I'm a Type A mom. You know, the mom with the feeding, sleeping and tummy-time schedules.
I’m the rigid mother who breastfed her children for exactly one year each, won’t let her five-year-old attend a laser tag birthday party, and considers flaxseed a food group. My poor kids are continually reminded of the plight of others less fortunate, the value of giving and their duty to protect the environment.
Difficult though it may be, I do my best to stay the course throughout the holidays.
I encourage the children to make, rather than buy, gifts for their family and friends. My children help design and prepare the mostly organic holiday meal, and without too much prodding, go through their closets and toy boxes looking for things to donate to worthy causes.
This year, just as we finished ordering our organic Christmas tree, my boys asked for paper, pens, envelopes and stamps so they could write their letters to Santa. The request surprised me a bit. One, because I thought they were over the whole Santa and his reindeer gimmick, and two, because they had never made Christmas lists before. But I indulged them by fetching the requested supplies, thinking the writing experience would be good for them.
They went to bed that night only after getting me to promise to mail the letters to Santa the following day. As soon as they were asleep, I opened the letters to see what I was in for. Thankfully, they didn't resist my suggestion to tape and not staple or lick the envelopes which made the unsealing and resealing just about undetectable.
I read the list to my husband as he cleaned up the kitchen, each item causing him to chuckle just a little bit louder: “DS with games”, "Ipad with games”, “2 real magic wands”, “candy”, “muney”, ”snow boards”, and “a cow that shoots out poop when you squeeze it” were just a few of the list toppers. At the bottom of each letter were the words, “and more . . .”, a phrase that I took as confirmation that all that flaxseed paid off.
Meanwhile, the telescope, book titled “Discoveries in Science”, and 500-piece puzzles I ordered for them have been delivered, wrapped (in recycled paper, of course) and hidden in the back of my closet since Halloween. What am I supposed to do with a list that includes expensive, borderline offensive and non-existent toys? Lighten up, that's what.
The iPad and Nintendo DS are not gonna happen. But thanks to their can’t-get-enough-of-a-good-practical-joke Dad and a good internet search engine, they will most likely end up with a poop-shooting cow in their stocking.