Lowering the Bar

I recently learned that The Tooth Fairy has been known to give children $10 for their discarded teeth.

I’ve attended children’s birthday parties that appear to cost more than my wedding. I’ve seen star charts created to award children for simply existing.Β Oh little Bobby is breathing so AMAZING today, isn’t he!!! Here’s $100.

This is insanity, people. Insanity. Why are some of you setting the bar this high?

When you act in this outrageous fashion it diminishes the sense of accomplishment I feel when I discover my child has a pair of clean underwear to wear.

I have no problem admitting that I routinely fail in my role as parent so perhaps I’m not the best to insist on some standard rules of engagement. But when little Timmy’s Easter haul is worth more than the GNP of Uzbekistan, I think we can all see that things have gotten out of hand.

Therefore, I think parents can agree on some basic ground rules.

1. Santa Claus. Can we establish that Santa Claus gives one gift and one gift only? And let it be kind of a crappy gift like tube socks or a box of chalky Whitman’s Sampler. This way the children feel a sort of begrudging resentment to Santa like they do when they have to write a thank you note to Great Aunt Hilda who routinely gives a box of holiday-colored sporks. Then in 10 years, let’s have Santa die in an avalanche so there can actually be peace on earth.

2. Tooth Fairy. $10 for tooth? Seriously? Fuck that noise. I say no money. I say let’s use her to our advantage to scare children into better dental hygiene. I don’t know about you, but getting my 3-year-old to brush his teeth is about as easy as getting Kayne West to stop referencing himself. Let’s instead have the Tooth Fairy leave ominous notes like “Dear little Sarah, I picked up your decayed tooth. If you don’t do a better job brushing, I’m going to come back one night and take them all. Love, the Tooth Fairy.”

3. Birthday parties.

toomuchridiculousnessThis. This right here is how you get a 9-year-old Nathaniel bitching on Twitter about how much he hates his fucking parents for buying him a black iPhone rather than a white one for his half birthday. Let’s scale back a bit, parents, shall we? Does your three-year-old really need a Marie Antoinette-themed party complete with a one-of-a-kind Palace of Versailles bouncy house and cardboard cutouts of disgruntled peasants? No. I’ve seen my son be entertained for over an hour by the simple act of throwing a tennis ball over our garbage can enclosure. Add a cake and that just became the best birthday party in his short life.

4. Easter.

fuckingnutsThere is no reasonable explanation for buying this much chocolate for one child unless your child is expecting a shiv in the back at the playground and needs some allies. All you’re doing with this display is guaranteeing you will be shelling out $70 to the Tooth Fairy in the near future. Along the same lines as Santa, let’s have the Easter Bunny give one piece of candy and let it be an elephant peanut or a Necco wafer so the kiddies won’t be too upset when the Easter Bunny is inadvertently shot and killed by Elmer Fudd in 2018.

5. Pinterest.


Oh this? This is a “last-minute” Halloween costume idea. Really? Maybe on a planet were a minute is the equivalent of five months. There are many such devious DIY ideas on Pinterest that are designed to set a parent up for failure, and make you wonder where all these other parents have the time to make a DIY DeLorean time machine out of crepe paper with their children while you don’t have the energy to construct a ball from a hunk of dried-out Play-doh. How about we make this easy DIY genius responsible for your failure. Say, if you can’t easily make this, the DIY genius is forced to come to your house and make it for you. Or at least gets punched in the face.

I get that people love their kids. I do too (mine, not theirs). But we do no one any favors when that love manifests itself into over-the-top materialistic displays that leave some kids with less wondering why Santa is such a withholding dick.

Let’s lower that bar, parents. Your wallet and sanity will thank you.


  1. I am all for having Santa bumped off. But then, who will get my kids to behave better? Surely, that’s not MY job, right?

    As for the tooth thing, my kids’ teeth are falling out of their mouths at such an alarming rate lately, the tooth fairy is starting to leave her credit card statements under their pillows.

    1. I seriously think the Tooth Fairy is the answer to all behavioral modification needs. They don’t even have to lose a tooth to receive a note from The Tooth Fairy telling them to “stop teasing your sister if you even want to keep your molars.”

  2. As long as you’re at it, let’s get a grip on the names, okay? My 7-year old daughter has twin friends named Roman and Rafaela. You live in a split level in a New Jersey suburb for fuck’s sake, not a villa in Treviso. It’s pretentious.

    It’s the new favorite sport amongst middle class white people: competitive child rearing.

