By Contributing Editor Jenny Isenman
Visit her blog at suburbanjungle.net
I’m not gonna throw myself under the bus and call my children spoiled, as I would have only myself to blame. I will say, however, they have an extreme sense of entitlement, which I am sure has little to do with them being lavished with gifts undeservedly. My children want everything they see, hear about, could get as a party favor, could find in a McDonalds happy meal, a cereal box, a piñata, or view in a commercial.
“Mommy can I have that? Will you buy me that? Mommy friends neighbor has that. I want that. When can I have that? Mommy? Ma? Maaaaaaaa? MOM! This exchange of words usually ends with, “If you mention it again, the answer will be never.” “Never? I can’t even have a Clone Trooper Voice Changer Helmet when I’m 25?” “Sure. If you still want a Clone Trooper Voice Changer Helmet at 25, you can wear it to therapy.”
“How about I get it for my next birthday, or maybe Kwanzaa?” My son is already eyeing a camouflage pencil set for Secretaries Day, and has informed me that, although we are Jewish, he will be giving up vegetables for Lent.
My children’s Chanukah wish lists are so comprehensive, I may be forced to explore alternative channels in my gift search. Consequently, I have sent a friendly letter asking someone who has slighted me in the past for help. Some might say it’s more of a formal accusation, but really it’s just a hand delivered note that needs to be notarized and signed on receipt. It goes:
I have never complained about you forgetting us Jews in the past, but times are tough. I mean, I don’t want to threaten you or anything, but let’s talk religious profiling, shall we? I’m sure the fact that we don’t believe in you has something to do with you snubbing us year after year. Do we, a people known to produce a whiner or two, complain? No. Some of us-me included-have made an effort to believe. Let us not forget Christmas of 83’ when I sat on your lap asking for a Speak N’ Spell, a Magic Eight Ball, and Shawn Cassidy’s “Da Doo Ron Ron” 45. I have a laminated picture from Macy’s to prove it.
Do you not bombard us with your festive songs and holiday movies made with delightfully animated reindeer and elves? Do Jews get to go a-caroling? No, we have one song… about kids gambling. Has Dreidel ever starred in a delightfully animated holiday movie? Has Snoopy, or Barbie, or a single Disney character ever lit a Menorah? Maybe in the privacy of their own homes, but certainly never on camera (it’s in their contracts.) We’re okay with that, because we wrote those contracts. Sure, we take advantage of your sales and vacations. We watch your shows, and sing your catchy songs. We’ll decorate a tree with blue and white twinkle lights, top it with a six pointed star, and call it a Chanukah bush.
Santa, my Roth IRA is down 40%. I deserve a little holiday cheer. You can look me up, I’ve been nice, and I’d like to keep it that way. My daughter wishes to receive the “now truer to life” Baby Alive that not only eats, but poops. She would also like the “now truer to life on the streets” Bratz Doll, which comes complete with Brazilian waxing kit and requisite diaphragm. My son “just has to have” the new Guitar Hero “I Choked on My Own Vomit Tour,” a super Bakugan the size of his head, and some alone time with my daughter’s Bratz doll. I will forward you the unabridged version via zip file. I look forward to us all getting along!
Sincerely, Frustrated Jewish Mom
I am a neurotic mother of two amazing, wonderful, brilliant, perfect children which is saying a lot because I am a harsh critic and an uncompromising disciplinarian. You know, the kids have to sing for their supper kinda stuff… well, they at least have to ask… well, a grunt would be nice. Actually, they just sit and I make multiple meals until one is worthy of their sophisticated taste buds and doesn’t exacerbate their fear of burnt spots, crust, pizza bubbles, or food that touches other food. It is my job to keep them protected from the Florida sun, prehistoric insects, and plasticware with the number 3, 6, or 7 on the bottom. I have to expose them to just enough germs to build their immune system, while using little enough sanitizer to keep them healthy. I also have to remember to feed and water them daily.
A freelance writer for magazines such as InStyle and Mademoiselle, I also have a fabulously funny and relatable blog called suburbanjungle.net