Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Please, Thank You, Everything is Delicious

The key to success as a lazy mom is to have a polite and fun child. It does not come naturally. One does have to work at it a little...ideally when they are young, but once you have a child like that—PLAYDATES come knocking....and we all know that playdates are a mother’s lifeline.

Every mother has her tricks and I am no exception...one trick for the holiday season is to make sure that your child knows how to respond after opening a lame present.

We spent years teaching The Beast how to open a present and praise it is regardless of what it is. Socks, underwear, mittens and scarves all get the same enthusiastic response as a video game or an American Girl doll. We even had competitions when she was really little...I would wrap several pairs of socks and The Husband and The Child would try to out do one another raving about the pure joy that the pair of scratchy, wool socks will bring them...”how thoughtful, how charming, how life transforming these socks will be...thank you! Thank you!”

The other day I heard a friend whisper in his child’s ear before sending her off with me—”just remember: ‘Please, Thank You, Everything is Delicious.’”

I have always loved this child because she is smart and funny AND she was the ONLY person who ever said my cooking was "delicious," but lo and behold...it was not my food at all, but a clever parent strategy. When quizzed, the mother willing confessed--”Oh yes! That was MY mother’s directive...whenever we went to someone’s house she would say...remember: ‘Please, Thank You, Everything is Delicious!’”

Words to live by.


Anonymous said...

Dear Lazymom:
Do you have any advice when dealing with adults? There are many out there who still haven't learned to hide their true feelings about gifts and possibly the giver, like me! For instance, how do you get out of not hurting the person's feelings when they insist you wear that ugly sweater or kimono that's too big? I have tried "Oh, it's so lovely, but you shouldn't have!" Unfortunately, the giver doesn't take the hint and I get more of the same, year after year...
Here's another situation: What do you do when you have a small child (around 2 or 3) and one of your single friends decides to give him a sharp metal object shaped like a firetruck? I tried saying "It's lovely, I'll just save this for when he's a little older (like 20)and the person wants to know why he can't play with it now.

LazyMom said...

Dear Receiver of Ugly Gifts,
My rule of thumb for lame presents—accept with grace and hand over to the nearest thrift shop. If the giver asks about the horrible Christmas tree sweater—tell him it accidently ended up in the hot water wash—a tragedy.
For dangerous presents—just say no. You’re not going risk your kid’s safety to make some dope feel good about buying an inappropriate present. Since there is no cure for dopey—just tell the dopey person that you are an over-protective mother and you don’t foresee yourself getting over this phase until the child is at least 18 so feel free just to give money.
Happy Holidays!