A night of gift wrapping used to be synonymous with a roll of reindeer covered paper, a glass of eggnog and a Michael Buble Christmas CD. By the end of the evening, a pile of presents would sit under the tree dressed in shiny gift tags, sparkling bows, and delicately handcrafted snowflakes.
But with a toddler in the house, everything looks a little different…
While I envy your Pinterest inspired wrapping techniques, and gifts pretty enough to hang over the mantle, our boxes are going to have a little more “character” this year. But in case you’re still curious about that foot-shaped imprint in the middle of your present, here’s what it looks like to wrap gifts with a toddler in the house:
1. Decide to let your toddler “help” wrap gifts this year.
2. Place all necessary supplies on the floor in front of you and your very curious toddler.
3. Choose the least breakable gift to wrap first. (That sweater for your Great Aunt Margo is probably best.)
4. Realize that you forgot the tape. Go get it from your craft box.
5. Return with the tape and notice that the toddler is now dragging a once neatly folded Christmas sweater down the hallway towards the bathroom toilet.
6. Give up on idea of letting toddler “help.”
7. Retrieve sweater and relocate gift wrapping station to the kitchen table, out of toddler’s reach.
8. Toddler throws a tantrum so you pick him up.
9. Realize that it’s impossible to hold a toddler on your hip and cut the wrapping paper in a straight line.
10. Relocate gift wrapping station back to the floor. Maybe the toddler can help a little…
11. Hand toddler a roll of ribbon to distract him.
12. Refold the sweater and place it in a cardboard box.
13. Reach for the tape to seal the box.
14. Notice that the tape has mysteriously disappeared (and so has your toddler…)
15. Find the tape and toddler in the other room. Your toddler is busy unwinding the entire roll of tape and smushing it into a giant ball. He gets upset because the tape keeps sticking to his hands.
16. Disentangle toddler and go look for another roll of tape.
17. With tape in hand, return to the gift wrapping station and discover a toddler jumping on the cardboard box.
18. Try to bend the flattened box back into shape.
19. Unroll and measure the wrapping paper so that it will fit around the slightly squished box.
20. Try to convince your toddler to let go of the wrapping paper so you can cut it.
21. Let toddler play with the now ripped piece of wrapping paper.
22. Re-measure and cut wrapping paper with scissors.
23. Place scissors out of reach.
24. Deal with ensuing tantrum. (The toddler obviously wanted to play with those scissors.)
25. Give toddler a cookie shaped like a Christmas tree.
26. Finally begin wrapping the present. Try to keep cookie crumbs and greasy fingers away from the paper.
27. Toddler climbs into your lap and tries to kick the present.
28. Begin to tape down the folded corners of wrapping paper while amusing the toddler with an off-key rendition of Jingle Bells.
29. Toddler notices the tape and remembers how fun it was to play with.
30. Place tape out of reach.
31. Deal with ensuing tantrum.
32. Resume wrapping and give a sigh of relief – the end is in sight!
33. Toddler grabs tube of wrapping paper. It is now a light saber. He mistakes your head for Darth Vader.
34. Ask toddler to please stop hitting you over the head.
35. Deal with ensuing tantrum.
36. Finish wrapping the gift while toddler plays with a glittery bow.
37. Wonder if glitter is toxic as toddler shoves bow into his mouth.
38. Take away bow.
39. Deal with ensuing tantrum.
40. Take a deep breath and place the finished present to the side. You did it!
41. Watch in wide-eyed horror as the toddler immediately proceeds to triumphantly rip the paper off your freshly wrapped box.
42. Decide to wait until the toddler is in bed to wrap presents.
43. With your toddler sleeping (somewhat peacefully) in his crib, finish wrapping presents underneath the twinkling lights of a half decorated tree. Place presents under the tree and go to bed feeling accomplished. (Why didn’t I do this in the first place??)
44. At some point during the next day, notice that there’s something different about the presents… not only has the toddler appeared to walk across the top of them, he has also decided to “paint” the wrapping paper with his bottle of milk. Sigh…
45. Decide that this year everyone will be getting their Christmas presents in plastic grocery bags.