    1. I feel your pain. The whole “my special snowflake must have the most specialist uniquenest name in the wholest worldest” is fucking ridiculous. I’ve seen the name Joan spelled as Ghoaneku. I’m lying obvs, but I bet we see that version of Joan in a year.

      1. I think I have to. I know of a Jeremiah that is spelled as Yeremiah. Y as a J? I know the Y can be a vowel and a consonant, but I know that it never, ever has sounded like a J.

      2. congrats on being (again) freshly pressed, loved your recaps of 50 shades of plagiarism. just wanted to say, though, j is y in hebrew – jehovah is yehowah. think indiana jones and the last crusade. i could help build you a file of odd names and strange spellings, i teach at university and some are just head-smackers, that’s for sure. carry on!

      3. A names post would be great, but I’d just like to point out that while ‘Y’ has never sounded like ‘J’ in English, ‘J’ is pronounced as ‘Y’ in several other languages, so often the ‘Y’ is chosen in English to better guide the correct pronunciation.

  3. I am so with you on all this. Only disappointed you didn’t get round to addressing the whole Hallowe’en issue. I am a British grandma, whose 2yr old grandson is growing up in San Fran. I am really shocked at the whole halloween hoopla in the USA. Dammit, Scotland had Hallowe’en for centuries before America was a twinkle in the Pilgrim Fathers’ eyes…and there was no such thing as a Pumpkin Patch (with entry fee). A candle stub in a hollowed-out swede (rutabaga) was good enough for my ancestors and a few games involving dunking apples, and mashed potato containing charms was all that it took. Certainly no ‘house decor’ or gruesome stuff came into the picture. When big business gets into folk festivals, common sense goes right out the window.

    1. I think this might become a 12-part series because I’m aware I missed a whole boatload of crazy. Halloween has lost its mind as evidenced by the guy down the street who has at least 50 of those blow-up contraptions of ghouls and witches in his 15-foot by 15-foot yard. It looks like a monster orgy.

  4. *Standing up on my chair applauding*
    What took you so long? These things right here are why we have so many problems. Every parent trying to give their kid more than they had turned into every parent trying to give there kid more than what their neighbour had. It turns out what we had was just great. Kids are screwed. There is no way they can live up to the expectations implied.

    1. The craziest thing is that the kid–especially the young, brand-new ones–could give two shits. For the past three Christmases, my son has had the attitude of “what the fuck is this?” and refused to open the 3,000 gifts from his grandparents because it’s so overwhelming. This year? One gift from us. One gift from Santa.

  5. And as someone with no children – therefore an expert – let me say, AMEN! Please also have a rule about activities. Like maybe the kid can pick ONE organized activity, lesson, or sport – and then they must STICK with it for one year. I’ve never seen kids (actually parents) so overcommitted. Do you know what my parents decided was the socially acceptable and educational activity for kids should be? “Go out and play!”

    1. Thank you! I am a proud, lazy parent of 3, and if I scheduled my kids the way so many others do, I would need to sell 2 of them just to pay for the first (or favorite. to hell with seniority) one’s activities. I think “knowing how to find my way home by the light of the flickering street lamp” will look great on a college application.

  6. Amen!!!

    I’m fascinated by that paper doll costume. I’ll admit, she’s pretty adorable, but how effing inconvenient – can she even move her arms to ring the doorbell?

  7. Speaker7,
    We’ve read It to our kids at night, therefore they do not want clowns at their birthdays.
    We’ve shown Bad Santa, therefore they do not watch anything with Billy Bob Thornton and lost all respect for Santa.
    Same goes for God… We’ve read them the Old Testament and they fear his ass. No worshiping here…
    Again, kids will be happy with a box, or strings, or sand, and a stick, and they won’t need tooth fairy money to buy these…
    Le Clown

    1. Le Clown,
      That article is fantastic, and it’s fantastic because it is spot-on true. We have a blanket that is unraveling string by string, and my son loves playing with the string like some hopped-up cat on catnip. Maybe that will be his gift on Deviled Egg Day (coming soon on Nov. 2!!! Get shopping!!!).

    1. These are just regular run-o-mill photos from people who have lost their effin minds. Please write soon about your time as a kid birthday party planner!!

  8. When I lost a tooth back in the day I was grateful to get a quarter and almost peed myself when the Tooth Fairy doubled her rate and left a half dollar under my pillow. I think at the core of this competitive parenting problem is the parents. My generation, Boomer, invented helicopter parenting and Gen X parents seem to be following this lead. Looking back, I think “the greatest generation” had a much better handle on being reasonable at least from a financial POV.

