Thursday, February 16, 2012

Want to buy a toy for the boys? No, thanks!

Occasionally, and by occasionally I mean too often, the boys will receive a toy that makes me want to throat punch someone. I'd say the gift-giver but that would be incredibly unkind and sound like I am ungrateful. Which, truth be told, I'm partially ungrateful. I'm thankful and touched that the person went to the time and effort to thoughtfully purchase something for my children with their hard-earned money, I am just not thankful for what they chose to buy. 

Make sense?

I readily admit that I am a total ass when it comes to toys. I mostly dislike them all, because they are either too noisy, too messy, too battery-consuming, too frustrating, incredibly disappointing, or end up costing us a bunch of money to buy the "extras" that actually are required to make the object of any use. 

But there are the special few that hold that coveted place of being despised with all my being. As soon as the boys remove the wrapping, I instantly recognize if the toy falls in that category, and I have a physical reaction: a sinking feeling in my gut and joyless smile that doesn't reach my eyes.

Because I know what's going to happen. They're going to play with the toy, and I'm going to go insane. 

I'm writing this particular post at this particular time because I just came from the garage, where "the bookends" (the oldest and youngest) were playing with one of the toys they received for Christmas. It has a thousand parts, it's flimsy, they don't even know what they are supposed to do with most of it (which is actually fine, it allows them to get creative and make up their own games - win), and basically, I just can't stand it. It puts me in a bad mood. I end up getting frustrated, and yelling and swearing. You know, letting the finer points of my personality emerge. And then I get even madder that a stupid fucking toy drove me to that! 

So I'm sitting here, venting, because it allows me to work out my anger and express all the emotions that go into the psychology of gifts. 

Yes, the psychology of gifts. 

Allow me to explain. If my husband or I had bought the toy, and it sucked and caused all kinds of grief, then we'd simply either toss it, or most likely resell or donate it, and hope and pray that somebody with infinitely more patience is who receives it next. Because I would HATE to pass something that drove me insane on to somebody else, and it then drives THEM insane. I'm not about that. I want to help, not make things worse for people. Even if I don't know them. 

BUT. If we didn't buy the toy and somebody else did, then I feel that I owe it to them to allow the boys to get their use out of the toy. Right? As much as I want to, I can't just throw the damn thing away. Nor can I let them destroy it inside of 5 minutes, or lose the parts, which sadly seems to be their tendency. Even though I know the gift-giver will most likely never know that I tossed it or gave it away, I just can't bring myself to do that. Money doesn't grow on trees for the friends and family who give my boys gifts, so I can't bring myself to disregard their generosity, even if it comes at the price of my sanity. 

So, I'll sit in the garage or in the house with them, and try to keep them from breaking the flimsy parts, try to keep Brandon from choking on the small parts, try to keep them from losing the parts, try to keep from swearing and getting mad, and failing miserably at it all. Then, I'll marinate in guilt for getting frustrated with the boys, for not having more patience, and for wishing that they never received the gift in the first place. Bad me.

Ah yeah. The joys of motherhood. Toy angst.

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  1. Haaa... I know who you are! And you have always ROCKED it in this department! Probably because you have your own kids and know...!! Love you!


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