Dear Grandparents (and other generationally older relatives):
It has come to my attention that you may need a guidebook to understanding my generation and our children. You would think that, because you raised (or were nearby for the raising) at least one of my children's parents, you would be knowledgeable in grandchild/grandparent relations. For the most part you would be right, but you have not factored in one or two very important components to your relationship: your grandchildren's parents.
In sweeping my kitchen floor this evening, I found two Easter pez dispensers, a coupon for diapers, some crap from the Oriental Trading company and six unsharpened pencils, all with the name of your financial institution. And I just swept this morning. This stuff would be fine if 1.) It was Easter. 2.) My children wore diapers, 3.) We recently mugged a Sunday School teacher and 5.) Mini Me was starting a small business.
I would like to put a few guidelines in place for you and anyone in your generation that would like to show their love and affection to my children through gifts.
(Note: I know the thought counts. I have 8 and-a-half years of thoughts floating around my house. Times three. Emily Post says not to put rules on what people give your kids. Emily Post didn't step on a McDonald's Happy Meal toy an older relative once brought to her children this morning.)
1.) If it's kitschy cute seasonal stuff, please give it to my children at your house. Expect it also to stay there.
2.) When sending my children money, please do not make the checks out to them. A four year-old can't endorse a check over to me to cash for her. The tellers at the bank would also like to back this one up.
"You kids are our ticket out of Hoarders. Hang on, let me get you that broken tea kettle and gross of kite string I have for you."
3.) I'm glad you like garage sales and 2nd hand shops. If you give me clothes from either of these places, please make sure they are in good enough condition (not to mention, taste) for the consignment shop I visit to take them. Is my consignment shop better than where you got those clothes? Obviously, if my shop owner friend won't take the crap you sent me.
4.) If it's made of paper, expect it to be kindling in a day. This goes for cards, posters, souvenir maps of Branson (massive head shake of shame on this one), and place mats you got at Perkins (or similar eating establishments). And, to clear this up further, the $9 puzzle you bought that you were so mad at me for throwing out? Also made of paper. (The cat threw up on it. And it soaked in. I did not want my child playing with a puzzle with the regurgitated remains of Whiskas on/in it.)You spent $9 on interlocking pieces of cardboard for 3 year old? That's your problem if you're offended that it now resides in the garbage can.
5.) My kids are not your personal Salvation Army pick-up. Sure, Larry Potter and Hoover might like to look at your useless crap; do not give it to them. Have 100 half-drawn on Highlights magazines from the 1990s? Awesome. I don't want them. A guinea pig cage? Again, great for you; it's not coming into my house. (Nor is the guinea pig that would be natural succession of gifts on this one.) And, a biggie here, if it was worn by any member of your family in the 1970s, is mustard yellow and is monogrammed with that person's name, I have no use for it other than to actually donate it to a real Salvation Army.
I appreciate your cooperation on this matter. Consider it the Emily Post advice for a new generation.
The Snarky Mom