You've heard of the Twinkie defense, right? Where you're so intoxicated with sugar and fat and artificial dyes/colors/preservatives that you can't be held responsible for your actions? Well, I've never claimed that one (I'm scared of Twinkies - how can there be no actual cream in the cream center?), but I HAVE claimed the Happy Meal Toy Defense. You know, the one where I'm so sick of crappy little fast food toys overrunning my playroom (yes, MY playroom; kids don't write mortgage checks) that I creep in, in the dead of night, and THROW THEM ALL OUT. Then I adamantly and vehemently deny all knowledge when the alleged crime is discovered the next day by the occupants of said playroom. Originally pioneered by that ground-breaking friend of mine, Nina, it works every time. Seven years of this motherhood thing and I've never even been accused, much less convicted.
The Happy Meal Toy Defense Strategy goes something like this: the kid can't find the beloved McDonald's emu she got in 2003 from a Happy Meal eaten with her grandmother. (Never mind that she hadn't touched it in approximately 924 days - not the point.) Suddenly, it's the "must-have" toy of the moment and she's searching high and low. Finally, in desperation, she comes to Mommy, all-knowing keeper of the whereabouts of everyone else's stuff (as in "Honey, do you know where my belt is?" Seriously? Your belt? Try the closet. Or maybe your pants. Or "Mom? Where's my sneaker?" Um, didn't you just take it off like five minutes ago?? ARGH!) in an effort to locate the treasured Beanie Baby emu. And how does Slacker Mom deflect all suspicion? She answers, "How would I know where it is? It's YOUR toy! If you'd put things away in the first place, you'd be able to find it now!" (Sometimes this is followed up by a nice long lecture about how I'm not the maid around here and I didn't play with it so how would I possibly know where you'd put it and I'm tired of having everyone ask me about all their stuff. The best defense is a good offense, after all.)
Ah, the deception. Yep, I'm guilty - of using their own stupidity against them. How have they not caught on? Do they really not get it? I mean, I have a threadbare stuffed tiger that I got at the San Diego Zoo in 1975, but the Barbie lip gloss from last night's Happy Meal is already missing?
Slacker Mom Says...toss the guilt with the Happy Meal toys. Are any of our kids really underprivileged? How many toys do two kids need? The playroom is bursting at the seams with American Girls and Barbie dolls. And if they can't put away their own crap, then they must not really value it. Some will call me a liar (I am; so are you. Did you tell your kids about Santa and the Tooth Fairy?) and some will say I have no respect for the children's belongings. But when they haven't touched these toys since the day they opened them, and Christmas is only two months away, it's time to get rid of something. So have at it. Call me what you will. I have a great defense strategy, and a jury of my peers (all mothers!) would never convict me.