Mother Plans On Spending Nothing On Her Son in 2013; is My Hero
See this lady right here? We have a lot in common. Her adorable child bears a great resemblance to mine (thus the adorable), she has a blog, and she has resolved to avoid spending any money on her son this year. Why the stingy parent business? I’m glad you asked.
I grew up digging through sale bins at thrift stores and yard sales for Barbies with clothes, battery-operated toys with still-charged batteries, or - and this was solid gold - a Polly Pocket toy with the Polly doll still inside. This gave me the impression that low-budget childrearing was the norm - right up until I had my own child to rear. Then, I stopped ignoring the images crowding my social media feeds of the latest and greatest accessories that my friends were buying for their offspring - offspring that couldn’t even ask for a snack yet, let alone demand expensive toyage.
I get it: consumerism is a powerful force. Sure, many of us don’t all feel all that compelled to buy our children this year’s version of Tickle Me Expensive as a matter of necessity. Be that as it may, though, most of us still want to avoid being known as the Goodwill Parent. And, in today’s “pics or it didn’t happen” world, it’s hard to give the impression that you’re buying the shit without actually buying the shit. And, if you’re not buying the shit, what ARE you buying, you selfish asshole?!
In the end, this whole thing comes down to every parent’s weakness: our desire to give our kids the best of everything. It’s a marketing strategy particularly effective on frightened and uninformed pregnant first-time moms, which is probably why it’s so played-out that it makes Call Me Maybe look fresh and exciting. But is a $50 pair of shoes for a kid who can’t even walk yet really “the best?”
I’m not sure what my takeaway would’ve been, had my childhood been ruled by consumerism. I do know, though, that I wouldn’t have learned that commercials aren’t a very good source of information if my parents had bought me everything I saw on TV. A go-kart that wasn’t rigged with a tiller engine and pool mat seats wouldn’t have taught me resourcefulness. Buying new, name-brand clothes wouldn’t have been a lesson in how to spend a little money and look a lot awesome.
Most importantly, there is my mom’s mantra, “You didn’t need new toys; you had each other! You were happy with sticks and dirt.” Without it, I wouldn’t understand the importance of family, and how much more valuable it is than anything you can get at Babies R Us.
We Had An Adorable Weekend
In the spirit of Trying to Pretend it’s Not Monday, I’ve gathered some photos of our weekend adventures and deposited them here, so I can look back and them and think that, if I could choose when to die, it would be on a Sunday night, so I didn’t have to go to work the next day.
I started the weekend out right. Maybe it wasn’t entirely in good taste, but I’m still pretty sure that drinking from a Big Gulp is classier than drinking from a 24-ounce can - especially if no one knows you’re boozing it up. Then, it has the distinct advantage of NOT making you look like a mom who just wanted to enjoy a fucking beverage on the weekend stop judging me!
You, dear readers, have no idea how long I’ve waited for an opportunity to go all Borat on a naked picture of my son. The second-best thing about this photo is the $1 rubber hippo he’s chewing on, which I had just picked up for him and he was playing with for the first time. I mean, look at that face: do you think he’ll EVER get that much enjoyment from an expensive toy that makes really obnoxious sounds and requires assembly? Probably, but a girl can dream.
After Li’l G was sufficiently bathed, we deposited him into the care of B’s half-sister, who, apparently, did an excellent job of making him tired, since he didn’t even wake up when I picked him up and carried him to the car when we retrieved him that evening. Aunt Angela definitely gets an A+ on this one.
And, look: Graham’s aunt even got him a new toy. He got tired of riding on it pretty quickly, but he really enjoyed walking behind it. He’s been taking 4 or 5 steps independently before he falls down now, but I still personally believe that he could easily walk all the time if he didn’t prefer to crawl.
I have to admit, this did kind of put me in the Christmas spirit - and I am not really much of a Christmas person.
I also finally got to use the Ross gift card my mom gave me for my birthday this weekend, and I’m pretty sure I found the coolest purse I’ve ever purchased at Ross, EVER, which is some pretty serious shit. If anyone reading this is planning on getting me a new purse for Christmas, though, totally don’t let this stop you. My policy regarding purses is basically the opposite of Arizona’s policy regarding immigrants: I never turn one away. Even if you give me the worst purse ever, I’ll still pretend to like it and stuff it in the back of my closet and hide my stash in it, because who would think anything good would be in THAT ugly thing?
Is it Friday yet?!
