Dear: Parenting 911
I have a HUGE problem……. Technically I guess it’s more like a pint size child of mass destruction. Sam is 6 1/2 and since I can remember his first independent movement — he has been NOSY… His curiosity was healthy even down right cute at ages 1 and 2, but by three the new motto in the house became “If it’s new, IT WILL NEED GLUE”! Sam seems to have a superpower of sorts — he can find ANYTHING you DON’T want him too….. For instance Christmas Presents, his or not matters none..IF THEY’RE HIDDEN HE WILL FIND THEM.
And I mean we have hid them in every crevice of our home — HE ALWAYS FINDS THEM. The last few years we hid them fully wrapped, I mean bows and all. We hid them in the attic which is a very difficult space for him to maneuver, but he found a way. Unfortunately he is making the Holidays extra costly for us since he “still believes” which bottom line means we spend more money to “keep Santa’s secret” …… BUT the gig is up if I can’t find a solution, AND NOW….
This year my husband was laid off from a job he had for 22 years. Since it was a pretty specific job requiring specific knowledges, and little general labor involved — let’s just go with — he wasn’t trained nor qualified for much else… He decided to go back to college and learn something with more options, and high demand. That decision has made this year ridiculously hard financially, as well as emotionally and all that other crap.
Attached you will find (due to my husband’s AWESOME OCD ), A detailed list and 2nd list from the past few years, as well as things we have tried etc.
Sam is already asking for specific things “from Santa” that are pricey and honestly NOT what most kids would ever dare even assume they may receive…. From ANYONE……Ever……. Any idea’s on what to do about this dilemma are greatly appreciated, even a heavy-handed reprimanding approach is welcome. And if by some miracle it works, then I will personally sing your praises, and thank you the whole year — I bet he wins………….
Sincerely: A cup filled with hope — needing a top off of firm faith.
Dear: Firm faith? My ass what you NEED is DUCT TAPE!!!!!!
(NOTE: We just read the attached lists, and places of attempted hiding. After we calculated the costs of the “extra” presents and finished reading this highly detailed attachment — I will personally tell you both that — YOU’RE INSANE!!!…. I say this for several reasons. Buckle up buttercup, WE WILL re-visit your departure from reality a bit later.)
We’re going to go about this in two ways as to not confuse or threaten the integrity of the mission at hand. And it IS exactly that a MISSION….. BUT NOT Mission Impossible!!!!!!!
Okay — starting off with what is good about any of this — umm….Well….. Okay I know of at least one very important fact, and it’s of great value and importance. YOU LOVE YOUR SON AND clearly want his magical world of innocence to stay that way AS LONG AS POSSIBLE…. That is a beautiful and wondrous gift that we as parents attempt to indulge them in. As we have come to learn that “real life”, “reality”, and “all that makes the world go round” — IS NOT BUTTERFLIES, UNICORNS, and XBox 360’s — neither is it that of INFINITE NEW PLAYSTATION SYSTEMS!!!! The bottom line is you felt compelled to do what IS BEST for your son, seek help, and try a different route — therefore I guess by definition standards you’re not actually bat shit crazy… However a few things that fall into the grey area, that NEED careful consideration, during all this LOVE and HOLIDAY GIVING, SANTA, and MAGICAL BANK ACCOUNTS.
STAY AWARE!! Recognize the fine line here, how it is that a parent’s desire to please, or do the “RIGHT” thing, may begin to overlap into a slippery compromising conundrum — leading to foggy moments when clarity is playing Marco Polo — and “BUYING YOUR CHILD’S CHILDHOOD” becomes an issue. I say this — EVERY WORD — with all due respect, and a complete understanding of EXACTLY how hard it is — TO KNOW the right thing to do…… However when the right thing to do is unclear — it is always better to reflect on a list of things you can clearly KNOW are WRONG to do. Allowing children to be manipulative and selfish only snowballs into a more SERIOUS PROBLEM. That problem is no longer just that of their parents — but it is now become part of that, child-teen-adult’s character — thus it is now also” the worlds” serious problem…. WE WON”T LET THAT HAPPEN PERIOD!!!
I know I might sound over the moon with this one, maybe even harsh. But I INSIST to our dear readers — YOU DID NOT SEE THE LISTS!!!!!!!! I am now going to state things that I fully believe are FACT!
