It was time to come good on a mom-promise.
We’d been reading The BFG at bedtime for three months (not faithfully, in case that wasn’t obvious).
I had randomly picked the book from our Roald Dahl boxed set. Unfamiliar, I was a concerned what the letters might stand for, but, to my relief – friendly. It stands for Big. Friendly. Giant. (Shame on you! Do your kids know you think in such language?)
But, the BFG’s language was a problem. Too be fair, the behemoth had no formal schooling, which begs the reader to sympathize with the odd fumblings and mumblings.
But, one of my little guys had just started speech therapy. We were supposed to be bombarding him with correct wording and pronunciation in our daily life.
And then in walks the BFG speaking exundly (exactly) in gobblefunk (Dahl’s made up language), mixing up word order, replacing words oddly and adding sounds where he shouldn’t.
“We is in Dream Country,” the BFG said. “This is where all dreams is beginning.”
“I cannot be right all the time. Quite often I is left instead of right.”
“Titchy little snapperwhippers like you should not be higgling around with an old sage and onions who is hundreds of years more than you.”
It was tongue-tickling for the reader and mind-tangling for the listener. The whole thing is whimsical and entertaining. Well, that is, unless you are trying to develop a kid’s speech.
When I discovered every line out of the BFG’s mouth would be mashed-up, mixed-up and made-up words, we were already on Chapter Two.
I’m a sucker for sunk cost.
So, I pressed on. But, not without sacrifice. Reading aloud, I’d correct verb tense, discard untimely plurals and substitute words accordingly. I’m sure I killed a bit of the flavor. But, I wasn’t dropping copays to undo all the progress with bedtime reading.
We were fully into the story, and every night as I’d tuck my littles in, I’d look out their curtainless window (#temporaryhousing) and be baffled (yet thankful) they didn’t have nightmares about being giant-snatched as they lay in their beds. #spoileralert #bfgplot
The story kept us interested and we slowly moved forward.
When I disclosed to the boys the book had been made into a movie, they became full-speed-ahead on finishing it.
That day. #screentime #tvjunkies #YouHadMeAtWatchSomething
We sped through the final seven chapters (approximately one-third of the book) in an afternoon.
And then, with a soundtrack of “We finished it – can we watch the movie??” playing on repeat in our house, I considered my options for coming good on my “we’ll watch it as soon as we finish the book” promise.
Netflix didn’t have it.
No friends owned it.
It was checked out at the libraries.
Renting it from Amazon was the best I could do. Then, someone reminded me to check RedBox. $2 seemed worth it.
I wanted to make the process seamless, so I reserved it online at the nearest RedBox. But pouring rain made the screen unusable. $2 down the drain. We found it at another RB, (for another $2 – running total $4). A jaunt with RB live chat earned us a $2 credit. (running total $2 and 30 minutes).
As we returned the movie at 11 am, I thought it smart to use that credit before it expired. Storks, it was.
But, that night was a busy night, with no time for movies. And since the Christmas-break version of our family does not rise early enough to watch and return a movie by 11 am, just like that, we were on day 2 of a “free” rental (running total $4 and 30 minutes.)
Day 3 came and went. We thought nothing of Red Box due dates. It was on Day 4 we remembered and “brought it with us” on an errand near an RB kiosk.
Only to forget about it as soon as we got in the car.
And so it was, on Day 5, that the “free” RedBox was finally returned, costing a grand total of $10 (and 30 minutes). Double the cost of just renting the BFG from Amazon in the first place.
Now, we are fairly reliable people. Minimal library fines. Pay bills on time. Get regular oil changes. Meet deadlines. Cook pasta according to package.
But, 24 hours is not our thing. Seemingly, this is where the rubber meets the road, where we lose in life’s simplest arenas.
Some say the slow way is the fastest way. Well, sometimes the more costly way is the cheapest way.
Too often in life, I want the shortcut, the path of least resistance, the quick fix, the low-hanging fruit.
I want to be settled into our permanent home.
I want new friendships to feel like old friendships.
I want my three littles to be natural athletes, to be liked by all, school-comes-easy, obedient, don’t-even-have-to-ask, well-adjusted kiddos
I want the book written, published and flying off the shelves.
I want the weight loss without the sacrifice and sweat.
I want the funds to overflow.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy. I want the connection without the risk. I want results without the effort. I want express-lane, priority-shipping, pay-at-the-pump convenience.
I want the Redbox life. I want to roll up to a magic red vending machine, grab my movie and go, with a fraction of the cost.
And sometimes that happens.
Sometimes you get discovered. Sometimes you find the hidden gem. Sometimes things come easy. Sometimes the money rolls in. Sometimes the fat falls off. Sometimes everything clicks and falls into place.
But, most of what I really want is going to take priorities, determination, patience, sacrifice, persistence, humility and bravery.
The $2/day RedBox way isn’t going to be worth it in the end.