Excerpted from Bunmi Laditan’s bestselling Toddlers Are A**Holes.
Look, don’t go all crazy getting your toddler expensive presents. You could wrap up items she already owns and your kid would be delighted. Toddlers just like to unwrap shit. It reminds them of destroying. Wrap plastic cups from your pantry, rawhide, spoons, a Ziploc bag of leaves, a quart of milk . . . whatever you have. You don’t need money to make Christmas special for your toddler. Toddlers do not care.
The best part of Christmas is using Santa to threaten them. If you’re doing it right, Santa should sound like a cross between a sniper and the NSA: Someone who is always watching them and ready to take serious, permanent action. Let them know that Santa will not let emotions get in the way of burning all their gifts should they disobey.
We need to talk about the Elf on the Shelf. It can be tempting to buy one of these enchanted dolls to control your toddler’s behavior. But if your toddler isn’t afraid of you, what makes you think he’s going to respect a snitch? Second, parents of toddlers can barely remember to brush their own teeth every day, much less put a wooden toy in a zany position every morning. Do yourself a favor, if you’re going to buy one of these fools, tell your kid that it only moves when she’s bad. If she doesn’t listen, the Elf will come into her bedroom and watch her sleep. Problem solved!