The shopping is winding down here at the Mommy Prayers strip mall as we coast into the really fun part of the holiday, the part where we eat and drink and wrap presents in joyful secrecy only to watch them get unceremoniously — nay, even violently — unwrapped a few hours later. Oh what fun.
Then there are the presents you didn’t wrap — the ones your parents, or your in-laws, or your brother, or your spouse’s best friend from grade school, have generously bought and brought for your babies. Think of them as little landmines that can blow up your entire year of careful parenting in one big sparkling shower of inappropriateness.
I’m talking about Grammy giving Nearly Naked Barbie (so pink and pretty!) to your preschool daughter, Uncle toting an ultra-violent (and ultra-plastic) Nerf machine gun for a four-year-old, or your stylin’ and child-free best friend wrapping up black skinny jeans for your little girl who still has a toddler tummy, long may it pudge out over the top of her modest and comfy sweatpants.
‘Tis the season when those closest to you seem to feel all bets are off — your annoying parenting rules are there to be broken with gifts your kids will luvvvvvv and you will haaaaate for all of 2011.
For you, and for them, we offer up some choice excerpts from Prayer for Barbie:
Dear God, well, here she is in all her ponytailed plastic glory, Barbie herself. She of the freakish 36-18-33 body measurements and the Malibu tan and the 10,000 pink accessories sold separately, including tiny stiletto heels that get sucked up by the vacuum in no time flat.
The doll I swore would never darken our doorstep is inside, unpackaged, and currently having her Hot Tub Party House play set assembled, all thanks to my in-laws. So much for that moratorium.
God, I know this is only the beginning of a long struggle with toxic popular culture. Please give me the patience to endure these fads without over-reacting, and please give me the wisdom to know when I should react.
Also the foresight not to vacuum up those expensive accessories. Amen.