    1. The helicoptering is truly awful. This is a completely true story. I had a fourth grader approach me because she couldn’t do her work. The reason she couldn’t do her work was because her pencil was broken. She could not think of one way to solve it. The pencil sharpener was about 2 feet away. Fourthgraders are on average 9 years old.

  9. The Tooth Fairy once left me an IOU because my mum had no change to leave under my pillow. In an ironic double-whammy, this was also the event that proved the non-existence of said fairy, unless she and my mum happened to have the same handwriting.
    The fella and I have had several conversations about our hypothetical brood, specifically things we will not do. I’m committed to a minimum of toys, and those will consist of things like wooden building blocks and rag dolls.
    As for names, I like Petra, Marnie, Hunter and Felix. However, we’re both pretty nerdy, so we really want to incorporate that nerdiness into the kids’ names somehow. Should we have a son, his middle name is going to be Atreides.

    1. Minimum of toys is a really good idea and I hope you stick to it because at this moment I’m drowning in a sea of matchbox cars and toxic trucks. They have taken over my life.

  10. Actual conversation between me and my mom when I was a teenager.:

    Mom: “You get X amount of money for clothes for the entire school year.”

    Me: “But other gets get Y amount.”

    Mom: “Are those my kids?”

    Me: “No.”

    Mom: “That’s why they’re getting too much damn money.”


      1. I’m glad, despite my typos, you understood what I meant. I was reading and typing during a conference call. That’s how important this blog is to me.

  11. Brilliant. This post is one of your best ever, S7. Seriously.

    When he was 6, my son attended a birthday party for a little girl in his class. It was held in a 5-star hotel on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. A very expensive, elegant hotel. There were waitresses in little French maid outfits, carrying trays of little pizzas and one-bite French pastries. All I could ask the mother was “where will you hold her wedding?”

    1. Aw Elyse. Thanks for the accolades. And that party seems very appropriate especially the French maid part. I’m having The Chippendales at my son’s 4th so it will be highly classy.

  12. Hahaha, you hit the nail on the head with this stuff. My three year old was invited to a party for a “buddy” from preschool at the local firehouse. The goody bags they gave the kids for coming were better than the gift we bought so we felt like total dicks for buying this kid we don’t even know a shitty gift for his stupid 4th birthday. Plus now boy wants his party to be at the firehouse! Sorry son, but not only is your butt not having a kid party at the firehouse, but you’re not having one period. You’re 4!!!

    1. I almost don’t want to attend anymore children’s parties unless they are as low-rent as the ones I throw. I’m lucky if the cake reads “happy birthday.”

  13. Love this, you got everything down to the ladder, but you forgot an offender. The grandparents, my niece is a joy, she’s as well mannered as a 3 year old could be. Unfortunately after a week with her grandparents she’s talking back, making messes, and only wants junk food. It drives us crazy because we have to reform her over and over. I get that they’re old and they want to spoil their grand kid but that’s no excuse to creating a monster

  14. An affluent friend of my son’s had been to The World Series, The World Cup of Soccer, The Super Bowl and The Summer Olympics…all by the age of 12. My wife once posed the question how a kid who’d experienced such incredible things could possibly find excitement later in life. My one word answer (and I hope I’m wrong) “Heroin”

  15. I was an awful tooth fairy. I kept forgetting to leave the money under the pillow night after night. When we moved then 8 year old Thing One said “Hey, now that we are in a new house, maybe this tooth fairy will remember!” And here I didn’t realize there were different tooth fairies for different houses. I guess that explains why hers was such a cheapskate. She got a quarter and a pal got 5 bucks.

    1. I was also an awful tooth fairy to my son. He finally told me at about age 7 that we need to fire the tooth fairy, because she never shows up when a tooth is left under his pillow! LOL My daughter was lucky to get a nickle or a quarter like I did when I was a child.

    1. There are few times that I’m right, but when someone is spending over $1,000 on a 6-month-old’s birthday than things have gone a bit out of whack.

  16. A-to-the-freaking-MEN. I have not been shocked by some of the kiddie birthday parties that I have been to recently, which were all punctuated by mountains of presents, clowns, motorized trains taking kids for rides up and down the block, massive spreads of food, and swag bags. But, you know what else I noticed? Those kids don’t look like they are having any more fun than I remember having with my friends when my birthday parties consisted of having 10-15 kids over to play tag in the backyard and eat cupcakes.

    1. It actually looks to me that these kids are having less fun because there’s so much pressure to “have fun” since the parent’s are paying out the nose for it. “Have fun Jimmy, goddamn it!!!”

