…do grow up.
Nothing grabs my attention more than the moans and groans of “Mah Christmas was ruuuuuined forevaaaaaah!!!!”and “ZOMG! Scarred for life!” This is likely due to the fact that I have zero compassion for anyone or anything. Really. Years ago, my husband turned to me and said “I have finally figured it out. You’re basically the real-life version of Frank Pembleton from Homicide. No emotion or compassion what-so-ever.” Now, we all know he’s wrong. I do emote and feel the things. It’s just that I only feel the things that are important or relevant to my own interests (ok…that’s called sarcasm, kids. Narcissist, I am not).
Trying to get myself excited about working on bariatric analyses, I needed to surf the old internetz for inspiration (erm…riiiiiight) and I happened upon this bullshit on Gawker. Apparently, some parents had a very unmerry Christmas because Santa brought their precious snowflakes a Play-Doh kit with a penis. Working in healthcare for as many years as I have, I immediately assumed it was clinical and thought “Golly jeepers! Educational play, at last!” Nope. The kit in question is Play-Doh’s Sweet Shoppe Cake Mountain Playset (so girls can prepare themselves for the workforce, I suppose). Within this set is an icing extruder that happens to look phallic. Maybe. I mean, I’m pretty much the most frigid woman on the planet and I have neither seen nor touched a penis since I did my wifely duty of procreating five years ago (for the record, when I closed my eyes, I did not think of England) but after reading that it could, potentially, resemble a penis – I admit – I can see it. I can also see that it looks like a really bizarre syringe. We have tons of play syringes around the house for Milkface because he wants to be a veterinarian when he grows up (or maybe he wants to be a smack addict and lacks the temerity to fess up to that).
Christmas day comes ‘round and those blessed with the Make-Your-Own-Dry-Crumbly-Fondant-Nightmare-Cum-Poor-Excuse-For-A-Cake-Kit open their packages. Much to their parents’ chagrin, the penis comes tumbling out. Twitter goes bananas, as does every other form of social media. The verbal spanking of Play-Doh begins. The screams of “YOU RUINED MY CHRISTMAS!” echo throughout a good, Christian nation. Appointments will be made with qualified mental health professionals to deal with the impending PTSD. One family member will inevitably snatch up the icing extruder/penis and spirit it away to the bathroom to perform unspeakable acts which will be featured in DeadSpin’s “What Did We Get Stuck In Our Rectums Last Year” series. Trauma will be inflicted upon otherwise clueless children who see things for what they are because that is what egocentric children do. That is how the child brain works. It is what it fucking is to kids. You can hold up a pipe cleaner, tell them it’s a mind-reading device that detects fibs and they will believe it. And, once again, a grown-up who is supposed to be setting the example of appropriate behavior shows the child how to behave like a fuckstick.
Behold the circle of idiocy. Is it not a thing of beauty?
As Milky grows and his genius brain expands, I try to instigate some profound discussions with him in the hope that some of my wisdom and/or observations make an impact. One thing I often tell him is that while grown-ups are the voices of authority and are to be the voices of reason, grown-ups are flawed and far from perfect. Grown-ups make stupid mistakes from time to time. It’s imperative to not only observe the mistake (and it is exceptionally impolite to point it out) but observe the follow-through; how the grown-up remedies the mistake. There are times grown-ups won’t because they don’t understand they have done something incorrectly or, to be blunt, wrong. There are times grown-ups won’t because grown-ups can be prideful which is foolish. We don’t dance with fools. Time is precious and precious time is not invested in fools.
The mind I previously considered a curse because it never shuts off, never stops thinking and never stops formulating ideas has become an actual blessing in this regard. I’m able to quickly examine the situation, Milky’s behavior, my behavior and what the long term implications are going to be from my example. It’s why I would never scream “Christmas is ruined!” in front of my kid. If the phallic icing extruder came tumbling out of the box and landed in front of Milkface, I’d likely laugh and just carry on like it was nothing. But, if I was genuinely offended, I certainly wouldn’t carry on in front of him and potentially ruin his experience (tainting the toy and potentially making Christmas awkward).
These stories pop up in the news and result in two outcomes: a source for moral outrage for those who feel they are more righteous than others and a source for intellectual validation for those of us who feel we are smarter than others. And yes, I ate the bait and am giving it play by writing about it and looking down on the ridiculous idiots who let their entire Christmas be ruined by something that really wasn’t worth being upset over. So, shame on me. And, shame on me, again, for being higher and mightier for laughing at people for being so thin-skinned and tight-assed. Triple the shame for my judging their parenting. Although, in this instance, I really think my brilliant approach is better. If you don’t make a big deal out of something, your kid won’t either. If you leave things be, you don’t run the risk of ruining a pleasant experience for others. If you manage to keep your mouth shut, you may actually be giving the best gift of all: selflessness. You may also be teaching your children something, as well: use of histrionics does not result in a positive outcome.