I owe everyone I know with children an apology.
For years I have been buying your children wooden imagination toys for the holidays, carefully curating my gift selection from a variety of international destinations, chiefly Denmark and Germany, where the people seem super smart.
I don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe I thought for some reason that in your home, your children would rise to their own healthy circadian rhythms and after a sensible portion of nutritious Muesli and raw whey, retire to the inspiration-station’ for hours of fun with a simple bowl of colored acorns and a variety of edible beeswax crayons. I mean, one time I had actually seen actual children playing in an actual homemade labyrinth in a farmer’s field, twirling silk scarves and laughing in the magical twilight. Maybe I thought you lived like too that for some reason.
For me, that is the kind of high brow wonderment that is usually only available in catalogue form. I grew up in 1970’s Canada, you know, when people put their babies in what were essentially toy-free pens next to the TV all day. A time when Phil Donahue was a child’s main babysitter, followed closely by Bob Barker and the Showcase Showdown.
At any rate, my children stood there and watched those stripey-pants Swedish weirdos dance around that labyrinth like they were space aliens.
(Sidebar: every good and decent Canadian parent from that era, has a photograph of their baby licking the top of a Molson Golden stubby. This is a FACT.)
I was positive that Allana would forever treasure the selection of wooden Waldorf toys I purchased for her children. I had been assured via a complicated foreign language website that instantly made me feel a crappy parent, that all of the toys had been fashioned by genuine faeries and would be passed down through generations of Allana-children who would never forget me for being the person who turned them into geniuses.
But over time I have learned that although seeming like a cool, artsy person is great, it’s really no substitute for the thirty minutes of peace that a plastic baby doll that violently throws up on itself can bring to a parent. I forgot about the part in which a gift is supposed to actually amuse’ the child.
And on that note, this is why, in 2011 Auntie Sam is giving all the good children of a certain age on her gift list..and hear me out now, because this is a good one…remote control fart machines.
Yes, you heard me correctly. I said it. Remote. Control. Fart. Machines.
(Cue: sound of horrified gasps from across the internet…and…push yourself back from the computer for a second…)
Now gather yourself. Breathe in and then slowly exhale. Wrap yourself in cashmere and take another sip of your ginger tea.
Last year, I purchased for each of my children one ten dollar (which in fart machine-land, buys you a device of the highest quality) sound effects box. It provided my children with more entertainment than any toy, game, or movie could ever dream of. For one whole hour, it replaced the need for parental affection’ with the pure joy that can only come when a child makes their house cat fart the Canadian National Anthem over and over again.
Okay it’s crass, I know; it’s totally disgusting. But for a few precious minutes each day over the holidays, while the sounds of gas rang out proudly from under the table, or next to the tree, or from behind my Dad, who napped on the sofa, my husband and I did such things as read the paper’ and slowly sip coffee’, while looking into each others’ eyes’ and possibly wondering if this was a wise choice.’ But it was.
So get ready, because I am about to become your hero. You don’t have to thank me now, but do feel free to thank me later. And you will, oh yes, you will.
Wow. I’m going to really miss those wooden toys that you clearly had shipped straight from a magical nook in the Black Forest where jaunty elves wore miniature clogs and hewed tiny “genius making” toys out of ancient burled pine trees. I really enjoyed those special moments they provided me and the baby: like when she whipped a wooden color of the rainbow’ at my head. But seriously, although I do like those toys, and am grateful for your generosity, they would be more entertaining if you could muscle a fart out of one of them. And by the way, we already own a high quality remote control operated fart machine with 50+ fart options. A gift from one Samantha Bee for my stag-ette. Yes, while most of my girlfriends purchased me crotchless edible underwear and things that vibrate your gift was the only battery operated device that provided me with something I could really use: a fart that bellowed like a lawn mower.