Mayday! Mayday!

After watching The Wedding on Friday, I sank into what can only be described as a state of complete obsession and sloth.  I performed the absolute minimum in terms of child maintenance, instead staring at the television, watching and re-watching the highlights, pausing only to trade wedding-related analysis with my mother and grandmother over the phone about everything from the hats to Camilla Parker-Bowles to the Archbishop’s eyebrows.  This non-stop television watching continued somewhat into the weekend, to the point that Jake came into the room and, seeing the couple walk down the aisle, said “Oh, this is a good part!  They’re going to get into the carriage.”  I was starting to wonder if I needed to seek some sort of support group or maybe enter rehab, since not only was I completely obsessed with wedding coverage, but I was also completely obsessed with consuming the gigantic bags of Mini-Eggs in my cupboard. 
Fortunately my addictions seem to be subsiding.
Consuming my body weight in chocolate and rewinding the vows over and over were not the only things I did this weekend.  I also had lunch with my very dearest friend, which was lovely.  We met at a restaurant at the mall, where I took the opportunity to purchase a gift for a birthday party that Jake is attending next weekend.  This is the sort of errand that fills me with anxiety, even if the birthday kid is a boy with similar interests to my own boys.  As it is, the birthday kid is a girl, and not one I particularly know well.  I walked through the bright pink aisles and felt completely overwhelmed and bitter, about having to choose a gift and also about the strange amount of pressure I was putting on myself about choosing a gift.  I mean, it’s a gift, and as a general rule children like anything so long as it is gift wrapped, within reason; unless I chose something completely obviously wrong like a toy rifle or a set of little army men the birthday girl will most likely be happy.  Still, I stared hopelessly at the aisles of Barbies and Zhu Zhu Pets and baby dolls, making my way through the pretend food and dress-up shoes, until I found a box of mosaic sticker artwork with the promising caption “Posh Puppies”.  Fortunately my friend, whom I met after this purchase, assured me that her girls – of similar age – would love it, filling me with relief.
Am I the only one who feels this way?  I’ve spent much time trolling the toy aisles only to choose something that the birthday kid already had, sometimes in duplicate, making me feel like I could have just as well given a card full of cash and skipped the middleman.
The weather has finally turned springlike, and only the tiniest patch of snow remains in our backyard, with the result that my husband’s golf course is now open for the season.  Ergo, I am now golf-widowed.  It’s not a bad thing.  He’s happy and I am going to be able to watch my recorded wedding coverage without anyone saying “Why are you watching that again?”  Because it’s all about happiness, dammit.  I was also extra emotional this weekend, in a very special feminine way, swinging that lovely pendulum between irritable bitchiness and weeping.  I love this goddamn wedding.  Everyone is so happy.  Bring on the chocolate eggs.
Speaking of spring, over at the cooking blog I have a recipe for oven-roasted asparagus, the ultimate spring vegetable! 


  1. I have major gift giving induced anxiety, too! It’s so stressful!

    I’ve developed two strategies. For younger kids, bags full of Crayola (b/c I’m highly suspect about the lead content in all other brands) craft supplies, ie construction paper, crayons, paint, brushes, markers, colouring books. For older kids, a gift bag full of junk food (microwave popcorn, soda, licorice, chips, etc) and a movie (usually an older movie from the under $10 bin at Zellers). We call this one “Instant Movie Night. Just Add Family.”

  2. Nicole, I also had a bit of a time recovering from wedding watching, and I find it interesting my recovery also involved copious amounts of chocolate! (On a related note, have you read Sophie Page’s light read novel “To Marry A Prince?)

    I like Nan’s movie idea for older kids; thx! My guys are still little, and for their friends I have a shelf stocked with generic gifts – copies of our favourite books, blank sketchbooks, washable felts and crayons, and Lego sets (the little ones of 100 pieces or less).

    We’re also big fans of Crayola Colour Wonder sets – Cars for the boys and Tinkerbell for the girls.

    And a couple of times a year, I stock up on wrapping paper from the dollar store, so although we still have the “what are we going to give” panic, there are usually some options in the house.

  3. I did not watch one bit of wedding coverage (I hope you still like me after reading that 🙂 ).

    I have the hardest time buying gifts for other people’s kids. I want it to be the perfect gift for both the kid and the parents. I sometimes spend what feels like hours staring at the stuff on the shelves, leave, think about it, then go back and buy something. It really is a pain so lately I have resorted to gift cards.

  4. I prefer giving educational toys for kids. What’s good about educational toys is that the child can play and learn at the same time. Also, I love giving books with large and colorful illustrations. It may not be of very much interest to children by their parents would surely love their children to receive those kind of gifts. =)

  5. I thought once I had a kid gift buying would be easier but it’s not.

    I understand the anxiety. Pass the eggs.


  6. I thought once I had a kid gift buying would be easier but it’s not.

    I understand the anxiety. Pass the eggs.


  7. Buying gifts for other people’s kids is SO HARD. I’m especially worried about buying them something they already have: like, if I find out from the mom that they like Barbie, isn’t it kind of likely they already have a bunch of the stuff I’m considering?

    For younger kids, I like to buy Melissa and Doug stamp sets (washable ink!), or that telescoping set of Crayola Pipsqueaks markers.

    For older kids, and so far it’s been older BOYS, we get Sculpey clay kits or robot kits.

    For anyone: STOMP ROCKET, BABY.

  8. The wedding was really fun to watch.

    I never have a clue about gifts. I figure as long as there is a gift receipt for it, I’m good.

  9. Nan and Swistle – I love those ideas. I love, love, love the idea of a craft bag. My kids go through craft supplies like, um, I don’t know what. They go through them really fast. Plus a clay/sculpt kit, love it.

    Sheila – I haven’t read that but I’m going to go look it up! I need some light summer reading ideas.

  10. EDUCATIONAL TOYS? Bleah, they have parents for that. :). I used to have major gift-giving anxiety. I generally give craft kits, books or Chapters cards, unless I get a solid suggestion from the parent, in which case I just enclose the gift receipt. I used to stock up on those Disney Store pajamas whenever they were on sale and they were always a big hit with the younger kids. The best gift I ever gave was Jaws swim trunks and swim shirt to Eve’s friend who’s the ‘girl who likes boy stuff’. She called us specially to thank us for her ‘favourite present ever’. Never gonna top that one.

  11. That’s why I take my boys and say you have X amount to spend on your friend and x amount of time to do it! Go! LOL!

    So glad the weather is finally getting better. I think anymore snow and I would have lost my mind!

  12. Our son turned 8 last month and one of the kids gave him a gift card to Toys R Us. It was a little strange but turned out awesome – he was really excited to have his own money to spend and was able to pick out exactly what he wanted (Lego that he didn’t already own, which is hard for someone else to pick out).

    I liked the idea so much I think I might do it in the future. You could just pick up a bunch of gift cards and have them on hand and not even have to shop when the time arises.

    The only real drawback is that I usually buy birthday gifts based on what’s on sale, which ideally saves us a little money. The gift cards are a fixed price…but still cool and stress-free, so it’s maybe worth it.

  13. Heather says

    My girls are 9, 7, and 4. The older two have a new “favourite present.” It’s a Chapter’s gift card, accompanied by a $5 Starbucks card. Every Chapters has a Starbucks.
    It’s awesome to watch the decision making process as they choose their book/toy, and then head over to order a strawberry frappechino.
    It’s a huge treat!

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