HE KNOWS THE TRUTH — naughty, nice, indifferent, matters ZILCH because, HE KNOWS — and HE IS GETTING BETTER AT MILKING IT BY THE YEAR…… Don’t get me wrong he “used to believe”. behind that twinkling, sparkle in his innocent 4-5 year old eyes — he was unknowingly, and happily taking part in, ( THE BIGGEST LIE WE TELL AS PARENTS GLOBALLY!!!) He wasn’t planning and plotting his next tinsel tethered take-over, nor was he honing his manipulation and bargaining tactics. That is ,at least NOT YET. I admit I sat, read, and even re-read the lists and letters. I carefully considered not exposing that which I do not doubt. Now I will tell you EXACTLY what I KNOW! His genuine belief stopped about 2 years ago. When… And I quote “The last few years we hid them fully wrapped, I mean bows and all.” (( Call it a hunch)), but I’m betting — he read a tag, or 48 tags to be exact. ALL written From: SANTA, then he began putting the pieces of this life shattering jolly-jarring jaw-dropper of a lie all together.
It also didn’t help that ” his parents” went out Christmas Eve and bought him 24 additional gifts. 12 of which I might add were high ticket (over $100.00) items. ARE YOU AND SANTA IN COMPETITION? Is the best or most expensive gift the winner of Sam’s love and affection? Because tallied up you spent close to $8,000 hard earned dollars on ONE CHILD. One brilliant, “If he’s handed lemons, the kid makes lemonade” kind of child. Instead of putting an end to that insanity at the start — you chose to OUTDO YOURSELVES!!!!!! Competing with a fictitious fat man, who whips and forces ridiculed animals to transport “with glee” — his chosen diet of milk and cookies,with the crumbs all in his unshaven beard, elf employing, jolly red velour covered ass– AROUND THE WHOLE WORLD in ONE NIGHT… Hell, a damn boat making ONLY needed stops still took 80 days….. By the way, that history lesson was in his curriculum last year. Then to top it off — The man only gets real exercise once a year… Yet he is supposedly stopping at every house magically getting in — throws up christmas like it “took all night”, eats those cookies, drinks that milk, whips those deer, as he shouts their names — and then repeats??? NOT LIKELY!!!!! And you expect your son — and I will say it again, because I see his game and have to respect such genius. Smart enough to (( CALL BULLSHIT)), and at such a young age, nonetheless — HE IS BRILLIANT!!!
Example: YEAR #1 – “THAT HE KNOWS” : Since he has already given you his list of wanted items, knowing the presents are now bought, wrapped, and found. He now KNOWS he can aim a little higher….. And HE DID….. What did you do? Well you took his “SECONDARY LIST” closely totaling that of a Prince or Princesses holiday tally — and you made it a reality…. What does Sam get out of all this? Besides EVERYTHING he wants? The thrill, the possibility of outsmarting the grown-ups, he gets the challenge….. and he accepts — GAME ON ………..
On to Year #2: Christmas comes rolling around, and the submitted list is completely outrageous. BUT — once he finds the hidden gifts, he now knows EXACTLY what he did get. Now it’s literally personal knowledge so he knows which ones he still has to push for in his secondary list. WELL-PLAYED evil-genius, well-played!
There are also other dead give-a-ways that he knows, but if you want them listed, I will provide that via email as it was not included in the “publish letter”.
Plan of action: TAKE SUPER-KID DOWN….. HIM and his sneaky, SEVEN-ISH, SUPER-SENSES, and SILLY SICK SANTA SAVVY…. The BRAIN MUST BE STOPPED. My dear Bamboozled parents this year we flip his whole world inside out — ONE MORE TIME….. But for good of course….. And it starts with ?? You guessed it — YOU!!!!!
Unless you like cardboard walls, ceilings, and flooring. Perhaps you enjoy standing in lines for hours on end? Oh no no no, this is not because it’s Black Friday — OHHH NO HO HO HO!!!! These are the soup kitchen, welfare, free clinic lines. Because as blunt and relentless as I may seem — THE REALITY IS, you ARE financially cutting off your nose to spite your face. Unless your wicked war with fictitious Santa is worth poverty then…… STOP…. Right now…..Stop……Relinquish your title as Genie of the Christmas lights and be (The awesome brilliant PARENTS you were blessed to become to Sam.) PS. You said BRUTAL HONESTY well here it is….Things, possessions, and placing so much value in them — will NOT halt his exit from innocence — instead it creates a monster, especially of the green-eyed variety. So I guess it’s time to face the music. It’s up to you what tune becomes your anthem. Let your triumph over greed be preceded by the powerful and moving —Trans Siberian Orchestra. For the love of everything Christmas and human REFRAIN at all costs from “Santa Baby”….. Here is where the fun starts….
