kids

'I gave this birthday present to a 6-year-old, only for it to be rejected by his mum.'

The politics of gift giving for children has gone a bit mad, after a book was rejected for not being a good enough present for a six-year-old.

Writer Liz Dashwood sent her son, Thomas, to a party with a wrapped-up book for his little friend, Marco.

But when Dashwood handed the gift to Marco’s mother it was rejected.

“She took it in one hand and gave it back to me in the other, saying, ‘Marco doesn’t really like books – anything else would be fine.’ And sort of gestured in the general direction of the shops,” Dashwood writes in an article for The Pool.

Need some shopping ideas for those hateful kids in your life? Post continues after video.

After experiencing the rude reaction to the gift, Dashwood said she started questioning her choice.

She started thinking: “Really, who am I to be dictating what her approach to books – or child-rearing – should be?

“What kind of dickhead gives an ‘improving’ gift? Why shouldn’t he have 30 lumps of tat for his birthday, if that’s what he wants?”

The British writer dug deep and began questioning the idea that books improve people’s lives but then held firm and hid the “improvement” gift on the present table.

“I give books.”

When this story was discussed in the Mamamia office this morning, many of us admitted we too give books – even to children.

I admit that I am the boring mum that will shows up to a kid’s party with the only flat wrapped obvious book gift among remote-control cars and bubble machines.

When I lived in the UK, my mother’s group had a kind of pact to give books to each other’s kids after we all somehow ended up in homes full of noisy plastic toys.

My son at his birthday party. Image supplied.
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I lugged those heavy books to the other side of the world for a son who can't read yet.

Now when I read them to my two-year-old, I think of the kind person who gave it to us.

The Hungry Caterpillar has almost done my head in, but my son has learned colours from The Gruffalo and knows what piranhas eat because of the generosity of my Aunt.

I'm glad for the stack of "improvement presents" I've received for my child.

They are a hell of a lot better than a passive-aggressive singing microphone.

The overused books in his room are my bedtime collateral and a magical extension of his world.

Thankfully for me, my friends and family think books make for a great gift.

Meet the dad throwing a party for all the kids who’ve never been invited.