  17. Jaded is a bad idea. Children should understand the worth of time and the dollar. Do not give it away. When I was young my gift was an empty box, a pair of scissors and crayons. Made my own gift. I made an airplane, a stagecoach and a race car. Three boxes, three gifts.

  18. I’d like to be offended by your comment on UZB coz that’s where I grew up but I just can’t – your comment about it is probably close to an actual fact. I totally agree with you. BUT I did throw a 1st birthday party for my kid w tons of food, desserts and obviously gifts. I don’t think it was wrong but we won’t be throwing parties like that anymore. And there ain’t gonna be a tooth fairy and Santa will only exist in malls for picture taking!

    1. Very happy you’re taking the unoffended route or else I’d feel obligated to throw you a party along the lines of Nathaniel, and I don’t have $10,000 to spare.

  19. It’s crazy seeing what kids have these days. I didn’t have a cell phone until I was 15 (and that’s only because one of my babysitting clients didn’t have a home phone). Today, I see three-year-olds running around with iPads. I mean, what the heck?

    1. I didn’t have a cell phone until 26 and that was after getting not one, but two instances of a flat tire on the highway. The latter flat tire, I was followed by a skeevy truck as I walked my way to an even skeevier rest stop. So what I’m saying is that it took me a near-murder to get one.

      1. No worries, it’s just a mental state of hunger. I suffer from the chronic Nothinginthefridge syndrome which is perpetuated by a Toolazytogoshopping complex. And to top it off I’m a musician, so I get to complain about it!

  20. This right here is why I love you. Fantastic post. Instead of bating my child with the lies of Santa and the Easter choco fest, I am just going to tell her that if she’s real good, I will some day let her play with Speaker7’s kid while I go get a drink with his mommy.

    1. It’s on like Genghis Khan.

      I hope that comment didn’t kill any desire to meet me out for a drink sometime. I’m really not that awkward (except I totally am).

      1. Yes.. But at times I almost wish I had the knowledge of providing that magnitude of absurdity… But my kids and I are stuck w/plain ‘ol love(lol) instead,and gratefully so!!

  21. I’m forty five years old raising a four year old granddaughter I was totally dismayed when I realized how children’s birthday parties are celebrated in current times. My children are all grown so I had not planned a small child’s birthday in many years boy was I in for a surprise. Needless to say for my Granddaughters birthdays we have not grown broke and don’t plan on it. I watched my sister-n-law make Easter baskets for her grandchildren this past year that quite honestly were shameful and somehow I felt embarrassed to bring out my granddaughters modest basket in front of my sister-n-law. You are so right on with this thank you.

      1. I’ve attended birthday parties for 4 or 5 years I know costs upwards of a thousand dollars. I’ve actually been at a family members home on Christmas morning (no names mentioned) that I saw one child open well over thirty maybe even more Christmas gifts. Yes it is enough to make one feel bad about the universe.

  22. well said! I posted recently about a crazy tradition started on my son’s soccer team called the win tunnel and more seriously insane parental antics in my neck of the woods. we need to put a stop to the madness.

  23. Parents want to think their kids are little gods and goddesses because then – clearly – they themselves must be deities or they couldn’t have given birth to this gift to the world. I feel for the kids – such pressure to achieve. “We gave you everything you could possibly have wanted, and look how you’ve let us down.”
    I am glad I don’t have kids. Good luck with yours!
    And congrats on the Freshly Pressed!

  24. Enjoyed the read. I agree that parents do need to lower the bar. It is though everyone’s personal choice what they want to do with their kids. I personally think that it shouldn’t matter what others are doing but concentrate on what we are doing with our kids. Yes, it is highly annoying that people have to go over the top when it comes to their children but it is also their choice. I personally don’t think the tooth fairy should be giving 10 dollars out. Ah well such is the world we live in.
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. πŸ™‚

    1. It would be nice if everyone calmed down a bit on all of it. Granted, kids’ parties are, by their nature, highly miserable, but the misery is now at an all-time high. At least for me.

    1. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could create a kind of parents’ Olympics? Then these highly competitive parents could just get all that shit out right there, and we could watch in on TV, and then give little Bobby a hunk of string for his birthday.

  25. Pretty awesome! Many of the parties and events we create for children are really address to parents. I really enjoy the way you explained many of these issues with humor.

  26. Speaker 7,

    Hooray! I’ve never said hooray in public before either until just now! But hooray!

