Parting is such sweet sorrow

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Today we’re getting rid of the Easy Bake Cotton Candy Maker. I know! It’s a big day. I suppose it would be an even bigger day if we decided to get rid of the pasta maker, too, but we do manage to pull that contraption out about once every three years (the amount of time it takes me to forget what a pain in the ass it is to clean it) to make fresh pasta.

I bought the Cotton Candy Maker at Costco about eight years ago. I was there with the boys shortly before Christmas and when Kyle saw it, he decided right then and there he could not live without it. When I told him I would not get it for him, but that he could ask Santa for it, it led to the only full-blown, all-out, in-store tantrum I remember any of my kids ever having.

Up and down the aisles of Costco, I was the mom with the screaming, wailing, tantrumming child who wanted his cotton candy maker and wanted it NOW. I would not relent. And neither would he. I got snide looks, sympathetic looks, all sorts of looks, but I was not swayed. It took about twenty minutes, but Kyle eventually calmed down. It took me about four hours and a martini.

Afterward, however, I had a wonderful idea: I would buy Kyle the Easy Bake Cotton Candy maker for Christmas! It would be a lesson in delayed gratification! He will also have learned that a tantrum will not get you what you want, when you want it. Oh, what a parenting coup!

Flash forward to Christmas morning. I was so excited to see the joy on little Kyle’s face when he unwrapped the cotton candy maker. He tore at the paper. I envisioned rays of sun bursting through clouds. Angelic voices singing.

“What’s this?” He sounded almost disgusted.

“It’s the Easy Bake Cotton Candy Maker!” I said.

Blank stare.

“The one from Costco! The one you said you wanted. The one you lov—“ my voice trails off here as Kyle throws the gadget off to the side and tears into another unopened box. Probably one with clothes in it, just to twist the knife.

We did use it a couple of times. I seem to remember it required dumping a five-pound bag of “Special Cotton Candy” (read: expensive) sugar into the bowl, listening to that annoying motor whine for, like, a day and a half and then turning the hand crank to collect the teaspoon of cotton candy it had generated. Parting with it will not be difficult, or at least not as difficult as parting with that dumb pasta maker.

The Easy Bake Cotton Candy maker was a good lesson. It taught us that our desire for and fascination with things can sometimes be as ephemeral as, well, cotton candy.

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