30/01/2015 10:48 GMT | Updated 01/04/2015 06:59 BST

That's the Best Present Ever! (Not)

I am the proud owner of 2 children and a house full of toys. Expensive one's that never get played with. Well loved toys that are part of the family. Cheap tat toys that I will be getting rid of the moment their backs are turned. The boy's birthdays are met with mixed emotions. There's the pride in the person they are becoming. There's the sadness in their lessening dependence on me. Then there's the dread. The dread of what presents will be gifted to them in my already overfilled house.

Before I had children, I never really knew what to buy children. I'm still not sure I know now, unless it is for my own offspring. What I do know is what not to buy them. So here is my top three gifts never to get a kid. Never. Ever.

At number three

Cuddly Toys

H has about 50 of them and only ever plays with 3 of them. The same 3 for the last 4 years. The others do not get touched. He is not interested. It doesn't have wheels! But what's worse than a cuddly toy, is a giant cuddly toy. You know the ones that are bigger than the kid. They usually have a big bow round their necks which your child will instantly put their head through and run round the house with the giant teddy attached to their necks. These are definite gifts from people without kids. People with kids know how much crap and accessories these small people come with, and therefore know that you have no room in your life for a teddy bear that requires it's own bed. If anything comes to stay in my house bigger than the small people it's going to get charged rent.

In at number two

Pens / Crayons / Colouring Pencils / Colouring books / Paint / Anything that remotely resemble craft stuff.

When H was 3 everyone who came to his party bought him craft stuff. I am not exaggerating. His poor little face as he opened another parcel saying "More crayons Mummy". I am still working through the supplies from that birthday, and I do believe we have enough to keep a pre-school running for a good few years. I had to empty my sideboard in the dining room and it became the 'craft cupboard'. I have nothing against crafts. I encourage H to do drawings. But seriously how many crayons does one kid need? (Just a side note, but is it just my kid that always want to do painting when I've just cleaned the dining room? Not wanting to restrict his creative development I dutifully cover the table with newspaper, get out all the paints and his apron, then he sits there for all of 30 seconds and decides he's had enough!) Please no more craft stuff because one craft cupboard is more than enough to keep this family's creative juices flowing. Combine that with the fact that I am not a "crafty Mummy", I am more of a "pintrest fail Mummy". All the gear, and no idea.

And at number one - my biggest bugbear (I feel a rant coming on)


Who in their right mind buys a kid a whistle? Do they not know that said whistle will enter the child's mouth and stay there until it is surgically removed? And it won't stay there quietly, oh no. Talking will be replaced by whistling. Breathing will be replaced by whistling. Any sound in general will be replaced by whistling. And there are only two types of sounds a whistle can make. There's the EEEEEEEEEEEEE, EEEEEEEEEEEEE, EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, or the E. E. E. E. E. E. E. E. E. E. And it's never eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, or e. e. e. e. e. e. e. e. e. e. e. But always EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, E. E. E. E. E. E. E. E. E. E. E. E. E. E. E. E. E. E. E. E. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

Are you getting the picture?

If you think about it when do you hear whistles? In the playground at school to signal stop what you're doing, a policeman directing traffic, a ref stopping play. They are used in situations to get someones attention quickly and urgently. We are conditioned to stop what we are doing when we hear a whistle. So when your child is communicating to you through the medium of whistle, it puts you in a state of permanent alertness and tension. Constantly on edge. It's impossible to think straight with the constant tinnitus inducing pitch hammering its way into your brain. It makes me want to sit in the corner and rock and maybe pull my own ears off at the same time. It is equivalent to nails down a chalkboard, an incessant car alarm, crunching ice cubes and biting tinfoil all at the same time.

We have a 'no whistle' rule in our house ever since someone decided it would be an ideal 'you're a big brother' gift for H when O was born. I am not joking.


So be warned if you buy a whistle for either of my sons you will have it shoved where...

All other gifts will be gratefully received, thank-you :)

This post was first published on my blog Life, Love and Dirty Dishes.

You can follow me on Facebook too.