Saturday, December 11, 2010

'Tis the Fucking Season

It is not in my nature to be one of those parents who goes to wait in line outside a toy store at 3am so that I can push, trample and punch my way to the hottest coolest toy just because my kid wants it.  It will just never happen.  Luckily, Lila's tastes are pretty simple and far-reaching.   

All year long, Lila sees toys on TV, screams and cries to Grandma, and lo and behold, they show up at Grandma's house within a few days.  Most of the year this is annoying to me (who is determined not to raise a spoiled asshole kid who thinks she is loved only based on what we give her) but whatever.  I cannot change the nature of my mother as Grandma. 

Thank goodness that everyone withholds that kind of spoiling during the month of December in lieu of waiting for the windfall that is Christmas.  Everyone, that is, except for Grandma.

Lila told me after Thanksgiving that there was only one thing she wanted for Christmas and that was the unicorn Pillow Pet (see previous post).  This was going to simplify things tremendously because Santa would bring that and then several cheap toys from Wal-Mart, some socks and underwear, and $10 worth of dollar store stocking stuffers and we would have another affordable and easy Christmas before Lila got old enough to know any better. 
Until last week, a few days before we were going to visit Santa.   I went to pick Lila up at my mother's house, and she was so excited to show me what "came early" from Santa.  My asshole mother went out and bought her the Unicorn.  And not only did she go out and buy it for her.  She gave it to her.  With less than 3 weeks before Christmas, my mother presented Lila with the one item she desperately wanted Santa to bring her. 

To complicate matters further, my mother THEN handed Lila the ToysRUs ad and told her to circle the things she wanted.  Lila circled a $1500 swing set, a $200 doll house, 3 bikes, a Barbie Power Wheels Escalade (so she can "drive her dolls around") and anything she saw that was related to Disney Princesses or Dora the Explorer.  At bedtime I tried to sit her down to explain that she can only ask Santa for a couple of things.  She was confused but said she would think about it. 

The next morning, she found a little pamphlet that had come with another toy that she's had for months.  If you've never heard of the Playmobil sets you're missing out.  They're actually kind of cool, if not a little too advanced for my 3 year old kid.  Lila decided she needed to have the amazingly detailed schoolhouse set and the hospital set which I believe has over 300 pieces.  For the next several days, all she talked about was asking Santa for the school and the hospital.  She specifically put the pamphlet into her Tinkerbell backpack so that she would remember it when we went to see him.  She stared at the pamphlet lovingly naming all the little characters in the picture.  I asked her if there was anything else she was going to ask Santa for and she said, just a coloring book and some paint.

Breakfast with Santa day arrived and she sat on his lap and told him in no uncertain terms that she wanted a play schoolhouse, a play hospital and some paints and coloring paper.  "That's it," she said.  Santa told her that she would have to be a good girl until Christmas and if she was he would do his best...

Later that day, I decided to go online to get some of this shopping nonsense out of the way.  I checked the big 3 toy retailers (Target, Wal-Mart and ToysRUs) and no one carried either the school house or the hospital.  Then I went to the Playmobil website and found out why.  THOSE SETS COST OVER $150 EACH.  This was going to be a problem.  This year, money being pretty tight and all, $150 was the entire budget for Lila's Christmas toys.  With the Unicorn Pillow Pet being the main event, that was not going to be a problem.  There HAD to be some other toy hospital set or school house I could get her somewhere, right?

I tried to talk with her and told her that the elves didn't make enough of those toys this year and that I didn't know if Santa was going to be able to bring her those.  She began to CRY and asked if she was being naughty (???!!!!)  WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!

My imaginary mean response would have been "Remember how the other day I told told you it was time to clean up your toys and you threw a fit?  Yeah, well Santa saw that and said a kid who acts like that is only getting a lump of coal."  But that isn't the response.  Instead I sit here feeling like my kid is going to be let down on Christmas because I really cannot afford to give her the things she wants. 

It occurred to me that perhaps paying in advance for the several years of therapy she is going to need because of all the times I have failed her as a mother isn't the worst idea.  She wouldn't really get it now, but I guarantee, when she turns 20 and doesn't have health insurance and realizes that she's turning into her crazy mother, she'll be grateful I thought ahead. 

4 comments:

  1. You could have avoided this rampant, psychologically destructive and completely unnecessary phenomenon by simply refusing to lie to your child.

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  2. That's true, Michael Jackson's family didn't believe in Santa Claus either and he turned out just fine..

    **rolls eyes**

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  3. Okay... here's how to deal with your mother. Tell gave Lila that Santa gave grandma that catalog and tell her to call grandma to ask for the toys she circled. Help her to dial grandma's phone number every couple of hours, even if Lila wakes up in the middle of the night. If your mother asks about it, claim complete innocence and praise Lila about what a smart girl she is. I guarantee that the catalog will not be a problem the next year.

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  4. Okay, I love the suggestion from Anonymous #2. Not that it matters because it's now March. But whatever - next year, right??

    On a different note, damn you for showing me the Playmobil website! First off, I have a strong love for anything miniature. Second, it's everything I ever would have wanted in a toy when I was a kid. And third, my son is only 8 months old, which means I have to wait FOREVER to get to play with the damn things!!!

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