Saturday, December 21, 2013

Parent Fail

Parents have too much to remember this time of year.

'Tis the season.

For forgetfulness, last-minutes "oops-I-forgot-that-person" gifts, too much sugar, and late-night elf where-can-I-cleverly-and-quickly-hide-this-guy procedures.

Heather Duncan Richardson's photo.

I mean, first there's the actual Christmas gifts you have to buy. And if your kids are anything like mine, they've asked for some impossible gifts. Like a remote-control helicopter/boat with a camera and a machine gun, plus other really rad and destructive weaponry. Awesome.

Important Note: I do not condone machine gun usage in our home. This is someone else's fault.

OR, a "desk I designed myself, plus the bed to match."

Okay. How exactly is one supposed to come into possession of a bed and matching desk when one was not privy to the design of said bed and desk?

Oh, that's right.

Santa knows.

Heather Duncan Richardson's photo.So, then there's the elf. We all know the elf moves, and there has been plenty of conversation about how difficult it is to A) remember to move the elf every single night (it's only about 24-30 days, give or take, so you'd think we would not have such trouble, but this is a difficult time of year to add one more thing to every parent's already overflowing plate) and B) come up with a clever hiding spot for the elf. This year we have outdone ourselves. We get an A++ on clever hiding spots. That little elf had a freaking zip line.**

**This might be the last year for our elf. We will never be able to top 2013. It's over.

And then, of course, there's the advent house. We were new parents. It looked so cute in the catalogue. (And I had a coupon.) What a super-cute, good parent idea! we exclaimed. We never knew exactly how difficult or stressful or expensive it would be to come up with tiny, cute, different trinkets, toys and mementos that would fit into a 1-inch by 1-inch by 1-inch square.

Someone should have told us. I hold all older adults with semi-grown children responsible for this.

A few years ago we came up with the idea of putting coupons in the advent house, with the intention of doing a certain activity or going to a certain restaurant for dessert, preferable within a reasonable amount of time. It's a great theory.

This year, we intentionally left a few doors empty with the hope of finding special little coupons to fill them. Also a great theory. Until you forget. And that particular day rolls around. And you have to shift all your stuff around.

Heather Duncan Richardson's photo.

But I found a coupon for a local yogurt shop (you know the kind where you go in and fill that mammoth-sized cup up with yogurt but it looks really tiny because the cup is so big and they only have one size so you get just a little more which turns out to be way too much and then you go ahead and top it with every topping known to man, and then some not known, like those little juice-filled ball things that look like pastel fish eggs, but it's supposed to be 'healthier' than ice cream because they post the calories and fat grams so you totally go for it and in your mind you've eaten a grand total of 187 calories when in reality you've eaten well over 700 calores and 1,000 grams of sugar?). And I shouted hooray and hallelujah because I knew the kids would be excited. And we opened it last night. Hooray! and Hallelujah! They were excited!

And then.

"Oh," says my youngest.

"What's up?" we ask, not wanted to put a damper on the elation.

"It's. Expired."**

**Parent. Fail.

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