What To Get Kids For Their Birthday

Oh, Christ, here come the waterworks...

My two year old son is great for many reasons, not the least of which is that you can take him into a toy store and walk out without buying anything, and not only will he not lose his shit, he will thank you for taking him in there. No kidding. He thanks you for everything, including changing his shitty diapers. That, my friends, is way, way overdue.

Because I didn’t get thanked for doing that by my five year old son. If I recall correctly, he laughed at me. He also will cry and sometimes throw a Force 10 tantrum if I walk out of a toy store without buying him something. Given his age, it’s expected, but it gets tiresome, as do the comments by random passersby. “Is he having a seizure?” “Yeah, probably.”

My daughter is worse, because she’s 11 and has been saying, “I want that” since she was old enough to understand that the commercials that were interrupting her cartoons featured things her parents could buy for her. And to this day there is not a store you can take her to that she doesn’t expect to leave without something being purchased for her. She could go into the fucking Hair Club for Men and sulk for the rest of the day when you leave without buying her anything.

This is how the argument would go: "But honey, little girls don't get male pattern baldness." "That's NOT FAIR!!!"

This is how the argument would go: "But honey, little girls don't get male pattern baldness." "That's NOT FAIR!!!"

This, of course, is my fault. As a parent, I failed to set appropriate expectations when it comes to presents, surprises, rewards, and flat-out bribery gifts. And this is my chance to set things right. So here, listed by age and delineated by gender when appropriate, are the gifts my children can expect for their birthdays from now until they turn 18.


Actual Birthday

What They Want: Things to go back the way they were. Seriously, WTF? WAAAAAAAAH!!! WAAAAAAHHH!

What They Get: Bright lights, a brief ass-whipping, poked and prodded with needles. And that’s if you’re lucky.


First Birthday

What They Want: Things to bite/drool on.

What They Get: A few things to bite and/or drool on, and a whole lot of things to shit in. You don’t want clothes for your birthday? Then how about you try not doubling in size every three fucking months, Junior?

I'll make you a deal, though. I'll quadruple the amount of toys you get if you learn how to use one of these.

I'll make you a deal, though. I'll quadruple the amount of toys you get if you learn how to use one of these.


Second Birthday

What They Want: Toys. Not anything in particular, just toys. But, you know what? The bright box they came in is good enough. Gimme that.

What They Get: A few more toys, but a lot of boxes and bows. Unfortunately, birthdays don’t get any better than this.


Third Birthday

What They Want: Buzz! Woody! for boys, Princess! Dora! for girls

What They Get: Buzz, Woody, Princess, Dora. Whatever you want, kid. Works out pretty well because toys for three year olds aren’t totally overpriced and kids don’t know how to be greedy at this age. But this is also the first birthday where the child will open up a gift of underwear (always from Mommy) and give her the evil eye in return.


Fourth Birthday

What They Want: Candy! CANDY! Wait, no… I want, wait, CANDY!!! I-want-all-of-my-toys-to-be-made-of-candy-too! I-want-transformers-and-batman-and-a-helicopter-and-CANDYCANDYCANDYCANDY!

What They Get: Not fucking candy, that’s for goddamn sure. Look at you! You’re so cute that everyone gives you candy, usually by totally fucking over your parent’s authority: “Now Timmy, you can have this basket of candy as long as your father isn’t a complete dickhole and says no!” And you’re vibrating, for chrissakes! I don’t need to add insulin shots to the list of basic body maintenance tasks I have to force you to do on a daily basis. I don’t care if I am a dickhole about this, NO CANDY!

Quit crying! This is nature's candy goddammit!

Quit crying! This is nature's candy goddammit!


Fifth through Tenth Birthdays

What They Want: Toys depicting war atrocities for boys, clothes and makeup from the Chez Streetwalker line for girls.

