Except for our Secret Santas, my husband and I are only buying gifts for children this year. This is a big problem, since neither of us seem to be all that adept at picking out presents for kids. We were at Toys R Us the other night for a solid hour. Wandering. Splitting up. Coming back together. Staring at the age suggestions. Figuring that the kids we know are probably smarter than the suggested age group anyway. More wandering. The worst part is trying to remember how old the kids are. Where were we living when they were born? Wasn’t that the year your cousin/my brother/our friend got married? What year was that?
My cousin and her family came to visit last weekend so I had the kids’ presents ready to go (they were actually the easiest to shop for!). My mom gave me two Christmas tooth brushes to give to the kids, which I thought was a dumb idea. Apparently my mother, who raised two children, knows more about kids than I, who raised one spoiled and untrained Yorkshire Terrier. Not only did the kids like the toothbrushes, they made sure my cousin remembered whose was whose (one was red and one was white) so that when they got home, they each got the toothbrush that was officially gifted to them.
So, do you want to know how to avoid getting yourself upset about the Giants blowing what should have been an easy win? Make sugar cookies with a five-year old and an almost-three year old. Hilarious. Seriously, the most fun I’ve ever had making cookies. I had the bright idea to make the dough before hand, mostly because it had to chill for an hour before you could roll it out. Because I’ve never made cookies with kids before, I set up my own work station thinking I’d be making a few cookies myself. Uh uh. My job was Samantha’s Assistant, while my cousin helped Tyler. My mom also bought me a huge container of Christmas themed cookie cutters and we had a large assortment from trees to angels to snowmen.
When it came to decorating, Samantha was quick and decisive. She knew which shape she wanted next and got busy getting her icing on. Tyler was more interested in creating Jackson Pollock knock offs and dipping the brush for the red icing into the green icing and then back to the red. By the end of the afternoon, he had abandoned the cookies altogether and was painting the wax paper I had put down. He also insisted on calling me “Jessie” all afternoon (a Toy Story reference, for those not in the know), but six months ago the kid wouldn’t even look at me, let alone say my name, so he could have called me “Garbage Face” and it would have been fine.