How Would You Handle This?


Every now and then, something pops up in my feed which has me shaking my head and chuckling at the same time. Recently, most have involved Donald Trump, but occasionally something truly, wonderfully, mind-bogglingly WTFing will show up and make my day.

Like the email above (from here), which was apparently sent out to one side of little He Who Must Not Be Named For Fear Of Kidnapping‘s family in preparation for his first birthday.

There’s so much to love about this email. It’s not even a major point, but I’m in awe these parents know exactly how many books their son has. That is some serious finger on the pulse parenting. Around here, I’m flat out keeping track of which kids are sleeping in which bedrooms.

Now to be fair, and in the interests of full disclosure, I have made suggestions to my parents for presents, but only when asked or if a kid had his or her heart set on something specific. What’s more, I half expected all items to be in the hundreds, but surprisingly these two were cheap as chips (Ikea Tunnel & Ikea Tent), so clawing back some badly needed points there.

Plus, maybe I’m being unfair comparing our kids’ expectations of their first birthday parties because this kid, it must be said, is clearly a prodigy. I mean, it didn’t occur to my kids to issue a ‘formal invite’ to birthday parties until they were through finishing school. And to still be on (very expensive) formula, but have the wherewithal to arrange a storage unit…wow.

But probably my favourite bit is right at the very bottom. The email is from both parents. It has been my experience this is rarely the case. I put it to you shortly after this email was sent one or the other parent was, in fact, sitting on the loo in the bathroom with the shower running, apologising to their own parents and begging them to please just do what it says and not cause waves because He Who Must Not Be Named For Fear Of Kidnapping isn’t sleeping and we’re tired as hell and irritable and a little psycho and to be honest I’m just trying to get through the next twelve months and save my marriage.

And while of course I wouldn’t make things worse for my kids by sending back a potentially slanderous response, I think it’s fair to say, come cake day, I would get my bitch on and He Who Must Not Be Named For Fear Of Kidnapping would probably unwrap a something which wasn’t entirely sanctioned.

Off the top of my head, I’d probably go with one or more of the following:

  1. Markets. The paper trail goes cold at craft markets, so sadly there would be no receipt. They do, however, make some really funky stuffed and wooden toys. Which market? I can’t remember, dear. I go to so many.
  2. Music To My Ears. These parents sound stressed and, as we all know, nothing soothes like music. Which is why I’d buy my grandson his very first recorder. I’d also quite happily have his name engraved on it – which is fine in this case because it’s only for around the house.
  3. Something Light. Glow in the dark bracelets. Only not the good ones. I’d seek out the shit ones from cheap shops which break open easy and spill their glowiness all over tents and tunnels and clothing which, even if they don’t have their name emblazoned on them, you really will only want to them wearing around the house from now on.
  4. Formula. Let’s just cut out the middle man.
  5. Craft. Having already shown a natural flair for event management, I’d be keen to see if my grandson showed any innate abilities for other creative fields. Like painting. With acrylics. Honestly, I’m just trying to help.
  6. Kinetic Sand. Receipt included. Try getting that out of your carpet or cracks in your floorbacks, let alone back in the box for a refund.
  7. Super Personalised Items. I see your shirt with the birthday boy’s name on it (for around the house only) and I raise you one with his face emblazoned across the front. Kidnap proof.

What would you do? 

What about a cup with Grandad's face on it (for safety). Try taking this back to the shop.
What about a cup with Grandad’s face on it, because safety first and no one is going to try kidnap him. But mainly because try taking this back to the shop.

“Raising a family on little more than laughs”

Sharing is caring. Plus it really does make a difference. Thanks heaps.


  • Acrylic paints? You’re too kind! I would get him water paints because it doesn’t come out of anything. I would also consider personalised jingle sticks, only for use around the house (preferably at about 4:00am on a Sunday).

  • I would try really hard to find a snappy comeback, but mostly I would be super passive aggressive and buy off list and on special and staple the receipt to the card so they know I am a complete tight arse (for the record I love giving gifts and put lots of thought into the gifts I give to people so I really hate being told!) Either that I possibly would make something that can’t be taken back, or give no gift at all. When asked why I gave no gift (because let’s face it they are clearly expecting them!) I would simply say you look like you have it all covered so I figured you don’t need anything so I have actually made a donation in x’s name to a local charity instead, so they can help people who are grateful for anything they get!

  • You’ve covered it pretty well but the mug with pic is classic. I would buy the most inappropriate present i coukd find & definitely lose the receipt

  • I feel sorry for this poor kid. I reacon they will be doing the same post when he turns 21….. At least he will have something to eat his party food with, the proverbial Silver Spoon he was born with. I wonder if anyone turns up, they have been told what they can buy and haven’t got their invite yet.

  • Haha love it. I am on Team Revenge haha. OR…team charity. You can’t bitch about things that go to charity in your name or you look like an asshole 😉 I have known people who have given rather specific gift dos and don’ts for special occasions and I must say that they really did not understand the concept of the true spirit of giving (or evidently receiving). I once laughed when I RSVPd to a baby shower and the organiser (not a parent yet at that point) gave me instructions on the mother to be’s behalf (obviously also not a parent just yet) to not double up on anything and here were the things I was NOT to buy. I saw the list (as a new mum myself) and laughed my arse off. I was like, Oh honey – soon you’re going to learn that you need 500 of EACH of these!!! Of course I behaved myself and was polite and drove to the location of the high tea (that was NOWHERE near where either the host or the guests lived) and gave my non duplicated gift with a smile on my face. Because we’ve all been first time parents and we’re all experts until we realise that dream!

  • And to think people thought me mad for asking simply that my children be not given weaponry!
    I’d give them a tin of formula and be done with it.

  • That kid would totally be getting a drum and cymbal set, without a receipt. And I would ask them to show me how well they could play every time I came over and encourage them to practice lots!

  • Id buy A craft pack complete with glitter and pva glue, some playdough (not as messy as kinetic sand … but much easier to eat!), a sensor sound toy (zhuzhu pets or furby come to mind) that squeak/talk at the slightest touch, a drumkit & tambourine and a flat pack toybox (minus the screws and instructions!) To store it all in…. fingers crossed little xxxx gets into it all while mum n dad build the box!

What do you think?

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