By Heather Keenan

Dear Grandparents,

That time of year is upon us, yet again, where you are going to want to spoil my wonderful children with your amazing disposable income.  Let me first start off by saying that I am insanely grateful to you and all that you do to spoil my little monsters.  Really, I am.  There is nothing better than knowing, while I am purchasing them practical gifts, that you will be there to pick up the slack.  So, please, do not think me ungrateful.  Lets just set a few rules, shall we?

Rule One:
If there is no volume button on the toy that you are thinking of purchasing, you are going to need to go ahead and put it back on the shelf.  I am not sure who came up with the idea to include volume buttons on children’s toys, but I love him or her.  (Probably a her.)

Rule Two:
If there is no on and off button on the toy of your choice, leave it at the store.  It is incredibly unnerving to be walking through the living room at 3am to get my two year old some milk only to have Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star start up out of no where.

Rule Three:
There is a certain brand of toy, which I will not name due to not wanting a lawsuit, that uses the most annoying, sing song voice on everything.  Test the toys out in the store, does it sounds sing song-ish?  Put.  It.  Back.

Rule Four:
I love the $1 and $3 Target aisle, too.  I do.  And I get sucked into buying stuff that I know will end up in the trash from there, too.  I am just like you!  But please, please, no more stickers, headbands, crowns, wands, non washable markers or mini erasers.  Seriously, these things form armies, and I swear they follow me around the house for weeks, only to be trashed once my darlings are at school.

Rule Five:
Is what you are contemplating something that I am going to have to help them play with?  If it is, think of me.  Really think of me.  Do I have that sort of know how or patience?  Come on, you know me, and the answer, my friend, is probably no.  No, I do not.  Lets stick to things they can handle on their own, ok?  I can not relive the Rainbow Loom.  I just can’t do it.

I am sure by now you are thinking I am a total jerk.  I’m sorry, and I really am not.  It just seems that maybe you have forgotten how incredibly annoying some things are, in the hands of small children.  Also, I feel I should point out that you, in no way, have to follow these guidelines.  Honest.  Just know, that any purchases made are subject to end up at your house as opposed to mine.

Happy shopping!