Buying Kid’s Gifts.
It’s coming up to Christmas shopping season. In fact, if you’re super organised, you have already entered the shopping season and your present cupboard is filling rapidly. Kid’s gifts will be filling trolleys everywhere- for our own and those belonging to our gang of parent mates.
Buying for other people’s kids means spending some time in the toy section and I’m a firm believer in the idea that what you buy for the children of your friends and those in your extended family is a direct reflection of how you feel about them. If you’re shaking your head and laughing at this theory, think harder. That friend who gave your kid a toy that plays loud, awful, fuzzy sounding music last Christmas? Not your biggest fan. Friends don’t do that to friends. It’s important to give this due consideration. You don’t want to send the wrong message when buying kid’s gifts.
Play-Doh Play Sets.
These come un-assembled, so there’s the fact that you have to put them together. No big deal, but still a pain. There are quite a few parts to the one we had. It was supposed to be like an ice cream machine and was a bastard to put together. Once constructed, you had to put the play dough in, squish it down, pull down the handle and out comes soft-serve styled ice cream.
Except that it was so hard to pull down, my pre-schooler needed help. After three pretend ice creams I was ready to throw it in the bin and take some anti-inflammatories for the RSI flare up it induced. It mixed all the dough colours and was impossible to clean without complete disassembly and soaking. Who has the time or the inclination for that?! And also- why wasn’t this blindingly obvious- it is NOT A GOOD IDEA to make play-doh look like food because it’s hard enough to stop kids eating play-doh without it looking like a swirly ice cream!!
I bought this myself and went for the metallic, sparkling kind. The packaging hooked me in, with it’s blingy castle picture. Let me tell you, I was devastated when I opened it. The sparkly, glittery, silvery sand fashioned into exquisite castles on the box is a LIE. It is GREY. The colour of dust- the ordinary kind and not what you’d imagine fairies flinging about. It does not shimmer; it crumbles and gets fucking everywhere. It’s almost impossible for adults to keep it all in one place (this adult, anyway) let alone a kid with their tiny kid hands. Bits just fall off and end up in the cracks between tiles. If it sparkled like it was meant to, I might admire the effect on the grout. Instead, it’s just like (more) grey dirt clogging the floor under and around the table. If your friends are rational , sane people, they won’t appreciate the extra sweeping. If they have carpet, they may cheerfully throttle you.
As far as my feet are concerned, these fuckers are the new Lego. Yes, they are cute and colourful but what is the point of these things? I do not know. And guess what? Neither will the kids! I know because my 4 year old had a shitload of them and she loves them, obsesses over them, wants ALL OF THE SHOPKINS but in reality, she has NFI what to do with them. They live in a bag and every now and then she pulls them out and exclaims over how cute this one or that one is. Then she wanders off because she’s fucking bored, and leaves them for me to step on en route to the coffee machine in the morning. She is also happy to watch people opening Shopkins packets on the internet, which is fine by me. She can watch all she wants if I don’t have to buy and step on them.
Side note: I once found her watching videos of a woman who was with her kids, slicing Shopkins in half with a sharp knife to see what colours they were inside. Mesmerising and strangely satisfying and not because I care what colour they are inside. Also, you should definitely check out ‘5 Reasons Shopkins Should Go Fuck Themselves’!
Anything That Shoots Projectiles.
Oooh, controversial! Fuck, that’s my middle name (I wish. Much more interesting that Gwen.)
I have never been a fan of toy weapons so I’ve never bought them for anyone. A friend once gave our older kids a Nerf gun. I am sure she meant well but I did question if maybe I had pissed her off in some way and this was her subtle revenge. If so, well played. I pondered it and decided that I was probably being a bit fucking uptight, because really, will one Nerf gun turn the three of them into future violent criminals? So, despite my misgivings, I relented and let them have it on the proviso that it was used outside and not pointed at each other. Within 10 minutes, someone had been shot in the eye and the Nerf gun vanished to the bin. Kids apparently do not have basic self control when the opportunity to fire a projectile at a sibling presents. Your parent friends probably won’t thank you for literally giving their kids ammunition to fire at them, their unsuspecting siblings or the family pets.
The Pointless, The Dust-Collecting and The Inappropriate.
Generally, kids have more than enough soft toys and don’t really need or understand ornaments. These are pointless dust-collectors that will be nothing but a pain in the arse of your friend who will eventually cull them anyway. Same goes for unsuitable presents. If it says “for ages 6 and up” on the box, do not buy it for a 2 year old. They won’t be able to use it and will probably be at risk of choking on the small parts. If you genuinely like your parent friend, try not to give their kids a potentially lethal present. It should be common fucking sense.
Likewise, gift vouchers. You mean well, I am sure, but have a think about it. A gift card means very little to the 3 year old opening it. To your parent friend, it means they must take their kid shopping. Joy, oh fucking joy, right? The only thing worse is when the gift card is from a poorly chosen store. Toddlers don’t have a wide selection to choose from at Supercheap Auto or Bunnings. Have a little think. If you’re truly stumped, an appropriate gift card is okay… Just be sure to include one for Mum and Dad for the liquor store to deal with the aftermath of shopping with kids in the silly season.
If you actually like your friends, never do this to them. There is no clearer message than the fucking recorder. As kid’s gifts go, the recorder is one of the biggest “FUCK YOU” messages you can send to a parent friend. This says “I never want you to enjoy a moment’s peace again”. It screams “I hope you’re fucking annoyed all the time!”. The recorder gift says “I want your nerves frayed to shit by random, high-pitched whistle-shrieks that punctuate your day, beginning somewhere around 5:30 am!”
When I spotted this online and saw that it was SOLD OUT, I thought maybe people didn’t actually know the horror of the recorder. That’s me, trying to be optimistic. In reality, there’s probably a lot of passive-aggressive presents going out this Christmas… If there is anything worse than a recorder on it’s own, it’s the inclusion of instructions on how to make it shriek “Let It Go”.
#IBOT @ Capturing Life.