This year I’m sending the list instead of my children. That’s because I’m tired of you bringing toys that a) they don’t really want b) are not at all practical c) require $40 bucks in batteries or d) have one million small choke-hazard parts. I’m keeping it simple this year since I know you’ve been feeling the effects of this fabulous economy. All those elfin layoffs must’ a been a headliner at the North Pole no doubt. I’m only asking for one small thing per family member. Since I’m not being selfish, I really hope you can deliver.
For my baby daughter, I’d like a glittery bike helmet.
No, you’re correct, she’s only 17 months old and way too small for wheeled vehicles. I’d like to have the helmet because this cherub of mine’s new habit is to rub her hands through her hair while she eats. I’m not sure if she is fascinated that she now has enough hair to grab onto, or if she prefers her locks to the typical napkin or shirt sleeve. Regardless, it’s gotten outta hand. Last night after her bath, we scraped enough remnants of Chicken Divan from her head to constitute a good-sized lunch. This morning her peanut butter waffle morphed into edible hair wax, and she distinctly resembled the Joker as she dragged her side-hair out into points. There was really no way to get rid of the greasy look without giving her another bath, so all day she looked like I wet mopped a cafeteria floor with her head. That, and she smelled a little nutty. A helmet would go a long way to alleviate the food-hair dilemma. She likes anything that glitters, so I figure she’ll wear it. Just make sure it isn’t too heavy. The last thing I need is her heavy helmet head diving into her pasta.
For my middle daughter I would like a feedbag. I know what you’re thinking Santa, “how cruel.” Rest assured it’s not for food, but for the million small paper scraps that follow my daughter like the dust ball behind Pig Pen. I check her hands nightly, but to my amazement, they really are just simple chubby digits, and not 10 sets of sharp blade action. The feed bag would allow her to cut all her crafts, cards, picture frames, paper dolls, books, library markers, tickets to performances, tree ornaments, and holiday pictures right over the bag, eliminating all that messy clean up. This would be great for both of us; I am going hoarse yelling and nagging about the constant ankle deep scraps I wade through, and she would no longer need to stomp, whine and clench-her-fists-while harumpfing-through-clenched-teeth about cleaning up her crap. It would save us both a lot of hassle. If you could make that feedbag pink or purple and put a big picture of Joe Jonas on it, I know she’d wear it always. (At least during her waking hours.)
For my son I would like to increase his hard-drive capacity by at least 25 gigs. While my son is very smart, he has apparently used up his current memory with information like the secret passes and codes to all his video games, or miscellaneous facts on how and when tornadoes strike, the different elevations of weather related disasters, and plans and traps while playing chess. There is no more room for things like where he put his library book, remembering to turn in his homework, or any sort of ability to stay the least bit on top of things or organized. At first I thought it might be a genetic flaw on the y chromosome, (it still might be) but while I can’t do anything about that, I can try to add some available HD to his person. This would save us both a lot of time-him wandering aimlessly about the house looking for some important school assignment or item, and me not having to swallow my tongue while my anger tries to push the word “idiot” out of my mouth. He’s not (anything close to an idiot), and I haven’t used that word (and won’t) but my controlling sense of order goes haywire when my son is clueless. I’m hoping the extra brain space helps, although, he’ll probably figure out a way to use it to construct a life-size replica of Sponge Bob Square Pants out of leggos, or develop an alternate-time system so he can play his Gameboy and his X-Box 360 simultaneously. All we can do is hope.
For myself I would like some type of reality-filter; something I can wear, ingest, sniff, or glue on, that would take the reality of things and filter that information so only the happy, content illusions get through. Something that allows me to see debris and hairballs on my floors and respond with a genteel smile, instead of a germ-vision infused stomachache. Something that would allow me to sit on the couch and laugh with my children about their lack of reading and inability to stay organized and exclaim mantras such as “At least we’re having FUN!” I’d like to see the crusted urine at the base of the toilet and giggle, kick up dirty laundry with my heels, laugh, dance and sing amidst chaos, destruction and filth. I’d like to go to bed every night dreaming of lollipops the size of my head and what movies I’m going to watch for the next 24 hours, instead of how I’m going to pay the bills and what dinners I can make for under 10 bucks. Since you are Santa, if there is any way you can make this filter also leach patience, I’d greatly appreciate it. Apparently I used up my store of patience in the second week of my marriage 10 years ago, and have been operating in the red ever since. I’m pretty sure my family would write you letters of thanks for this one.