I’m glad you like my kids enough to give them a gift. That’s sweet of you, and I appreciate the intent behind your actions. But you know what I don’t appreciate? Your half-baked idea of what an appropriate gift is.
Let’s get a few things straight before you give my kid another gift that makes me want to leave a flaming bag of poop on your front door step.
Enough with the Glitter Already
Yes, I know companies use glitter with wild abandon on girls’ clothing and decorations. But I don’t buy those things. I’ve learned through the school of hard knocks that glitter is the devil – a sparkly, tempting devil in disguise.
I’d rather pour bleach in my eyes than see my daughter unwrap one more package of clothes covered in glitter.
I’ve become a master at plastering a seemingly sincere smile on my face as my daughter holds up her new outfit proudly in the air. I watch as that gentle movement sends thousands of tiny flecks of glitter spilling onto my flour. Secretly, I’m dying inside and I’m studying your every feature so I can begin crafting a voodoo doll of you the second you leave my house.
In case you really don’t understand what my problem with glitter is, here it is — that glitter won’t just be on my floor. It will end up all over – our hands, our mouths, our eyes. As my daughter gets a piece of glitter in her eye and I’m frantically yelling at her not to scratch her eyeball, I’ll be thinking of ways to extract my revenge on you.
Sea Monkeys are the Bane of my Existence
I would rather attach my breast pump and run it on the highest speed and suction for days than see my kid unwrap one more friggin’ box of sea-monkeys.
Your so-called thoughtful gesture is going end with me consoling my crying daughter because her little pets she can barely see without a magnifying glass only lived two weeks. But knowing my luck, the sea-monkeys my daughter receives will have the lifespan of Hugh Hefner and I will have to order more specially formulated food packets just to feed these little guys.
So in addition to breaking my daughter’s heart when her pets do die, your gift will also cost me money and sleepless nights when I wake up at 3 a.m. certain that someone forgot to feed the sea-monkeys.
Grow Your Own Crystal Sets Suck
Let me tell you how this one played out in real life. You gave my daughter a make your own crystal set as a gift, although she was clearly younger than the box guidelines said she should be to use it. I turned my back to take a bag full of wrapping paper outside to the garbage can.
By the time I came back in a minute later, my child had already happily ripped the crystal set out of the box because you told her she could. She was tossing around a pack of hazardous chemicals that the box clearly said should only be handled by adults.
The rage I felt at that moment should have consumed me. Instead, I envisioned ripping that bag of hazardous chemicals over your head to see if you would notice it was dangerous when it was your butt on the line instead of my daughter’s.
Maybe think twice before giving a hazardous gift away and at least make sure it’s age appropriate next time.
My Ban on Laser Lights
You think it’s a good idea to give laser light toys, and that tops that throw off laser beams as they spin around are cool. You know what I think is cool? My daughter not having eye damage.
Are you the last person in the world who doesn’t know the dangers of laser light toys? The Food and Drug Administration has put out warnings about these toys for a reason – they can permanently damage a child’s vision in an instant.
What Can You Give My Daughter?
Maybe you think I’m being too picky. Or perhaps you’ve labeled me as an overprotective mom. But you know what? I really don’t care. Gifts are meant to be enjoyed – they aren’t supposed to send you to the emergency room or cause traumatic conversations about death.
So do me a favor. Pick something that doesn’t grow, won’t harm my daughter and doesn’t end up causing me hours of additional clean-up at my house. That leaves you thousands of options, and if you pick one of those, I will be forever in your debt. I guarantee there won’t be one single voodoo doll of you anywhere in my house.
About the author: Jenny Silverstone is a mother of two, a blogger and a breastfeeding advocate. Motherhood has made Jenny more responsible than she ever thought she would be, or wanted to be, for that matter. Find her giving actionable parenting advice at MomLovesBest.com or drop her a line on Twitter.