    If it were up to me, I would press you daily. I’m so kissing your ass right now. SO kissing it. But, as usual, laugh out loud funny shit. Circus peanuts are fucking gross too by the way. I’d rather put necco wafers on my tuna fish sandwich, whatever the fuck those things are…

    Um. Oh yeah, and the Kayne West one-liner was funny. I refer to myself in the third person at every available opportunity, especially when I’m talking to myself.

    You don’t have to waste your time addressing all of these fantastic points I’ve made here. A simple “hi” and maybe an autographed headshot will suffice.

    Later, G-money.

  27. I’m not a parent but this was highly amusing for me! I’m definitely guilty of being an over indulgent aunt although I do agree with most of what you say. Children will certainly find ways to entertain themselves. Currently the most loved “toy” of my niece and nephews is a tomato crate that they love to be dragged around in.

    1. You could probably market that tomato crate to these competitive parents. Call it “Smart Kids’ Explorer” or “Travel Genuis Imaginarium” and charge $150.

    1. Thank you…but…um…where’s my huge Freshly Pressed party? I thought I was gonna get a party with a bouncy house and a pony and a sentient monkey and a glassblower and a singing elephant and a…

  28. A very wise outlook, speaker 7 in these days of meaningless, competitive extravagance. Hope people do realize the futility of mere quantity and make it up to the children in love and personal attention.

  29. Its about the “spirit” of the day – no not the Vodka! I am no longer religious, but I like to get all my friends who may be single, or non christian together and have lunch – a Barbeque usually and time to chill and chat.

    1. I feel I’m pretty mediocre mom most of the time, but I’ve been around enough entitled kids that I’m strongly against unleashing another one into this world.

  30. I LOVE this post, thank you! As one part of a childless couple I have endured so many of these over indulgent, ridiculous parties… as a side note, I met a kid called Kryst (as in… Christ) once… has to be pretty high on the list of pretentious and phonetically challenged names!

      1. The worst part was that the kid had a sibling named Deztiny (I swear I’m not making this up!). I think you’re onto something with THG though – you might start a trend! πŸ™‚

  31. I’m cheering for you loudly!!!!! You hit the nail on the head. What the heck is wrong with parents today? I have seen kids hitting their parents in stores because they won’t buy them what they wanted. I don’t know about you but in my day if I raised a hand to my parents they would have put me 6 feet under. Please keep writing!

    1. I’ll always remember that Simpson’s episode when Bart steals a videogame and there’s this brief second of a mom with her overindulgent boy and the mother says something critical about Bart’s parents and the boy replies “Shut up, mom!”

  32. Loved this post, especially doing away with Santa and the Tooth Fairy. My niece thought she was so clever as having found three of the dog’s puppy teeth, she put them under her pillow fully expecting Β£3. All she got was 3 dog biscuits, which to me was perfect justice to the spoilt brat.
    ( PS I have no kids, but the rest of my family have more than made up for it!)

  33. That birthday thing drives me crazy. The stupid kid (theirs not mine) won’t remember a thing until it is like 6, so why in the heaven would you put any effort into buying it a present let alone doing a party? My nine year old is still hoping someday that we do a party for her.

    1. I know. I know. I’ve been trying to enjoy nothing christmases these past few years because my son could give a reindeer’s turd about the whole thing. Why not prolong it as long as you can?

  34. Hahaha! You said, “fuck that noise.” That is the second time I have seen that freshly pressed. Congratulations, by the way. Also, I feel like this is actually good advice. If you need any help punching real or mythical creatures in the face just let me know– while emotionally satisfying it can actually sting a bit.

  35. I have to say the article mad me sick. Not in a bad way…..
    The truth is overwhelming and frightening. Talk about peaking to early.
    Our local year book had all the regular pages best athlete, artist, etc. what made me “sick” was best car. The boy stood next to an 80k Mercedes in black and the girl the same car in white.
    I recently had a 1st birthday for my son and in the back of my mind I was embarrassed that we couldn’t give him more than a back yard party. The norm is gone. Sadly.
    Fantastic writing.

  36. Fantastic and so true!
    When we had our baby’s 1st birthday party in the back yard a few were shocked. They were also uninvited and have not been in our lives since.
    Our local year book had added pages.
    Best car. The boy stood next to a 80k Mercedes in black the girl 80k in white. How do the parents allow this crap?

