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Let's build it together

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By: CHRISTIE ELKINS

What I have found to be true after purchasing a fixer-upper home is that you basically sell your soul to the local hardware store.
Have an anniversary?
Great, congratulations!
You get a kitchen sink.
Birthday, anybody?
Looks like a skill saw is at the top of the list. Hammers make great stocking stuffers, and date nights consist of sushi and then drooling over countertops that are much too expensive.
I even had my youngest child’s second birthday at Lowe’s Build and Grow.
Not even kidding you.
Ten kids of toddler age with hammers and nails, building tiny wooden cars with choking hazards and wearing goggles for safety purposes?
Sounds like a party to me.
And any time we deal with fussiness and boredom, just take a walk with the uncontrollable car buggy around the plumbing section. That is hours and hours of fun.
So, to further prove our infinite need and utter dependence on all things home improvement and the observations therein, we were traveling in the ol’ minivan last weekend (no, not to the hardware store. We are stocked up on caulk, I believe) when our oldest child began the classic adult rant about the holidays being “rushed”, and how businesses capitalize on holiday themed items gracing store shelves months before their time.
In 6-year-old terms, it sounded a little more like this: “Ugh. I just do not get it. Why do stores put out their Christmas lights so early? It is months until Christmas. Makes no sense to me.”
As I was about to explain the world of consumerism and subsequent product placement, a voice piped up from the third row seating.
His finger left his nose, he put his action figures to either side of his five point harness carseat, and cleared his throat and declared the following:
“Well, Eden. Lowe’s puts up their Christmas lights so early because it gives people extra time to buy them. Plenty of time. And those jingly stuffed animals that sing and make noise? They put those on the shelves low to the ground so that kids will see them, play with them, then want them and ask and ask their Mommies and Daddies until they finally get one.”
He then resumed the nose picking and car watching, and the rest of us continued the car ride in utter shock. Kind of like the time he was whining one minute because he wanted a lollipop, then the next minute told everyone that the earth spins on its axis.
The child is 3 — three years old, people.
So, keep in mind where you spend the most of your time.
If your child starts sputtering out declarations of high gas prices, the difference between organic and non-organic milk, or what you get when you order a number five, you will know why.