Single in Sandpoint: What to give moms for Christmas

By Scarlette Quille
Reader Columnist

It’s November – otherwise known as pre-Christmas or “the only time of year I go to a mall.”

I’m not a big holiday person. It’s this time of year when I can’t stop thinking, ‘What kind of society comes up with the idea of implementing specific calendar days — even weeks — that mandate decorating, cooking and creating themed ambiances for your family members?’

The people responsible for this season and the chaos surrounding it must have been an elite congress compiled of people with disappointing childhoods, retail store owners and wealthy mothers who have servants and no job responsibilities (maybe first ladies?)

Don’t moms have enough shit to do? Was it really necessary to create a six- to eight-week-long season, where we are expected to do even MORE to please the people in our lives?

If you are considering getting pregnant, I would like to warn you: the part where you push a seven-pound, kicking, screaming, pooping human being out of your vagina will be the easiest part of the entire parenting experience. Soon that adorable toothless bundle will find out that you are where the food comes from, and after that it’s at least 18 years of trying to meet the child’s unrealistic expectations.

In the beginning it’s pretty easy to impress them: food, cheap toys, and basic comforts will at least match, if not exceed the child’s demands. However, by the 13th year, your child will not understand what he/she ever saw in you. A conversation with your “tweenage” child will sound a lot like this: “All the other moms don’t make their kids do chores. Everyone else’s mom can cook like Paula Dean, throw parties that Pinterest hasn’t even heard of and remain seen and unheard in public. I hate my name, it’s my teachers fault I got caught twerking at the assembly.”

Need proof? How many times have you seen a veteran mom — one that has kids above the age of 10 — pick up a baby, inhale the child’s intoxicating fragrance, and then become teary-eyed before saying, “Makes me want another.” She’s not getting teary-eyed over how special the baby is. She is crying because her own kids haven’t laughed at her jokes for years, still require constant feeding and cleaning up after and haven’t made her so much as a macaroni necklace since the day they received a smart phone.

Think about that, and plan your birth control accordingly.

Also, consider the plight of the average mother the next time you have an annoying friend or co-worker who just gave birth. It might be annoying that you have to hear stories about how little “Juniper is already programming her iPad, and she is only 36 months old.”

My advice to those who are subjected to baby-worshiping conversations frequently is to just smile and let that Mom have her moment. It’s the least we can do as a society. And if you are a mother, try to stop yourself from replying to the new mom with something like: “Oh, that’s nice. This morning I was able to stop  Sarah from leaving the house wearing shorts that were just slightly shorter than her genitals. You might know the pair I’m talking about. She’s wearing them in her profile picture on Instagram. Kids are priceless.”

As a mom, sometimes we have to just  smile and nod, because there was a time in our lives that we were cautioned about the risks of raising children, and then we blatantly disregarded the information, because, well, likely it came from our mothers. You know what I’m saying?

When this time of year rolls around I find myself thinking about my own mother, and how sorry I truly am for every holiday that I didn’t tell her how amazing her holiday cooking, cleaning, planning and ambiances were. I have no idea how she pulled that shit off, and I mean this when I say, she is the reigning queen of holidays.

I guess the domesticity gene skipped a generation. When I produced grandchildren, their arrival combined with my lack of skill in this arena created a scenario where my mother’s status as queen ascended to what can only be called Holiday Goddess. I will never reign over the holidays, it is not my path, and I am not a total failure in her eyes, because… grandchildren.

However, I would like to take this opportunity to remind all of you to take a time out to appreciate the reigning queen of your holiday season. This person,  male or female, exists in every family, and they have been training, baking, Pinteresting, all year for this six-week stretch of festivity. Thank them. Eat their food. Be nice to your brother. And do the damn dishes.

As a public service, and in the spirit of recognizing the moms in our life, I am going to help you with one last thing:  Christmas shopping for the Moms in your life. Feel free to cut out and save.


PREGNANT MOM: You can still give this mom something like a massage or a pedicure. She doesn’t have children yet and still has free time. Make it an expensive, good one. It will be at least 18 years until she can have an experience like this guilt-free.

MOM OF A TODDLER: Nothing you can buy this person could bring them more happiness or laughter then the perfect being they recently brought into this world. Give this person a gift card to somewhere like Target or Macy’s. That way you can both pretend like they are going to spend it on themselves when deep down, you know they are going to buy shit for the kid.

MOM OF GRADE-SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN: Any of the following items will work: noise-canceling headphones, band aids, shop vac, laundry service or a vacation.

MOM OF TWEENS: Gas money, Costco membership, respect, Saturday.

MOM OF  TEENAGERS: Bottle of booze and emotional support.

MOM OF COLLEGE KID: A phone call — they are lonely.

YOUR MOM: Regular phone calls and appreciation is what she will ask for, but it’s about time you took her on vacation — or got her pool and a man servant. If you can’t afford that, there are always GRANDKIDS.

Thankful for every bit of the experience,
Scarlette Quille

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