Someecards is excited to announce our brand-new parenting column, "Parental Advisory," that recognizes every parenting challenge brings with it shades of conflict, contradiction, and crayon on your beige couch. If you have a tricky question, whether about a newborn or a teen, our columnist Janet Manley—mother of one, incubating #2 as we speak—wants to answer it! Share your own questions in the comments and watch this space for true tales of parenting under pressure.
First up, we have a question about being spoiled by grandparents, finicky eaters, and pint-sized liars:
My in-laws keep buying my kids stuff. They enjoy being grandparents and they're good about playing with the kids, but their gift-giving is unnecessary and in my opinion, wasteful. I know this sounds like a stupid problem to have, but my kids are getting an unrealistic idea of what normal birthday presents and Christmas presents are. We have more toys than my children know what to do with already and I'm worried they will "expect" this many presents from relatives or even friends. How shall I handle this?
This isn’t a stupid problem, this is a profound existential quandary. The second you have a baby, the gifts start rolling in. Inevitably, these gifts are ideological Trojan horses, packed with the secret parenting agendas of the gift-givers (“Enjoy this wooden bead puzzle! We believe electronic toys are a form of child abuse.”)
Faced with an avalanche of gift-wrapped goodwill, we are each tasked with KonMari-ing on behalf of our children to ascertain whether a gift a) brings us joy or b) sends us into a Tickle Me Elmo fury spiral.