Skip to main content

'Tis the gift to the simple...

Hey friends! I am at Reedman-Toll FIAT (Langhorne, PA) this week talking about the New Year's Resolutions we should
make as vehicle owners and drivers! Resolve to make some changes to be the safest and happiest 
driver on the road! Stop by and check it out! 

Our holiday decorations are down and the tree is put away (much to the chagrin of my husband and son, who would leave it up until Super Bowl Sunday if I let them). Our living room is done being a joyful repository of Christmas magic and is back to being the place where I routinely leave my pink Uggs in the middle of the floor.

That said, the aftermath of the holidays are still strewn all about our apartment in the form of PJ's presents. His books and trains and hockey helmet and the cement mixer he had coveted. It's a first world problem, and I am a little ashamed to admit it, but here it is:

PJ is spoiled.

I don't think that he is spoiled in terms of behavior. He knows there are rules, he is expected to share, and he understands the consequences for his actions. Autism-related meltdowns aside, we do our best to make sure he's not the kid getting the stink eye from Applebee's patrons because he's climbing into our neighbors booth. But PJ has an alarming amount of stuff, and that gives me pause.

Books are a perfect example of something I rarely say no to. 

There are a number of reasons why this got out of control. It started with being first-time parents who could not resist all the cute things. While I was pregnant, I swore I would not go overboard with infant toys because babies could give two shits about them. Then PJ was on the outside, and I spent his first Christmas, when he was all of 30 days old, trying to get him interested in the wrapped gifts under the tree. Spoiler alert: He. Did. Not. Care.

It went on in the same strain until PJ was diagnosed with Autism. Then it became a race to try and somehow out-buy what was happening to my baby. Flash cards? Dolls to encourage pretend play? Games to help with interpersonal interactions and practice with turn taking? Bought it, bought it, bought it twice.

Now, we have our rookie mistakes in addition to our Autism guilt and it all is contained in closets, shelves, and random space dedicated to toys. On top of that are all of the beautiful, thoughtful gifts that PJ is showered with for his birthday and Christmas. Those gifts, if I really face the truth, are not the problem. Those are not the gifts that are sometimes trying to either bury or lift up the things going on with my son. We tell ourselves he doesn't need all of this stuff, that it is all too much, that it, in fact, causes him to be completely overwhelmed sometimes. But still, our guilt hands seem to reach for the wallet every. single. time.

He's blurry, he's opening presents that fast! 
I'm trying to scale things back- get rid of the stuff he doesn't play with, try to keep what he does have organized so he doesn't get overwhelmed, and most importantly, trying to segue my Mom Guilt into something that won't clutter or house and/or leave us broke (or me fat, ie, stress eating). We need to realize that trips to Toy 'r Us need to be for the big earners and not because he took two bites of meatball (well, I would use a cookie to bribe him for that, but you get my drift). It would be one things if we were spoiling him just to spoil him. Not a great parenting choice, but something that happens. But in our case, we're trying to somehow use Toy 'r Us to take the edge off of Autism, and that's a losing battle.

So, even though I said I was going to pass on making New Year's Resolutions this year, rethinking what we buy for PJ and when will be an improvement we will try and make. We want PJ to grow up with an appreciation for the things he has, along with an ability to be satisfied with the things he needs and a little extra. And, as it turns out, we're the ones who will guide him that way.


  • Snow Day Bingo Printable

  • Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

  • DIY Tractor Seat

  • Winter's Welcome

  •  Please add our button to your page to help spread the word about Time for Mom!

    Time for Mom

    Thanks for linking up!  By linking up with us you are opting in to our weekly email reminder for this hop and giving us permission to use an image from your blog if chosen for our weekly featured posts.  We will always link back to your post when we use your image when we feature you!

    Be sure to say "hi" if it's your first time linking up!


    Rachel said…
    I totally know what you mean about all the "stuff" because Carter has tons of stuff too! He literally has toys from his first birthday still in their boxes I forgot about in the closet and more toys than a day care! I am having a hard time going through it all and getting rid of stuff though!
    Kimberly Lewis said…
    Hello cute lady! Thank you for hosting such a fabulous party. Please take a moment to stop by our party. We would love to have one of your amazing posts at the party. Happy Tuesday! Lou Lou Girls

    Popular posts from this blog

    My LTYM Experience or How I Accidentally Ended Up On A Stage

    The final chapter of my participation in the Listen To Your Mother Show ended with our live performances. I turned 39 on May 3rd and on May 7th, I was on a stage at the beautiful South Orange Performing Arts Center with 12 other souls  (as well as our incredible producers, Sandy, Brooke and Deborah) that handily out-shined the beauty of the space. It all still feels as if it may have been a dream. A very gratifying, emotional dream.

    It ended the same way it began, with my worrying about clothes. Before our first rehearsal, I was stressing out knowing that the next morning, I would be meeting a room full of strangers. Not only that, I would be taking a cast picture with these strangers and reading a story of the worst moments of my life. It seemed like too much to be vulnerable about my story and about my precarious self-esteem at the same time.

    Despite all of that, I got into my car on a Saturday morning, armed with coffee and the soundtrack to "Hamilton." Clad in the pink a…

    Maybe I'm An A-Hole, But I'll Pass On The Pity Date

    Do not hate me for this one, guys.

    It would seem that "Prom-posals" are the new thing. It's when one teen asks another to prom, but makes it an event. Balloon bouquets, flash-mobs, celeb cameos, flower arrangements- some of these put my actual marriage proposal to shame, much less my awkward heywannagotoprom conversation I had with the guy I was dating my senior year.

    It just occurred to me that I should dig up one of my prom pictures. {shudder}

    Anyway, back to proms. These extravagant invites have become the stuff of YouTube videos everywhere and, even thought I think the way these have become over-the-top is kind of insane, I'm totally along for the ride. Roses in math class? A flock of minstrels from the glee club to serenade a prom hopeful? I will watch the shit out of that. I think the romanticism is sweet.

    At some point, I start to think about PJ as a prom-goer. Right now, while he's in kindergarten, it's hard to know if that's in the cards for him.…

    There's still much to learn, so many dreams to earn...

    { of consciousness}

    Today is April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day, and it is Autism Awareness Month.

    The month begins on the heels of news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Autism is on the rise. 1 in 68 children in the areas followed by the CDC are identified as having an Autism Spectrum Disorder, up from 1 in 88 just a few years ago. In New Jersey, the numbers are far higher then the national average at 1 in 45. 

    You can view a summary of the latest CDC report here, but there are two points of the report that stood out to me:
    Less than half (44%) of children identified with ASD were evaluated for developmental concerns by the time they were 3 years old.Most children identified with ASD were not diagnosed until after age 4, even though children can be diagnosed as early as age 2.Content source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
    PJ was diagnosed with Autism shortly after his second birthday. Pete and I had already utilized an e…