This week I have made some good progress in distributing five of the remaining ten thank you cards that my daughter wrote for her birthday gifts….in July….2014…..almost 10 months ago.
I wish I could blame my daughter, but I can’t. See, we made this great rule for her birthday this year: She couldn’t open her next present until she had written a Thank You card for the last one she opened. She was done with her cards the day of her party, yet, as of April 2015, over half of them still remain undelivered (even to friends who live two doors down and that we see almost every day.)
At this point, I think we’ll just hand them out at her next birthday party.
Better yet, I think I will post this note on the front door at her party for all the parents to read as they drop their children off.
Dear Friend’s Parent:
Thank you for coming to our child’s birthday party. I see you brought a gift. Awww, you shouldn’t have.
As a parent, you should know how truly grateful I am for your gift. Sure, my kid will mumble “thank you” before ripping the packaging open, enjoying a brief endorphin rush while throwing it in a pile to join the rest of their toy abyss.
But I thank YOU.
I thank you for going to your re-gift/emergency toy closet and working through the thought process of “would little Johnny actually like this present or am I just trying to get it out of my closet?”
I thank you for taking the time to go through the memory retrieval exercise required to figure out “Oh damn, Johnny’s the one that gave us this gift in the first place!”
I thank you for suffering through the daily struggle of asking your child “What would Johnny like for his birthday?” only to have to them provide a lengthy recap of all the things that Johnny ate for lunch that week.
I thank you for trusting that I’m a good enough friend to not judge you when you text me 24 hours before the party asking what Johnny wants, since your kid has proven to be utterly useless.
I thank you for having to think about things like “Do we like Johnny $10 or $15 worth?” and “Will Johnny’s mom stop inviting me to wine nights if I buy something that makes annoying sounds or could require stain removers?”
I thank you for taking the time to drag your kids to Target after soccer practice (and after bedtime, on a school-night) and spending your car ride giving explicit instructions about how you won’t be buying them anything at the store when you should have been ignoring them and zoning out to Taylor Swift songs.
I thank you for having to live through the hell of saying “No!” to approximately 74 items that your own kid does the “just this ONE thing??” about while shopping (despite their verbal agreements in the car.)
I thank you for having to go through the in-store economics lesson with your child about how you could buy that present for 33% less at Amazon (while getting glared at by store employees.)
I thank you for making an emergency gift purchase on the way to the party since Amazon Prime decided to deliver the gift you already bought at 2:00 when the party starts a 1:00.
I thank you for still putting the receipt in with the gift even though I will clearly see the time stamp showing that it was purchased at 1:17 for a 1:00 party.
I thank you for now having to store the original Amazon present in your re-gift/emergency toy closet until the next party, when this whole damn process will start over again.
Please consider this note as your official ‘Thank You’. As you know, the process of purchasing presents for, and attending an average of 2.3 birthday parties per weekend does not allow adequate time to write and deliver actual Thank You notes.
But I want you to know that I know that this present is not merely a present but is the thing that was responsible for at least 23% of your stress this week.
No crayon-scribbled, speed-written card from my kid could tell you that.
So, truly, THANK YOU, but there will be no “Thank You”.
Once upon a time, Susanne Kerns was a Senior Account Director at an advertising agency working for two of the top brands in the world. Nine years ago she traded in her corporate life for a life as a stay at home mom, raising two of the best kids in the world. She started her blog, The Dusty Parachute as a way to dust off her online advertising skills and begin her job search. Instead, she now uses it as a way to spend lots of time on the computer so her kids think that mommy has a job.
Susanne’s essays have been featured in Scary Mommy, BonBon Break and Redbook and she is also a contributor in the upcoming books Martinis & Motherhood – Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?! and It’s Really 10 Months, Special Delivery. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.