Mommy Fail! I Think I Just Ruined Christmas

Or the alternate title: Don’t take your toddler Christmas shopping!

I thought I had a great idea this year to give each of my kids a set amount of money and take them shopping to pick out a gift for each other. I thought it would be a good way to start teaching them that it is better to give than to receive, and that they would get excited about picking out something that their sibling would really like.

So, today I took my son shopping because next week my daughter will be on break from preschool, and we looked at a few different things and different stores and finally settled on a gift that both of us were happy with. He wanted to give her the flashiest, most annoying toy in the store, and I wanted to give her a natural and non-toxic toy from the specialty toy shop — guess who won?

As soon as we picked up my daughter from school though, I realized that maybe my great idea, wasn’t so great after all.

Right away, he started trying to tell her what we had gotten her. And she of course, being curious, kept asking about it. I managed to keep him quiet about it until we got home, and hoped that it had passed and he would just kind of forget about it.

But, later tonight my daughter came up to me upset, “Bren told me that you got me an ice cream game for Christmas and I’m mad at you because I wanted a baby doll. I told you I wanted a baby doll!”


She’s upset because she doesn’t think we got her what she wanted (even though we’re getting her a doll too), and the surprise of her gift from her brother is spoiled too. Basically, I feel like a really bad mom who just ruined Christmas for my kid.

So, should I take the ice cream set back and get her something else that my son doesn’t know about?  I don’t really want to, because I know the toy is something that that both my kids will really like and will play with a lot, but I just feel bad that she already knows what her present is.

Obviously, I’ve learned my lesson that 2 1/2 year olds are not old enough to keep a secret!

What would you do if your child found out about their present? Take it back, or give it to them anyway?

Photo credit: alancleaver_2000/flickr

Article Posted 4 years Ago
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