As I’ve mentioned, I am not one for giving holiday gifts. I don’t make lists, I don’t scour for deals, and I definitely don’t get up at ungodly hours to shop.
Fast forward to this past Monday (i.e. five days before Christmas) and the realization that my almost five-year-old son did not share my view on the inanity of holiday gifts. Quite the opposite, as you can imagine. And me? Well, I had not purchased a single item for him yet. So unless Santa turned out to be real, I was absolutely screwed.
I’ll admit it, I panicked. There was no time left for mulling over gift options. I had to act. Not willing to touch a shopping mall with a ten foot pole, I went straight to Amazon, thanking whatever god would listen for their guaranteedtwo2-day shipping.
And then, I did it.
With just a few simple and impulsive click-click-clicks of my mouse, I became a bad mother. Like, really bad. The type of mother other mothers bash on message boards bad.
I bought my preschooler a Wii.
It’s not like the kid was asking for a Wii, either. It’s not like he even knew that gaming systems existed. To his knowledge, all electronic games lived in the Bonus Features section of a Thomas DVD or in the App Store on my iPhone. I could have so easily avoided my fate. And yet.
I hate video games. I am competitive beyond what’s healthy (or normal) and cannot bear to lose at anything. (See also: I am never wrong.) So, it is really unfortunate that I suck at video games. And, now that they are going to be in my house, tempting and taunting me, it is inevitable I will play. And it is inevitable I will lose. And when I lose, I will become stressed. And you know what stress causes? Wrinkles. So, in essence, I just purchased a giant wrinkle machine.
But I know it’s not (all) about me. The kiddo is going to love it, and that’s what counts. I’ve already started priming him by starting random discussions that have gone something like this:
Me: “Oh hey, did you know there are these things that let you play all kinds of games on the TV?”
G (eyes wide and nearly falling out of his chair): “No!”
Me: “Yes. They are pretty cool …”
G (initiating conversation with Santa, in which he does both voices): “Santa, can you bring me this TV game toy? … Yes, G, I can… Thanks Santa!” (turning back to me) “Mommy, Santa said he’d bring it for me—yes!”
And there you have it.