The Revenge Gift

My gift-giving past is coming back to haunt me.

Remember when you, as the non-parent, thought you gave the best gifts ever? Because you didn't just buy the one or two-pack of Play-doh for your friends' and/or relatives' kids, you bought the deluxe mega-pack with every single color and every single little part to cut and shape the Play-doh. Because you were the cool aunt. And cool aunts give cool gifts. And while you were too busy watching the glee of the child gift-receiver and relishing in your moment of "World's Best Aunt" and picturing yourself at the Aunt Olympics on the platform receiving your "World Best Aunt Gold Medal", you missed seeing that horrified look on the parent who was standing quietly behind the happy child picturing their future selves, with the Play-doh-riddled carpet and calling 9-1-1 because their child just ingested an entire canister of it.

Now I realize the error of my ways. I was the worst gift giver. Ever.

Because I did that. I gave the gift of crayons. And markers. And Play-doh. And reallyreallybad-for-you candy. Lots of it. I was the coolest aunt ever. Off-buttons? What are those!? Volume buttons? Never heard of 'em! Tons of tiny little pieces? How many is too many?

I have now become very, very aware of the revenge gift. My best friend gave us one a few months ago. It was some musical turning Elmo toy that when my child pressed the button it sang a song. But if my child pressed the button once or twice in a row, it started the song over. So, if it's starting on the "La la lala, la la lala Elmo's World!" song and my child pressed the button again, it would just say, "La la lala! La la lala! La la lala! La la lala! La la lala!" over and over again, and it would never ever get to the rest of the song. And kids love this. Mine did. But eventually I was finding myself calling the psychiatric hotline because of the Elmo nightmares. The ones where Elmo is giant, and he's laughing, and he's saying in a deep, scary, slow-motion Elmo-voice "Laaaa Laaaa la laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa". We had given her I think a Loony Toons or Winnie the Pooh version of this and now thinking back, I don't even remember giving her this toy, but she did. Oh yes, she did. And she was a little too happy about giving it to me now, too.

I must have given some really bad fun gifts because now it's all coming back to get me from all sides. One by one, the family and friends who have had children before me are coming out of the woodwork to get me. And I can see the joy in their faces. They make no effort to hide it at all.

Because as I am opening gifts this Christmas as a now-mother-of-two and now very, very knowledgeable about parts and volumes and pieces, my friends and/or relatives are silently laughing. Standing over me as we open their presents with that look that says, "Revenge served," as I repeat out loud what it says on the package: "142 parts".

Oh goody. 142 parts.

And oh goody goody. More packs of markers and crayons. Now, don't get me wrong. I love art for my kids. We do it all the time. But my family didn't give us these presents this Christmas for the art. I know because they told me.

As we were thanking them and giving hugs and Merry Christmasing, they were saying to me, "Ha ha! Your turn!" while recanting tales of the gifts of my Christmases past.

Oh yes, it's so funny now.

But it's ok. You may laugh. But it's on, now. I did rethink the spraying skunk toy that I saw in Target this year, but next year, I might not be so nice.
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  1. Bwa ha ha ha ha!

    That's hilarious! I know those gifts well, mostly from others that I want to take revenge on!

  2. Mwahahaha!

    This is the funniest story because I, too, was that cool Auntie! Now my eye twitches when my kids open up their presents. ROFLOL

  3. sweetie I have always bought noisy gifts because i do not have to deal with it

  4. hmmm does the toy guitar you got superman last year qualify for a revenge gift this year? lol


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