Christmas is bearing down on me like a massive herd of pissed off wildebeests. I haven’t had the courage or time away from my children to bake yet, my house looks like Christmas threw up all over it and I have a bare minimum of presents purchased. Am I shocked or surprised? Obviously not. Stress and hostility fuels my productivity. I hate this trait in me, and I make others suffer right along with my insanity. But after 45 years, I really don’t know if it’s possible to change.
Our family is extremely blessed with generous friends and family, and every year I get asked, “what would your kids like for Christmas?” I’m sure many of you get the same question and probably meet it with the same huge overwhelmed mental sigh that I do. My oldest would adore anything that is Star Wars or Harry Potter related. My 6 year old loves anything with a superhero on it. And my youngest? Frankly you could wrap up her big brothers in a big box with a bow and she’d lose her mind in pure happiness. (Please don’t wrap them in the same box because they will kill each other and it will be messy…and guess who has to clean up that shit — Yeah. Yours truly.) Actually now that I think about it, just get them socks. Star Wars, Harry Potter, Superhero and sparkly socks. They won’t last long in my house, but it will get me through one more load of laundry with less profanity.
I’m guessing socks is not going to be a satisfactory answer for our blessed gift givers. So this year I’m approaching it from a different angle, and perhaps this may help you too when people ask you the same question. Here’s what NOT to get my kids if you love me at all:
Anything that pees, poops or cries — basically any bodily fluid: There are an alarming number of games on the market that involve farting, peeing, pooping, crying and other nonsense. I deal with this on a daily, if not hourly basis. By the time my youngest will be potty trained, I will have had a kid in diapers for the past ten years. TEN YEARS! Why do I need a pretend version of that, which you KNOW I’ll have to clean up after. No thank you.
Have you seen this gem? This little shit cries tears, whines that it’s not feeling good, requires feeding and temperature taking and more. If this thing comes into my house, it’s getting punched.
And then Goliath games. WTF. This company seriously must have an R&D department run by a team of 8 year old boys. Everything they create involves pooping, farting, boogers and more. Okay. So I get that these topics are a real laugh riot to kids (and their dads) — but don’t I put up with enough of that every single fucking day? Come on!
I honestly think the powers that be at Goliath must really hate their respective moms and are taking their hostility out on mothers everywhere.
Science kits: I know these seem like a thoughtful, educational gift. “But it says, ‘STEAM’ on it. Isn’t that the big thing these days?” Well yes, to educators it stands for “Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics.” To the assholes marketing these “science” kits, it really stands for “Shitty Torture Experiments Against Mothers.” Basically these kits include crude beakers that leak and other sketchy measuring devices, popsicle sticks, mysterious packets of powdered toxic waste and a vague instruction book full of “experiments” that require a trip to Costco to buy baking soda, vinegar and Q-Tips in bulk.
Then when you finally have everything you supposedly need to jump start your youngster’s love of science, the hell really begins. Before you’ve had a chance to even read the first line of the instruction book, your adorable Neutron Nelly has already torn open all the packets of toxic waste and is madly mixing random things together while his sibling is sprinkling baking soda all over the kitchen like fairy dust. A hole is being eaten through the table by said disaster and radioactive goo is getting all over the kitchen rug.
Once all of the raw materials have been squandered before one experiment has been completed, your budding scientist has completely lost interest and you’re left in a puddle of tears as you take in the mass destruction that has swept through your kitchen like a tornado hit a mad scientist’s dungeon.
So please. NO. This is why my children go to school so they can do this shit there. This is a good case of, “What happens at school ought to stay at school.”
Anything involving glitter or food coloring: Absolutely not! Glitter is Satan’s sawdust and will make everything in my house look as if a gaggle of lap dancers came over for a rave. Glitter projects should be done at school and not brought home. Instead they should be sent directly to grandparents. I will provide pre-addressed stamped envelopes.
Anything that involves me using food coloring for any reason makes the vein in my forehead throb. This includes homemade play dough (the bane of any preschool parent’s existence,) science experiment kits (yet another reason they are a big NO in my book) and baking projects — need I remind you about my aversion to cut-out cookies?? Getting out the food colors at my house puts my children in mad scientist mode and colors get mixed in alarming quantities, things get spilled, profanity is spewed and the resulting food coloring stains have the half life of bismuth.
Mind you, these are just some general guidelines. Basically I kindly request that when shopping, please keep my mental health in mind. If your gift does not pass the Mommy Sanity Test (I’m working on a patent) — I will file this away in my memory of hateful behavior and use it against you when you are least expecting it. Moms may not be able to remember what the hell they came into the room for, but our memory of bad behavior is razor sharp. So… Grandparents: remember that we get to pick your nursing home. Aunts and uncles: your children will become fair game. Friends who don’t have kids: we will send ours over to your house armed with any non-compliant gifts for you to “enjoy” with our little angels.
You’ve been warned…with gratitude.