I love my children very much, but I wish they’d stop giving me crap

My older boys are the most fantastic and generous little people. They are often giving me things… only yesterday Boy Two gave me two of his SillyBandz.

It absolutely squeezed my heart when he insisted I have the bands, they were from his first packet. I had to wear them then and there in the ASDA car park.

On our trip to Yorkshire, Boy One spent an inordinate amount of time browsing and deciding in a one of those not-very-precious-rocks-and-crystals shops. I lost track of the number of times he lapped the tiny store’s display tables and racks of shiny stones on leather thongs with a £5 crumpled in his fist.

Through the window, I saw him fingering a flowery gift box. “Perhaps it’s for his grandmother,” fingers crossed. But no. Over ice cream in Halifax’s Piece Hall he presented me with the trinket box and it’s contents – two stones. He only kept a one of his treasures for himself.

Then there was the badly painted scarab beetle from the British Museum and the small leaping dolphin from some other gift-shop-disguised-as-route-back-to-the-car. Handed over with absolute solemnity, they insist I keep the offerings close.

Their jewellery choices are, for me, the very definition of mixed feelings. I am so proud that they think of me when they’re near a till with their few coins in their pockets.

However their taste is the absolute pits. They pick glittery things with the paste stones barely glued down, they like earrings so heavy with stuff Pat Butcher would baulk. Colour is good, but they opt for so much in one place.

I found a copy of the Argos catalogue that Boy Two had gone through with a red pen. The things he’d earmarked for me included a ‘mum’ pendent spelt out in two shades of gold and fake stones, a sovereign ring, Hello Kitty themed sets and charms in the shape of phones, shoes, bags and teddy bears.

How can I persuade them to keep their money to spend on sweeties and their own treasures? Or, at the very least have them improve their choices… ?

PS Reading this back, I realise it makes me sound like an ungrateful cow, but you try going to a meeting in earrings that lacerate your neck and make your lobes go green or try to work with a desk so cluttered with love tokens there’s barely room for the mouse.

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  1. says

    Hilarious blog!

    I hoped it would get better, this is what Cara chose for Rory last year http://on.fb.me/c9MxAs in case you can't see it was a (fortunately tiny) teddy, a comedy hat with candles coming out of it, and a disney princess toy camera. This year, I just gave her a choice of two watches and let her chose one of them.

    This has dredged up a vague memory of my Dad steering me away from buying something like this http://bit.ly/bSmeEc that I'd seen in the argos catalogue, just like Boy Two – can you believe the amount they charge for this stuff? I also remember making my Grandma wear this hideous 'perfume' my friends and I had made out of water and rose petals.

    I just ordered my mother some earrings as a thank you, I wonder if she will really like them or stash them away in her dressing table with the rest of the tat?

  2. says

    PS it really *is* lovely that they want to buy you treats. Maybe you could give them a wish list in Tiffany's with the PoNs' credit card?

  3. Debbie says

    A pendant spelling out mum! That's such a sweet thought. But so absolutely not the kind of adornment you'd go anywhere near.
    I was about to suggest telling him tearfully that you had lost any of the gifts you find particularly unpalatable. But being a loving son, he'd probably waste more money on a replacement.
    I guess you'll just have to enjoy the boys' kind hearts for now and hope they develop better taste in gifts somewhere along the line. xxx

  4. says

    Sorry no advice, I think it is adorable that they want to buy you things but totally understand you do not want the crap! lol.

    Perhaps have a shelf someone out of the way where you can display all your special treasures.

    Just found your blog and have followed, you made me smile.

    Mich x

  5. says

    Hi Michelle, thanks, glad you found me and welcome. I think a shelf might be the answer. A wise friend suggested one of those old printer's trays with lots of compartments on its side. x

  6. says

    I remember my Dad being sick of socks, keyrings and soap on a rope! You could get a 'special box' and tell the boys that the items are so special that you want to keep them forever and always have them? It is true too though as you will have great memories when you go through the presents in years to come:) Jen

  7. says

    Very funny!- I put the crappy pressies in a drawer and gradually weed out the tat…..why don't you go through the Argos catalogue and circle the things you want in red, cross out the things they've circled (for the avoidance of doubt!) and leave it open for them……mabye you'll look back in fondness on the day they gave you a box of stones, bless!!

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