Monday, December 03, 2007

aka: What does writing on your butt have to do with the Macabees?

Why do I bother? Please explain my family to me. No, really, PLEASE explain them. I'm begging you.

If you read my blog at all, you know we're rebelling this year against excess, against contaminated toys and against a mutiny conducted entirely by crappy plastic toys. I'm making most of the kids' gifts. Some of my children have oral issues (which is a nice way to say that the kid chews on EVERYTHING). So this plethora of lead paint recalls has me more than a tad bit frightened.

When the family asked me for a wish list for the children, I spent days talking to them and doing research. I then spent hours putting together a list for the family. I went so far as to package it all together in one neat little wish list which actually removes the items as they are purchased (a lovely feature if you don't want to repeat the fiasco that occurs when one receives doubles of three different toys). I e-mailed the family three times--initially with a self-compiled wish list and then with the new fancy version. In every e-mail, I explained two things:

  • #1. Please do not feel obligated to buy our children anything. Money does not equal love (note to my mother). We don't expect gifts from anyone. We only sent the wish list as a courtesy for those who requested suggestions.
  • #2. Due to the current recalls (Damn you, Mr. Kelly, my sophomore English teacher. I used the phrase, "Due to" to initiate a sentence and there's nothing you can do about it), we are very concerned about toys available in most retail stores. Please, if you buy something for the kids, please refrain from buying plastic toys.

I created the list specifically because my MIL asked me to (although other people had the same request later). I made the simple request that people not buy plastic toys. On the wish list, I included options that varied both in price and in function.

What did we get from my MIL today? A box chock full o'gifts. Said box contained nothing at all from the wish list. It did, however, contain lots of plastic toys.

I don't know if you'd consider me a good mom or an evil one, but I hid myself away from the kids, unwrapped all the gifts, and took away some of them. Some are going to be exchanged. Some are being donated.

And just FTR, I do NOT allow my children to wear clothing with anything written across the rear. This includes the otherwise absolutely adorable pants my MIL included with the shipment. I am far too skeeved by the idea of someone not only looking at my daughters' behinds, but doing so with the intensity required to read it. In addition, as I have mentioned previously, we're traditional Jews and while we personally don't subscribe to the long skirts/long sleeves fashion, we do prefer modesty. Dressing them in something which encourages staring at a child's behind is far from modest, IMHO.

GAH! I'm frustrated. Although, then I feel badly about that. I'm not ungrateful. I truly do appreciate the fact that they sent anything at all. They're family and I love them. I don't, however, love having to hide away the plastic crap that will most likely kill them in their sleep.

Oh and on a related note, does anyone out there think white corduroy pants are appropriate for younger children? Modesty has nothing to do with this. Laundry, however, does. Dh and my reactions when we saw them was, "Oh hell no. Those won't last a day before they're stained beyond repair."

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