  37. BRAVO!!! I couldn’t agree more! Our house rule is Santa only gives out one present per child. “Just think about how heavy the sleigh will be if Santa has to carry more than one present for each child? and if he has extra gifts? Besides, he should give them to kids who don’t already have lots of toys!” My six year old daughter goes with that. Tooth Fairy gives $1 in my house. Three pieces of candies for Halloween, and she can choose any three from her basket. Easter? I give away all the chocolates and candies that my mother-in-law send her. I don’t understand why chocolate is associated with Easter at all. Granted, I’m a Buddhist. But I remember that Christ’s rebirth and spring has more to do with Easter than chocolate. So she gets to eat an egg on Easter for breakfast (she loves hard boiled egg, so that’s a treat for her). Yeah, those expensive birthday parties that we were invited to, I cursed them for setting the bar so high. Very unnecessarily high. I have ours in our backyard, come up with some homemade treasure hunt clues and call it a day. No hired entertainer, no bouncy house. I did order finger foods though, no time for homemade DIY tea sandwiches. Too time consuming. I’d rather spend my precious time explaining to my child the meaning of hard work, dedication, and education. LOVE this post!

  38. Love this!! I’m going to incorporate ‘shiv in the back’ into every day use as well. We’re on the next generation (fecking hell I’m getting old), and my daughter has drawn a line in the sand with our 18 month old Grandson that says “parents, stop buying our kid so much shit” and instead she has encouraged us to help them out with trips to family parks and buy ‘experiences’ instead – only downside, is being 18 months old this does not provide the box that he normally would play with. Anyhoe……fab post!! Speaks especially to our ‘make it or bake it’ mantra when everyone is skint in our family πŸ™‚

    1. Please let me know how “shiv in the back” works out. I have a few suggestions:
      “It’s so hot, I’d rather take a shiv in the back than be out in this heat.”
      “I’d rather take a shiv in the back that go to that child’s over-the-top birthday party.”

      1. bloody ‘ell, I can use that in virtually most sentences that make up my daily dialogue! I’m currently trialling ‘knobtastic’ and ‘fuckwitery’ in Facebook posts in the hope that one day my sarcasm will take off and be accepted into the Oxford English Dictionary. Can’t believe I haven’t come across ‘shiv in the back’ before, its sounds like something a Yorkshire lass should really know!

      2. What happened to the tooth fairy only carrying coins? As for child parties I find a bag with Lollies chips and a yoyo works a treat a birthday cake and a game. Most kids don’t want to hang around longer than an hour either.

  39. Hahahaha…I am not even a parent yet and I still find this repulsive. Those photos make me realize how spoiled some kids are…and I thought I was…I don’t know if I would call it setting the bar lower to not completely spoil your kids…but I see where your coming from in that statement.

  40. I am seriously about crying I’m laughing so hard at this right now. My husband told my four yr old daughter the other night (in a very “you’re driving me effing crazy” voice) that if she didn’t brush her teeth they would all be black and the tooth fairy doesn’t pay for rotten teeth. It was totally on the fly and out of desperation. I shot him the “good thinking” look!! Been using it every since. Love the perspective and belly laughs. The “shiv in the back” playground comment was amazing.

    1. That is genius. I don’t know why more parents don’t use these fake characters to our advantage like “If you don’t clean up your room, Santa Claus is going to come to our house and take all of your toys.”

  41. If anyone gives a good present in this house, it’s mom and dad. πŸ˜‰ Great post. The bar is kind of laying on the ground, probably lost in the garage, at my house.

    1. Yeah, kids are wise to the whole “why did Santa give that kid more?” and usually it’s the spoiled shithead kid. Please don’t think I’m saying your cousin is a spoiled shithead.

  42. I couldn’t agree with you more. Kids are spoiled! Parents need to show their children how much they love them by making memories, not by giving them everything they ask for. I love your idea about killing Santa in an avalanche and having the Tooth Fairy leave notes instead of cash. Well done!

      1. I don’t have kids (and aren’t planning to have them in the next 5 years), but when I do this will be my rule-book. Great writing!

      2. Sweet! When you eventually do have kids or don’t because not everyone has to procreate, my only other advice is to ignore all advice.

  43. Thanks for the great read! It’s a scary expensive world out there. I could not agree more! Screw Santa and his many gifts…what happened to getting a tennis ball in your stocking, then loosing it over the fence, and having to wait until next year! Thank you for sharing!

  44. I bow to your awesomeness. You have articulated what I have long thought. Can you please address Valentine’s Day in your next post? I promise to hang it on the fridge where my husband is sure to see it — because I’m tired of explaining how annoying it is to spend five bucks on a card, bake something, and be pestered into going out for this made-up holiday. I’d rather spend the money on lottery tickets. Thanks!