This compilation of boy toys vs. girl toys from the SAME FUCKING CATALOGS makes me want to vomit and die. I guess I should be happy that I had a boy, so he doesn’t get subjected to the whole inferior toy thing, but it just makes me sad that his options will be limited, too. :(
The Perfect Christmas Card
I think I’ve finally decided on the perfect message to include in this year’s Christmas card… “Happy Holidays/Merry XXXMas, beloved friends and family (and unbeloved family members who keep asking to borrow money)! We are excited to see what each of our loved ones has in store for us as we all do our part to spread the holiday spirit this year like HIV among needle-sharing intravenous drug users.
For those of you who plan to purchase gifts for Graham, first: thank you for making his first Christmas one he’ll never forget (except he will cuz he’s, like, 1.). If you have planned to purchase a toy for Graham, all we ask is that you keep in mind the fact that studies have repeatedly shown that most (if not all!) noise-making toys register at a number of decibels that can permanently damage the hearing of babies and children.
We appreciate your generosity, but, instead of damaging the sensitive ears of our own precious little Baby Jesus, we ask that you select an age-appropriate alternative. For example, instead of Old Man Farmer’s Barn o’ Fun: Find the Loudest Animal Edition, we suggest ladies’ handbags from Juicy Couture, Betsey Johnson or Kate Spade.
We thank you in advance for your consideration and wish you all the warmth and cheer that this season brings. We love and look forward to sharing the joy of this special time of year with each of you, whether in person or in spirit. May the vengeful, bloodthirsty Lord of the Holy Bible be with you. And all God’s people said: [group:] Amen.
Li’l G Goes Shopping: A Tale of He Can Almost Walk, Ya’ll, and I Know My Son is Surrounded by Pink and I Kind of Like It
In which Li’l G proves that he was not conceived immaculately (good thing we cleared that up, since my name is synonymous with celibacy and shit)
This afternoon, I’m picking Li’l G up from daycare, right? And they’re all like, “Did you get the voicemail we left you?” And I’m like, no, but what I really mean is, oh, THAT’S the call I got this afternoon from the number that I didn’t recognize that I sent to my voicemail that I never check! Nice to know that one out of ten wasn’t a bill collector.
Apparently, the daycare had called me because my kid got bit by another kid in an epic battle over what was probably a really annoying noise-making toy. Even though I haven’t ever observed Li’l G being particularly aggressive, it makes sense that he would cling tenaciously to a piece of plastic that doesn’t shut up unless you take the batteries out and cast them into the fires of Mordor. Children, you see, are actually very good at picking up on subtle cues, like me
exchanging for store credit tragically misplacing every noise-making toy bequeathed to him by inconsiderate family members.
But, seriously… Are we sure this is my kid? I mean, I do vaguely remember giving birth to him, but, since I was busy pushing the MO PAIN MEDS button every time I started to think that I might be starting to regain feeling in one of my toes, I can’t really verify any details. I guess I could have eliminated these kinds of suspicions by requesting that the doctor place my offspring on my bare chest immediately after I expelled it from my body, so that we could get our magical skin-to-skin bonding on while shit was still all slimy and bloody and what-have-you, but… yeah… still not worth it.
But this is good, this is good. Since Li’l G looks exactly like me and exactly not like his dad at all, it’s good to know that he isn’t 100% Mandy. We can be sure of this, mostly due to the fact that he was not the biter, but also because he did not respond to being bitten by shouting obscenities at the biter and shoving them, face-down, into a pile of legos.
Yeah, I’m not aggressive or anything. Not at all.
So, Li’l G and I are playing this morning, and, in an unusual and slightly suspicious burst of generosity, he hands me one of his cousin’s Barbies. I pick it up, and I’m like “HOLY SHIT BATMAN her shoes are awesome!”
Seriously. I don’t remember Barbies having shoes this cool when I was kid. Now I’m wondering if they make barbie shoes for big people with anatomically-correct feet.
Saturday productivity = lost.
Update: I want these more than life itself.
B owes me a pair of shoes, anyway, since he took the left shoe of my favorite wedges, went for a walk with it, and lost it (don’t ask). He betta step up his game.
When I was a kid, all my Polly Pockets always came from yard sales, and they were always missing the Polly. My sister and I had, like, 3 Polly Pocket houses and only 1 Polly Pocket.
There’s a parenting lesson here, but I’m too busy thinking about how much I want these earrings in my ears RIGHT NOW.
This articles goes SO HARD: ”Brown bear appears to be coming off of a four-day meth binge… He is FREAKED OUT TWEAKED OUT and hasn’t slept for days.”
I mean, really, could this be any more awesome?!