When my kids were babies all they wanted was to have my stuff. The stuff I really needed. Like my car keys, my wallet, my cell phone and the television remote. So, instead of relinquishing my photo id, credit cards and cash to a drooling nine month old I made a decoy wallet and filled it with decoy credit cards and play money. I found a remote that no longer worked and put it in my son’s crib hoping it would entertain him for a few pre-dawn minutes. I collected unidentified keys from the junk drawer and put them on a Sesame Street keychain. Instead of donating my old cell phone to charity, I put it in the toy box. But my kids were never fooled.
They wanted MY STUFF. The real keys, the working credit cards, the actual cell phone, the real remote.
Now, there’s an application that you can download onto your Blackberry that turns it into a kid’s toy. Like they weren’t already fascinated with your stuff. Cute little animals appear on the screen, numbers cavort, letters dance and an annoying little voice announces every number your child presses.
I’m thinking that this is a horrible idea on many levels. Drool, Zwieback and Blackberries don’t seem like a good combination. Kids and Blackberries don’t either.
Today, my local paper has a special Holiday Gift guide section. In it are ads for local businesses, a couple of coupons for $10 off orders of $50 or more at the Jade Garden and $5 off at the Pet Shop. There are also articles with helpful ideas for what to give the people on your list.
Now, Christmas is not exactly a gravy train for moms. We get the macaroni encrusted picture frames, the hand lettered coupons promising the cheerful completion of chores at some future date – if it’s convenient, if there’s nothing better to do, if you don’t loose the coupon. Maybe.
But, now that my kids are a little older, I have been guardedly hoping that this Christmas might be payback time. Payback for the Wii that I stood in line for at dawn, payback for the Barbie Foldin’ Fun House that I arm wrestled for in the Aisle of Toys R Us, payback for all of the years that I stayed up until 3 o’clock in the morning wrapping gifts, filling stockings and disguising my handwriting to look like Santa’s.
So I was eager to see what gift suggestions my local paper had for my kids and husband to buy for me. I know I’d like some nice leather boots, maybe one of those little Flip video cameras, a small flat screen tv for the kitchen. But no. There in black and white – under gift ideas for Mom is “A sentimental letter or framed picture of mom and the kids is likely the best gift of all.”
Don’t forget to decorate that frame with elbow macaroni.