Option 1 — Tell the truth, he’s losing more of his tenderness and doe eyed honesty the more he must contrive, plot, and feels compelled to take part in these elaborate holiday war games. Save yourself the secondary list…. And try to explain why you thought it was important to keep him from “real life” as long as possible. Explain what it is about him and his character that makes you both proud, express what you love about him. Be specific, is it the sweet, unselfish, ((insert good qualities that build self-esteem here))? Follow up with why that makes him so much more awesome. Create a desire to strive to be more like the kid you talk about with such respect and love.
Option 2 — Is much more strategic and requires a lot more work, but if it’s the thrill of hiding them or finding them — or if you really don’t want to pull the Santa – True Life card just yet, here are some alternatives.
SO…. Kid Snoop-tastic over there thinks he can find the modern-day semblance, of the folklorish’ly, fable-like — “needle in a haystack” analogy? Think again “Sam Sleuth the Gummy Bear Gumshoe!” WE KNOW YOUR GAME mini meddler…. Prepare to be duped, defrauded, and dethroned…… LET THE GAMES COMMENCE!!!!!!
As crazy as this may sound, my first thought would be to hide his gifts in plain sight. His own closet, which he likely never visits, is a prime spot to employ such a brazen act of concealing that which you are not actually hiding too well anyway. A well placed unboxed gift can literally go undetected. UNBOXED? You say? YES… HE CHANGED THE GAME, NOW YOU ADJUST HIS EXPECTATIONS…….
The second thing that comes to mind, is “Dual-Function Furniture or Outdoor storage.” A new ottoman that shows no outward signs of any secret compartments, or an added “grilling area /counter-top” — maybe this is just what you need as a diversionary tactic. The added plus side to this, is that paying for something that beautifies your home — and/ or adds ease to your life is win-win. A.) You now have no reason to feel guilty, as you would have spent that money anyway. B.) HE NEVER FINDS THE GIFTS — allowing you some breathing room financially.
Outdoor storage like something below gives you both the always useful extra space, AND a GREAT HIDING PLACE. Have Sam help you bring a bag or two of garbage out to this new “trash bin”. Or have him enjoy a star gaze on your new outdoor benches. I SWEAR, after the boredom sets in…….. TA-DAH — interest gone….
Going with the theme of multi-purpose furniture /storage, I would consider investing in a very bright, very feminine piece as well — possibly in say….. Pink maybe even purple. Sam will more than likely, be naturally and instinctively disengaged from something so “girly“. Have him” around” as you let him watch you fold and pack the box with, well — whatever you think will bore him the most. Summer clothes, ugly sweaters, excess bedding, old baby toys, dresses, etc… ANYTHING that will make him RUN at lightning speed in the opposite direction. You might even add insult to injury and ask his assistance — though that may be pushing it…
If you believe he really is “that good”, then perhaps you might want to step your game up as well. Are you crafty mom? Can daddy sew a straight line? Hell can either of you use scissors to cut away excess material, fasten velcro to fabric, then match and attach? If so maybe something like this will work for you. Rather than hiding, storing, or wrapping the gifts how about HANGING THEM? Yes I said hanging the presents — put your eyes back in your heads, pick up your jaws — it’s not that crazy or hard. T-shirt handbags. There are countless ways you could evolve this concept, it’s a great way to store size appropriate gifts — mixed right in among your clothes. Old t-shirts, and nightgowns are cheap and work nicely… Just type “How to make a T-shirt purse” into Google….And…There you go, a very different way to hang in there.
As a last resort I would talk to some of your friends and / or family, one of them is bound to have a little girl. Swap gifts till Christmas Eve — it is unlikely Sam will have much interest in all things Barbie, baby dolls, or beautifying. Swap off after the kids are fast asleep — maybe even wrap for each other. The change of pace and surprise you both receive, might be something worth repeating…. Sam is very lucky to have you as parents and not just because you are so giving. If Sam were my son I would wrap each gift inside several boxes each bigger than the next — and secure each one with LARGE QUANTITIES & Layers of DUCT TAPE…… The I would lock them in the mini van ( stow and go’s have really stepped their game up). I would then lock it — and hide the keys in my new t-shirt purse hung among the flowery dresses — I BOUGHT JUST FOR HIM…… But that’s just me….
No Matter what you decide, or how you handle this year — I wish YOU & YOUR WHOLE FAMILY, a blessed, loving, and HAPPY Holiday Season…I hope this Christmas you see a bit of that “real magic” return. As Sam finally has NO IDEA – What he ACTUALLY got….. But is GRATEFUL, because he now knows just HOW MUCH — his amazingly wonderful, and CRAZY parents LOVE HIM!!!!!! There’s a bit of JOY in everything — finding it is both the BLESSING, and at times even yes it can be the curse. However the best part is YOU CHOOSE which it is, and will be… CHOOSE JOY….. Otherwise your just spoiling “your own Christmas surprises.”