Good Grief


We all know the track record my parents and gift giving. So for the little man’s second birthday we asked them to get the boy a kid’s table and chairs. Nothing fancy, just a Little Tikes or Playskool table and chairs set. Something plastic that can be easily cleaned. Something cheap and sturdy so a 2 year old can use it.

A little back story…

You see about 3 months ago, the little one had the occasion to stay at a friend’s house for the day as alternate daycare (our primary caregiver being ill at the time). Whilst at said friend’s house, who has a little girl and a little baby boy, my little one found the wonders of child sized furniture. He liked it. He liked it a lot.

This is on what we based our gift request to my parents. The boy likes kid’s furniture. Sure it helps that a cheap plastic table and chairs can be wiped off with a Clorox wipe and have easily cleanable surfaces. That would be dandy for wifey and I, but, and I must stress, IT IS NOT THE REASON I ASKED MY PARENTS FOR THE TABLE AND CHAIRS. We truly asked the ‘rents for the table and chairs because little man would love them.

On Sunday I called the parents to get their itinerary. When should I expect them, where will they be staying, will they have my nephews with them, etc… During this conversation my mom informs me that they found an antique kid’s desk at some thrift shop. It “looks like it was lovingly made by somebody’s grandpa.”

I asked (for clarification purposes) if this was an “instead of” or an “in addition to” gift. It was, of course, an “instead of” gift. Now I have no problem with them getting the little one a desk. Eventually he will need one. Eventually he will want one, but at the moment, I am not sure what a 2 year old will want to do with an antique desk. I am thinking that he would probably like a desk for drawing purposes for his 3rd or 4th birthday, not his second.

Here is the breakdown.

Desk vs Table and Chairs
Unfamiliar with the concept Familiar with the concept
Does not draw yet Is an eating machine
Can use as a workstation Can use as a snack station
Difficult to clean an antique Clorox wipes for the win

The positives all stack up in the Table and Chairs column.

Now we beg the question, “Why would my parents decide to get a gift that the little one cannot appreciate yet? Well, there are a few different answers to this one.

Firstly, I think the $32 price tag on the Little Tikes table and chairs set was a bit outside of the money they wanted to spend. As a point of reference, they got their 8 year old grandson bubbles last year as their main gift. Need I remind you of Two Bits Four Bits Six Bits Crappola? Anyway… So we think that the over $10 price tag was a bit much for them to handle. Granted my dad was making a comfortable having worked at a phone company for over 25 years prior to his retirement last year. Additionally, his military pension kicked in this year as well, and he is actually making more money being retired than he did working last year. Mom still substitute teaches to rake in what others would call “beer and pizza money.” $32 ain’t gonna kill them at all.

Secondly, I think they balked at the idea of me telling them what to get little man for his birthday. “Why would they balk at that?” you ask. Well, fine reader, there is a good chance that I come by my oppositional defiance honestly.

Thirdly, my parents do not have a good concept of reality. I swear the grass is not green in their world and the sky is most definitely not blue. Some of you might be wondering just how much of a break with reality they have had. Well… here are some examples… (as wifey so aptly describes it) Looney Moment #53: Telling me that grandma was in renal failure when it turns out to be a bladder infection. The difference between those 2 maladies is staggering. Drama anyone? Looney Moment #212: Telling me that Uncle Jim working sooooo efficiently that he worked himself out of 4 jobs. I thought employers liked to keep efficient employees. Looney Moment #214: Telling me that Aunt Nancy working sooooo efficiently that she worked her way out of 3 jobs. Clearly, I have an amazingly efficient family. Looney Moment #213: Telling me that Uncle Tom was fired from his truck driving job for being too smart for it. Now, I am not disparaging truck drivers, but come on, he must have done something illegal to get canned. Companies are always looking for truck drivers. Looney Moment #40: Asking my brother and I to find a car that had anti-lock brakes, air bags, good gas mileage, and cruise control, and then buying a base model, gas-guzzling Chevy Lumina without any safety features because it was blue.

Well that is my ranting for the day, I am sure there will be more next week after the visit.

To recap:
My parents love me in their own weird ass way, but they still suck
I apologize to my wife for bringing them with me
Little man is going to get his kitchen playset today
Baked Cheetos are amazingly good
When I am stressed I sleep for crap
Don’t order a pizza with “crappracola ham”