My twins had their fifth birthday party yesterday. My little girl, a self-proclaimed Drama Queen, loves all things Barbie and dress-up. My little boy, sweet and helpful, loves superheroes (especially Dash, since they favor) and sports. He had a bunch of Tonka trucks, but we gave them away since he never played with them. They also love puzzles and Play-Doh. They made out like bandits, and have been running around the house this morning in masks and capes, wielding swords and Barbie mermaids with equal vehemance.
Everyone who wasn't sure what to give them called and asked me what they'd like. Everyone except my mother-in-law. Now, you must know, she is the inspiration for the title of this blog. She can pile on the crazy like hot fudge on a sundae.
She got Drama Queen a Rapunzel dressup dress. Nice. And a casual dress. Okay. And a Tinkerbell that really flies (on purpose, not just if she throws it at one of the other siblings). Neat. And snow boots five sizes too big. Huh?
It's Alabama - we cancel school and shut down roads if there's a possibility of a flurry once every three years. Maybe by the time she grows into those boots, we might have a flurry?
And for my Dash wanna-be, she got him a Tonka-sized plastic Winn Dixie 18-wheeler. The connector for the trailer to hook to the cab is broken. He looked at what his sister got, then at what he got, and asked, "Where the rest of my present?" Because, even though he's not greedy or selfish, he could easliy see it wasn't fair, and didn't understand.
So my mother-in-law got mad. She said I could go get him something for TWELVE dollars - the twelve was important to her - and tell him it was from her.
I smoothed it over and said he just wanted to make sure we hadn't lost anything. (Like he wasn't thinking, "Why does my sister get four presents of things she likes, and I get one, and it's a lame grocery store truck?" He's just too sweet to say anything like that. Drama Queen, however, would have cried if it had been her getting the crappy gift.)
But this didn't surprise me at all. See, we've learned to prep the children before gift-time at Mema's. The 7-year-old and 14-year-old have low expectations, so they're occasionally pleasantly surprised. But the twins still think everything's going to be fantabulous, so they're frequently disappointed.
Think I'm being harsh? Here are some examples of gifts from her, just off the top of my head:
remote control truck, with no remote
walnuts; four of them from her yard, in a jewelry-sized gift box
Halloween decorations in their Easter basket
girls juniors medium Tinkerbell halloween pajamas, for me, for Christmas
2 plates for the teenage boy, flowery, from a cheap set of 1970's dishes
2 plates for me, that don't match the other 2
soccer gear for the teenage boy (he has mild Cerebral Palsy and Asperger's, and hates all sports)
soccer, football, and skateboarding shirts for the same kid
war toys for the little girl
skanky slutty clothes with suggestive phrases and writing on the butt for the little girls
helicopter with no rotor blades
lego sets that have been opened and are missing peices
Hummer missing a wheel
Power Wheels Jeeps that are burnt out and can't be fixed... she did this THREE times ("You can push
them around the yard!" Crap, I can barely push those heavy things!)
men's XXL clothes for me
women's L clothes for the little girls
women's clothes for the teenage boy
an Operation Christmas Child shoebox, empty
and another one filled with witches, skulls, and spiders from after Halloween sales (she actually sent this one in to Operation Christmas Child... can you imagine the quality control volunteer's face when they opened that Christmas present?!)
a check for $5.61
a check for $28.43
a check for $17.37
eighteen pennies and a nickel
her will, written on the back of a torn, used envelope
the other half of her will, given to a different child, written in circles around a different torn envelope
a polariod of a flowery granny couch for the teenage boy
open candy in the bottom of the gift bag, half melted on the clothes
mouse poop in the bottom of the same bag
dead roach in a different bag
cat toys (we don't have a cat)
cat costumes (for the non-existant cat)
dog toys (because she left her dog at our house without our permission and yells at us that we're not doing a good job taking care of her dog)
a mortgage, because her husband had it in his will for us to inherit the house we live in (he told us this early in our marriage, and we made major life decisions around it), as well as his other properties being left to other relatives, but he's got dementia now, so she decided to negate his will and have us pay for the house (but it's still a good deal, so my husband agreed)
cake mix... sixteen boxes of cake mixes... even though she knows I cook from scratch to avoid the additives and rarely eat sweets
canned hominy (what the heck is that?) and slimy carrots in my Christmas gift
big gaudy jewelry, even though I wear tiny barely-there real jewels IF I wear any jewelry at all, tied up in notes about how we're bad parents for not letting the special needs kid get away with bad behavior
receipts in most of the gifts... but the reciepts are never for the things in the bag
five bars of soap for the teenage boy (well, this is odd, but I totally understand it)
dried out tube of paint
sidewalk chalk, but was told not to open it, they had to save it for next summer
Valentine's cards with notes telling them they're bad for not getting her a Valentine's gift (now that says love!)
a bag of trash (this has happened several times)
a single loose sock (again, several times)
coupons for fast food (again with the I cook from scratch thing)
old VHS tapes
two personal DVD players for the teenage boy at the same time as three plates and one cloth napkin for the middle girl (that don't match the plates from the beginning of the list)
a nativity stable with wisemen and camel, but no Holy Family
a note that she hated being a parent
a note that we should raise our kids her way, because she's "perfect" (I kid you not)
grapes in with clothing
black fish-net mini-dress for the little girl
good nights diapers for the teenage boy who has never wet the bed
a dead moth in a jewelry-sized gift box, so they could investigate it
That's just in the last few years. And if I were to ask the extended family, we'd have a whole lot more crazy to add to the list.
I'm gonna get crowns galore in Heaven. Well, maybe not, since I'm making fun of her. But I'm nice to her, or I'm at least quiet. She's too much of a nutbar to realize that I'm staring at her like she's a nutbar.
At least the kids are learning how to be gracious even when they're disappointed, right?
**My husband did just open the Winn Dixie truck. Even though the trailer doesn't attach, it's pimped out with lights under the carriage and has a working remote control that I didn't notice before. So he is having fun with it now. I'm just happy he's not disappointed anymore.
** I take it back. As soon as it hit a sidewalk crack, it broke. He cried. Then she brought over another gift for his twin sister: tap shoes and more too-big boots with High School Musical characters on them.