Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The true meaning of Chanukah:
aka no gifts for you.

Dh and I have never been able to understand these kids. Our two eldest tend to destroy things left and right. Whereas dh and I still have toys from our childhood that fared quite well, our children tend to destroy things within months or even days. It's very frustrating and occasionally, infuriating.

Now, we are NOT the types of parents who throw toys at our kids left and right. We don't believe in buying love. Hell, we don't even believe in replacing broken toys. If you broke it, you need to learn to live with that disappointment. I don't want 14 year-olds down the road, who, never having dealt with disappointment, turn to drugs and alcohol to dull that strange new sensation. I'm not going to create disapointment, but when it comes, we weather it. If that means you tore the foot off your brand new Language Littles and you never see it again, well then, so be it.

Months ago, dh and I bought a cute hanging sorting case for the big kids. It was on clearance and was far too cute. Storage is a premium in their room, so it was necessary. We weren't able to put it up at the time, so we folded it up and stashed it way back under their bed. When we pulled it out this past weekend, we found the kids had destroyed it. butterflies had torn wings. Antenae were not only torn off, but then shoved through the wings of other butterflies leaving huge holes. I'm all for investigating how things work, but this was destructive for the sake of being destructive.

Later, we found that the girls had also rummaged under their bed (where they're not supposed to be), found a lamp that has been theirs since they were babies, tore it apart and ripped all the wires out of it. What wires are left have been stripped. Luckily, it wasn't plugged in at the time.

Yesterday was the final straw. In an effort to spruce up their rooms, I got some vinyl robot wall decals for TheBoy's room. They were very cute and he loved them. Yesterday, the girls told me this huge story about how one of the robots spoke English and how they were going to get married. They spent about an hour in there, all three of them, playing. It wasn't until much later that I realized that of the 8 robots, 6 were pulled off the wall and torn. They wouldn't go back up. They were completely useless.

Dh and I feel awful. We put in all the time and effort to do things for the kids. We work with them. We make things for them. And yes, we do occasionally buy things for them. What do they do? They destroy it all.

Yesterday was the final straw. Dh and I have discussed it and we agreed that the kids will not be getting Chanukah gifts this year. I know the grandparents plan on sending clothes and I'm sure at least one toy. Those, they will get, but we can't do it ourselves. We can't waste the money buying something only to have it destroyed. I can't waste the effort making something only to have it cut apart. We just can't take it.

We already bought them tickets to a dinosaur show. They'll get those on Chanukah, but that's it.

We know that Chanukah's not Xmas. We never try to make it such. It's always a small event just within our family. While yes, there are some gifts, the focus has always been on the symbolism and meaning behind the eight days. Still, I actually like making things for them. I had a blast last year making their gifts. We only bought maybe one or two things and I handmade everything else. I didn't get many gifts myself, but damn it, I LOVED making things. Making things for the kids was more fun than receiving gifts. I think this year, I'll focus my gift making on my nieces and nephews. It's a shame, though, because I really do like making for my kids.

I just cannot understand what in the world must be going through their heads. I just don't get it.

1 comment:

Krissy said...

Dh and I's godson is the same way except the destruction for him isn't limited to his belongings. He will destroy anyone's stuff including his parents' things. At least you don't reward the bad behavior by replacing the damaged toys like his parents do.