No matter how many times I walk up to the register and hand back the unworn/unused item, the guilt doesn’t subside but rather worsens. A fine individual has gone out of their way to think of my child on a special occasion. They took time out of their day and spent their hard-earned cash. They chose something because either they liked it, they genuinely thought we could use it, or perhaps, they got a good deal. Regardless, they extended themselves and thought an extra minute about our babies.
The Mother Truth is that sometimes we open it, nod in appreciation, tell them we love it and that we absolutely DO NOT have 10 of the same… and then sometimes, we return it. We haven’t asked for the receipt and the generous gifter hasn’t provided it so we’re left with the item and sticker. Not a problem as chances are we know where you got it because, if we’re seasoned mothers, we know all tags, brands and return policies.
Allow me a moment for poor excuses…
We may have doubles and can’t bear to hurt your feelings. We may really need some winter socks rather than the 14th “I love Mommy” bib. We knew we were having another boy and he may actually be throwing up blue so we were hoping to buy something in another colour. We may have so much Made in China plastic that we’re getting high off lead fumes when all we really need are diapers. Those are the good reasons… I’m hoping not to spell out the not-so-proud-to-admit reasons for shameful return but come on! There is so much glitter on girls clothing these days that it will forever be stuck between the grooves of my hardwood floors and down the sides of my car seats! Those persistent specks have made their way into their underwear and all over Daddy’s face! I don’t have boys but my friends do and they’ve told me to back off the cartoon clad t-shirts and Mickey Mouse running shoes! Oh, and stuffed animals? Nothing further.
I’m rounding the bend into the final month of my third pregnancy and I could start a receiving blanket, burp bad and scratch mitt store. I’ve only ever used about 10 of my favourite receiving blankets which also serve as burp pads and I don’t believe much in scratch mitts so please don’t be offended! We know how lucky we are to have YOU and our abundance of gifts and blessings. If we can think of a better way to serve our children and your precious pay checks, allow us that privilege. Don’t be hurt when you don’t see our child sporting the super-fun, multi-coloured Sesame Street sweater because I SWEAR IT, we were short on pyjamas!