    Yours in disgruntledness,


    1. I remember feeling bewildered when I moved to Ohio and learned there was another goddamn made-up love holiday called “Sweetest Day.” One is bad enough.

    1. I will admit being a parent changed me in the sense that I eat faster than I ever had and know more about Richard Scary’s busy town than a normal adult human should, but I relish my adult friends and am envious of my childless friends’ time.

  45. Fantastic post! It drives me crazy how parents go so over the top for their kids. I don’t think that they’re doing their children any favours. I mean, what’s left for the children to discover & enjoy if you give it to them all so early in their lives? I wonder if they notice that their kids get more joy out of the cardboard box the toys came in, then the actual toys? Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

    1. I work in the education field so I get to see firsthand how “wonderful” these overentitled children can be. And these will be the children who will care for us when we are old. Just so you know: we are doomed.

  46. And how is it such a big mystery that we now have the fattest kids in human history? LMAO! I just walked in here, thanks to your “Freshly Pressed” status, congrats on that, btw; I plan to be back in here to check around to see if you’ve yet addressed the problem of “School Science Fairs”…if you have, I would not doubt you already understand why I said this. If you haven’t, I’ll save that comment for another visit…too tired right now to get all twisted up over that!

    1. I have not been to a school science fair, but I’m guessing it might have something to do with parents who have hired scientists and engineers to do their children’s science project.

      1. EXACTLY. I don’t know how I got through those days without being tempted to open fire on the crowdThere’s nothing worse than working on a ‘solar system’ diorama all night for a 5th grader (15 yrs ago) and making it LOOK like a kid made it…then dragging ass into the school’s auditorium to discover professional quality, computer generated college level exhibits…I was mortified.

  47. LOL, I was expecting a discussion on how parents are doing their kids a disservice by giving them so much, but this works, too πŸ˜€

  48. I can’t even put into words how much I love this! Every time I happened to catch an episode of My Super Sweet 16 I just wanted to punch the parents in the throat. Why in the hell are they spending $5,000 on a birthday party?! My kids are lucky to get to invite a few friends over to the house and eat some cake!

    1. I’ve caught that show before and at first hoped it was a SNL parody. It makes me glad that I’m not remotely wealthy and so will never be in contact with people like that.

  49. These things are happening because every parent just want the best of their child. However, sometimes parents need to determine if it’s really needed or it’s just lavishness. Think think think …

    1. I think the problem is that parents see other parents indulging their children and then feel they have to do more. It’s kind of like this new wave of public marriage proposals where people force their entire catalog of friends and families to put on a production that would put Broadway to shame.

      1. Gosh, no! not yet anyway….. although advising twenty-somethings to get botox as preventive sounds way too young to me.
        I just laughed because I’ve been saying “we’re raising the bar way too high!” for a few years!

  50. Thanks for this spot-on post, which we have tweeted. We have been lamenting the parental arms race in our community for years, ever since Y-Guides dads from our sons’ “tribe” took their five-year olds on a sea plane to their first campout. Thanks for the laugh and keep these fabulous posts coming.

  51. I agree! My friend just told me a story of how she bought a book for her sister-in-law’s kid, and was informed that it wasn’t a “very good present”. What’s up with that?

      1. Haha it was! As it was “family” she decided not to further exacerbate the situation. She won’t however, be buying anymore presents for that part of the family.

  52. From a millennial who got way too many trophies and gifts from Santa, I say BRAVO! Aside from the day we got our dog and the Christmas where we got a basketball hoop for the driveway, (which was really just a device used to physically tire us) I don’t really remember anything my parents bought me before age 13. They could have saved some dolla dolla bills y’all!

  53. I love your post!! I don’t have any kids and don’t want any in my lifetime. Do you by chance remember that horrible show called “My Sweet 16”? Now those were some snot-nosed, rude, under achieving, kids who didn’t need all of that crap just because they were turning 16. I watched that show once and I got a major headache from it that I had to turn the channel. It’s too bad your post wasn’t written back then to be shoved in those parents faces.

    1. You are the second person to mention that delightful gem of a show. I wonder if it’s still on so I can take some notes on what I should never, ever do as a parent.

      1. I just looked that show up and it said that it ended in 2008 (thank goodness). I’m sure the old clips are still around on Youtube.

