Thank you for spoiling my six-year-old daughter rotten with birthday gifts. No seriously, she is a lucky girl. The craft kits are amazing for her creativity. The Lego Friends sets rock her world. The books make Mommy super happy. So, I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but what is up with the teenager-y stuff that crept into your shopping lists this year? It's really freaking me out, and not in a good way.
For instance, let's talk about the party shoes with the two-inch heels. A child who has barely mastered skipping does not need to be learning to walk in pumps. What is she going to get when she's seven—cigarettes and a flask?
Here are five more gifts I wish I could have shoved back in the box before my daughter saw them:
Deluxe Makeup Kit
I'm not talking about a cute little Hello Kitty lip gloss. This was a full rainbow palette of sparkly eye shadows, bright blushes and shiny lip colors. Sure, it's the kind of gift that would excite girls (and some boys) of any age, from 2 to 100. But now my kid actually expects to use this stuff. On her face. Why, why, why does my six-year-old need makeup? She isn't on the pageant circuit and we don't subscribe to the beauty queen school of parenting around here. I have set a strict "only inside our house" rule for experimenting with the makeup, but I don't have high hopes for the survival of my white towels.
What I don't need is my young daughter rocking a suit that would fit in amongst the pages of the Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Issue or Victoria's Secret.
I'm not totally against painting a little girl's nails, but man, oh man, do I not need my six-year-old to have access to her own supply of toxic staining goo. Maybe some kids that age can handle the responsibility, but mine is just going to knock her nail polish over on the coffee table and then decide it would make really cool finger paint. Friends who thought of this, if you really want to do her nails, come on over—just take your polish with you when you go!
Gifts of clothing are lovely and useful, including bathing suits for all those swim lessons and beach days. What I don't need is my young daughter rocking a suit that would fit in amongst the pages of the Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Issue or Victoria's Secret. Not only are teeny weenie bikinis inappropriate, but they'll double my sunscreen budget.
And speaking of inappropriate clothing, what's up with the tight, stretchy black minidress straight out of a hip-hop music video? Too soon! Our girl looks beautiful in everything from pajamas to winter coats, so how about we stick to clothes that let kids be kids? A big poofy princess dress is fine! But "slinky" should be a spring-coiled toy that climbs down the stairs by itself‚not a clothing style for six-year-olds.
This is a toy that hooks up to a real mobile phone and allows the user to make herself the star of a music video. Now, I get why this would be fun, but it bothers me on so many levels. Young kids already think the world revolves around them—do we really need to be encouraging this obsession with taking selfies and perfecting their "look"? Also, my kid doesn't have her own phone, so this game only works if I let her use mine. Nope.
I know as the mom it's in my realm to reject gifts I find inappropriate and tell my daughter we have to exchange them, but who wants to be the bad guy on her kid's birthday? So please don't put me in this position. Next time just ask... or buy a book! (Preferably not Danielle Steel, okay?)