I am lop-sided.
And it’s driving me crazy.
I’m not talking about my bangs, even though they are (I like to cut them myself)… or my toes (I have that one long, a.k.a. ‘smart’ toe)… or even my boobs (I breastfed three kids. ‘Nuff said.)
I’m talking about gifts. More specifically, making the gifts ‘EVEN’ for the children. As in, everyone has a similarly even pile of goodies on Christmas morning. And you only understand this if you are a parent. More specifically, if you are the parent of more than one child. And none of those children are infants.
When you have babies, you can get away with having an uneven distribution of presents. Let’s face it… a toddler is more fun to shop for than a baby, and you can get more bang for your buck, especially if we’re talking about the excitement level of said kid. So no one is going to notice. When kids are babies, you can wrap up a rattle, or even gift-wrap a box of Kleenex (not that I ever did that ;), and nobody will be the wiser. In fact, if your kids messed with the tree as much as mine did when they were little, you don’t put any wrapped gifts under there at all. It’s just easier than having to re-wrap everything six or seven times.
And if you’re a parent, you know in no way does this ‘even-ness’ refer to the actual dollar amount spent. As we all know, the older a child gets, the more expensive their toys get. (Makes you long for that Kleenex box a little, doesn’t it?) But try explaining to a kid that their Nintendo DS Lite (no kids, you are NOT getting those) cost the same as five of a younger sibling’s gifts. Nothin’doin’.
So I find myself buying into the ‘momma guilt, and trying very hard to make sure they all have the same number of gifts to open on Christmas morning. But I also find myself picking up ‘just one more thing’ because it is cute… or its on sale… (or because I FINALLY found those silly Teacup Pig toys)…and then I feel like I have to even things out for the other two.
I know… it’s crazy. (It makes Phil crazy, too, but that’s actually a whole other story. ;) And maybe you’re made of stronger stuff, and I’m the only momma being manipulated by the machine that is consumerism.
But I highly doubt it.
Most kids I know keep a running tally of every single thing that is placed under the tree, and whether or not their name is on it. And heaven help us if they start to notice a certain ‘unevenness’. And by ‘notice’, I mean to say, they yell, “Whaaat??!! ANOTHER present for her??”
I have to admit, though… I like to mess with my kids. Just a little bit. You know, like putting secret codes on the gifts, so only *I* know who they are for…moving things around… putting things back in the closet that were just under the tree yesterday.
It keeps things fresh.
And when I say ‘fresh’? I mean ‘paranoid’.
Just the way I like ‘em.
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