  54. This has got to be one of the funniest blogs in the universe! Been going through your site: I don’t have any kids, nor have I read Fifty shades of grey, but each and every one of your sentences just makes me wanting more. Yes, your blog has turned me into a spoiled insatiable kid. I actually feel like I’ve read Fifty shades of grey now that I’ve read Fifty shades of Meh. I don’t know who Speakers 1 through 6 are, but after reading your blog I couldn’t care less about them;)
    Kindest regards and many thanks

      1. You’re very welcome…looking forward to reading more of your work. So keep that soul beaten down, cause it makes me laugh (up to you whether I’m being kind or kind of a dick:P)

  55. Just a thought, isn’t there some use for children’s fallen out baby teeth? If there is then some Capitalist should be able to buy teeth off parents making the whole ritual a lot cheaper. As for the bar, keep it up I say, I’m looking forward to laughing at a generation of over indulged brats with a thirst for opulence, instant gratification and narcissism. Embrace the diversity πŸ™‚

    1. I think there has to be some way to make a derivative or a hedge fund or sumthin out of it. Buy! Sell! ….you do realize i have no idea what I’m talking about.

  56. My friend has the “trip fairy” come the night before vacation and bless the kids with items to keep them entertained in the car. They get a put the same amount if toys mine do at Christmas! Thanks for the post!

  57. THANK YOU. this is exactly how i feel.

    i had to host birthday parties and actually design all the decorations/props/EVERYTHING at one point in my life (it was a dark point, trust me) and most of the children were like 5 years old. The most common theme was “parisian”, where the wanted blue ipods rather than pink ones (because they were “too girly and immature”) sitting on an ipod dock blasting typically “parisian” music while they sat around painting their faces with their custom-made ridiculously pricey cake while shouting “I HATE CAKE EW”. ARGH.

    On the other hand, children who were a much older who actually cared about what their party looked like were much better to deal with. But when you’re kid is 5 and probably just wants to run around with their friends just let them. Some parents…

    1. Holy shitballs. Sorry for the profanity, but that was the first thing that popped into my mind. I don’t believe I’ve ever attended a “parisian” party and I’m old. A parisian party for 5-year-olds?!?

  58. I’ve watched kids get tired of opening their own presents at their birthdays. So. wrong. But please, I’m dying to read all the posts promised here in the comments! And if you could, point out how all these parents who build rooms in the basement for their own bounce house (true story) and are so over the top about having $200 football cleats for an 8 year old, but can’t be bothered to take responsibility for their kids’ homework. Or behavior.

  59. This is absolutely perfect. Those perfect mommies who dialed up the birthday party hoopla to Def Con 4 used to make me crazy. Where do I sign the petition to make all this stuff law?

    1. I think I read somewhere (US weekly? A taco bell wrapper?) that if you can get 25,000 signatures on something, the White House has to consider it. For what, I have no idea since I’m obviously didn’t read the thing closely. But let’s do it, by gum.

    1. Very true. In the rare case, decent parents can produce a sociopath through no fault of their own, but these overindulged spoiled things? Yeah, that’s the parents’ fault.

    1. At the moment, my son is still in that stage where advertising has yet to transform him into an I-want-that monster. He’ll hate this post in about two years.

  60. My wife and I were talking along these same lines recently, mostly about manners. This Halloween we had kids coming to the door with no effort what-so-ever in the costume department, still expecting us to hand out the candy we had to buy at the store. Uh, no. No effort, no candy.

    The kids are little monsters even beneath their costumes. We hand out one bite sized piece for each kid…Which apparently isn’t enough these days. My wife dropped a piece of candy in a kids bag this year and he stared at her blankly before stating (in all seriousness) “More.” More? What are you, Oliver? Did I miss a memo? When did I get transported to the world where kids can just walk up to my front door and demand I give them stuff for no reason?

    What really irks me is that parents have taken the fun out of treating their kids to something special every once in a while by spoiling them rotten 365 days of the year. What the heck to kids have to look forward to nowadays? I was initially a little taken aback by your killing off of Santa Claus, but the more I put some thought into the state of things today I’m beginning to come around. Funny post…Thanks for sharing!!

  61. To pre-empt any of this, and give the young man a leg up in life, I’ve named my son ‘Karbunkle’ and taught him not only that chocolate is poison, but to shoot anything that tries to climb down the chimney. He may be priminister of Canada next election…

  62. I think as parents we are to blame, there is a better than the Joneses mentality and habitS that have come over the pond from the states Halloween is getting bigger in the U.K., Parents hiring Limo’s when there kids just finished primary school totally stupid. I did once give my daughter Β£50 by accident in Japan for her tooth cos i didn’t understand the currency….Japanese wife not impressed.

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