Dear Mom (and Dad, Santa, and all the other people who buy me things),
I know you have big plans for me this year, and I get it. After all, it is my first Christmas where I’m interested in the decorations and squeal over the music and can actually open gifts. It makes sense that you’d care about making it special. That’s sweet of you, really.
Rumor has it I’m getting a kitchen, which is pretty great. I’ve also heard talk of some puzzles and books, and you know how I love puzzles and books. But let me be straight with you–it’s all pretty unnecessary.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to have it all, and I’m sure I’ll play with it. At least for a minute. But if I’m being honest, which I know is important to you, here’s a list of things I really, REALLY want.
You know, the kind that make things light up, or make noise, or turn off and on. Not the kind you put on clothes. Those are choking hazards, or so you tell me. And not the ones on toys, but the ones YOU use, Mom. Buttons that are on everyday objects. Thermostats are good. And washing machines, remotes, the security alarm, dishwashers.
That reminds me–sorry, for breaking the dishwasher the other day. I didn’t mean to. It’s just . . . buttons, you know?
I like to do things like you do. I really love it when I can push a button and something actually happens. It makes me feel powerful, like I can control things. It also makes me squeal, which I know you think is cute. Unless you have a headache.
And, in case you haven’t figured it out already, taking them away will lead me to throw myself to the floor screaming. So how about you just give me some more buttons, k?
2. Dirty diapers
Don’t make me wear them. That’s just mean. But let’s be honest–breaking into the locked diaper pail to play with them is UH-MAZING. Like, why would I want to do anything else? Also, if you could find a better way to lock the diaper pail, I’d really enjoy figuring out how to beat your system and open it.
3. Ah, heck, any kind of trash, really
Dirty diapers are good, but they do pretty much look the same, all wadded up in a ball that you’ve carefully tied together so I can’t make a mess with them.
But trash is more varied, and that’s fun. Each piece is different: different shapes, textures, smells. It’s pretty great. I know you’re big into teaching me to recycle, and I obviously enjoy it.
I will happily take more items to recycle, as well. But really, more trash would be great. Environment be damned.
Or anything frozen, for that matter. Preferably from a freezer drawer I have to really work my muscles to open. But from a freezer with a handle that’s a little too high for me is okay too. I’ll figure it out. No worries on my end.
It’s been my favorite toy for more than half of my life. Obviously, I need at least 2 of them.
And maybe to become their spokesbaby, if that’s a thing. If it’s not, can you also work on making it a thing for me, please? K, thanks, bye.
Remember all those jokes you used to make about Nana and her friends having tupperware parties? Turns out you should’ve gone and purchased because it’s all I want now.
Preferably plastic or silicon. Otherwise, I’ll try to get to it and you’ll tell me it’s “not a Jack drawer” and make me close it. I’d rather not have to do that, so make it all toddler-friendly, please.
7. Aluminum cans
Cold ones. Preferably filled with sparkling water. La Croix is my favorite, but I’m not picky.
Don’t worry, I won’t cut my mouth or spill. I mean, I probably will, but just get them for me anyway, please.
8. Dog toys
I know, I know, they’re gross and germy. And if I play with them, Charlotte might accidentally bite me trying to play too. But that hasn’t happened yet, so I don’t understand what the big deal is. What is this “biting” thing anyway?
I hate to break it to you, Mom, but dog toys are WAY cooler than toddler toys, which I know you’re going to get me plenty of. I have to play with toddler toys alone, or with a grownup. But dog toys make Charlotte bark and spin in circles, and that’s much more fun.
How about we just move her toy basket into a room I’m allowed to access and call it Christmas?
9. A goat
I know, I know. Most kids want ponies. But I’ve never seen one of those up close, and goats are really cool. There’s something about that whole gross, germy, biting thing again, but your mumbo jumbo doesn’t always make sense to me, Mom. I just like goats.
10. Toilet paper
Rolls and rolls and rolls of it so I can make piles and mounds and heaps.
I know you’re excited about the other things you got me, and I’ll enjoy them. Really, I will. But if I’m being honest, they’re not necessary. I’d much rather play with trash and dog toys.
Oh, and did I mention buttons that work on everyday objects? Just double-checking. Because that one’s a pretty huge deal.
Thanks, Mom, for loving me so much and for listening to my little voice. I’m pretty stoked to pull dirty diapers out of my stocking this year.
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Katy Huie Harrison, PhD, is an author, toddler mom, and owner of Undefining Motherhood. She lives in Atlanta with her husband (affectionately known on the internet as “Husband,”) son (Jack), and dog (Charlotte). She believes our society has historically placed too many expectations on women, defining womanhood and motherhood in a way that is restrictive. Her goal is to shift the paradigm about what it means to be a woman and mother, giving all women a greater sense of agency over their own lives. You can find Katy and her work featured in places like CNN’s Headline News, Scary Mommy, Motherhood and Social Exclusion, and various other podcasts and websites.