed. I looked up the prices on the Internet and we will have to save for a long time... They are quite expensive.

      When our middle children were babies they slept in our water bed with us. It's not supposed to be safe but they survived. They loved it!

      The only thing that was frustrating about that bed was the sloshing noise as one of us turned over. We were never any good at 'burping' the bed and getting rid of all the air bubbles!

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    4. Ours does slosh and burp. LOL We are used to it. :) We have something here called "Freecycle". I don't know if it's in other countries or not.. well... I know it's in Canada but I don't know past that. The idea behind Freecycle is to give your unwanted items free to someone who can use them and not have them end up in the land fills. I have personally given away many things... clothes, beds, couches, chairs, books.. all kinds of things... and one day a lady had a huge waterbed given to her by her son and she had no room for such a large bed.. .so she gave it to us. We did have to buy a new waterbed mattress and heater but she gave us the usable wooden frame and headboard. Later on, we bought new boards to go under the mattress... but it's still in great shape and we love it.

      If you are interested in Freecycle, go to Freecycle.org and see if they have it where you live. :)

      God Bless! ♥

      Delete
  8. I forgot to say, (and shame on me), I hope Sophie had a WONDERFUL birthday!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I commented on this last night. Did it not go through? Anyway, in case it was lost in cyberspace, :) .... Amy got a new box spring and mattress and Robyn got a new mattress also... at the same time, both last year. Both were just thrilled. :) We think mattresses are very nice gifts! :) I hope Sophie enjoyed her birthday and her nice new mattress. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan,

      Now I have two comments. Aren't I a lucky girl? Thank you.

      God bless!

      Delete
    2. Next time I will "refresh" before I open my gob. LOL!!

      Delete
    3. Susan, I published this comment as well as the other one just in case, for some strange reason, you couldn't see the first one. Weird things happen sometimes!

      Delete

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