What They Get: Sensible, educational toys and modest, sensible clothing. These come from Mom & Dad. Everyone else goes with the atomic death ray and hooker boots. Seriously, you fuckers, what the hell? Assuming you ever find someone to procreate with, I’m totally giving your kids claymore mines and Astroglide for their birthday.


Eleventh through Fourteenth Birthdays

What They Want: A gift certificate for $5,000 to the mall along with permission to go to the mall whenever they want (you’re driving).

What They Get: Random toys, a lot of clothes that they won’t appreciate because “you don’t know what’s cool because you’re, like, a hundred”, and a $10 gift certificate to the mall that they can use when mom goes there next time. They’ll then walk 50 yards in front of mom the whole time pretending not to know the crazy bag lady who keeps calling their name.

GOD! You like TOTALLY don't know what's cool!

GOD! You like TOTALLY don't know what's cool!


Fifteenth through Seventeenth Birthdays

What They Want: A car.

What They Get: The jobs section of the classifieds, an iTunes card.


Eighteenth Birthday

What They Want: Accepted to any college so they can get away from their tightwad parents

What They Get: A going away party where mom and dad get inexplicably happy and blackout drunk.


In our next installment, I will explain why I didn’t buy you a treat when I was out replacing the $5,000 plasma high-def TV you gouged the screen off of with one of your Hot Wheels, you fucking ingrate.

15 Responses to “What To Get Kids For Their Birthday”

  1. Vesta Vayne says:

    Ah, kids. My sister-in-law and her six-year-old came to stay with us last month for the kid’s birthday. I went to a lot of effort to find something I thought he’d like and settled on a pirate’s booty treasure chest he could decorate on his own (because all boys like pirates, right?). He opened it and basically said it sucked, then pouted because there wasn’t a gift inside the gift. Ungrateful nephew wouldn’t touch it, UNTIL it was time for him to go to bed, then he demanded to decorate the whole damn chest before he would sleep. Figures.

    Usually the gifts I choose depend on whatever friend/relative’s kid I’m buying the birthday present for – annoying relative’s kid gets something as noisy and with as many pieces as possible.

    • Greg says:

      Yeah, I’ve got some relatives who are apparently angling for their kids to receive a fucking drum set from me.

      As for the pirate toy, that’s typical. One time my younger brother got this bizarre Earth versus Aliens toy with a UFO and aliens that looked like they were saying, “We come in peace”. The earth guys were all armed and apparently REALLY pissed that the aliens interrupted the Super Bowl or something. Hilarious.

      Anyway, when it came time to write his aunt a thank you note he wrote: Dear Auntie, Thank you for the UFO toy you got me. It is great. I like it a lot. Next year, NO SPACE TOYS!

  2. You know what my kid’s going to get on his birthday each year?

    My permission to live one more year.

    • Greg says:

      You can’t let them know that, however. From their point of view, ALL options have to be left on the table. How else are you going to get them to eat their broccoli?

  3. Meredith says:

    I give my children wooden shoes. Every year – wooden shoes. This way when I actually give them an iPod or something, they think I am the best mom ever.

  4. la juice says:

    This chronology so perfectly describes what my niece and nephews 1-6th birthdays have been like that I think hallmark should make one of those Chld Birthday gift guides, like they do with anniversaries. Or you could do it, put it on little plastic cards, sell them and make millions.

    • Greg says:

      That’d be a great idea except Hallmark had a restraining order slapped on me from the time that I pitched them the serial killer line of cards:

      Honey, we don’t always see eye to eye on things, which is why I’ve decided to cut yours out.

  5. Heather :) says:

    Blast! The worst is yet to come. Maybe my toddlers don’t need any more birthdays. That’s it. We’re converting to Jehovah’s Witnessism.

  6. Brandina says:

    Breathatarianism…..OMG that’s some funny shit.

  7. Doreen says:

    Just discovered your website. I now have stomach cramps from laughing too much. Sorry for the super belated comment, but can we just take a moment to appreciate how the red fruit in the middle of the fruit picture is in fact an onion?

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