Enter your keyword

The Gift Economy Of The Preschool Yard

The Gift Economy Of The Preschool Yard

There’s a group of young girls from Mini’s class who have taken to regaling me with gifts.

Ordinarily these gifts come in the form of drawings or cards for which I suspect I am not the originally intended recipient.

Occasionally, though, I will get a bracelet made from a pipe cleaner.

Or, a more elaborate beaded bracelet that was obviously made with the help of a teacher, and again, probably not originally intended for me.

Whenever one of them comes up to me, bearing her gift, I will make a point of saying, “Is this for me? Are you sure?” I make a show of how beautiful it is, and how grateful I am for the gift.

But I wonder — what’s my obligation here? Do I need to keep these gifts, along with the rest of the daily creations of my own child? If I throw them away, does this make me a bad person? If I keep them, what the fuck am I supposed to do with them? Should I be contacting the girls’ parents and sending the gifts over to them?

But most importantly, what is their angle here? What do these sly little minxes have up their puffy cap sleeves, anyway? And why do I think it has something to do with getting a little closer to this guy?

Comments (5)

  1. Elizabeth
    Jan 27, 2011

    Well, my daughter’s latest idea of the perfect present for Mommy is to bring home a pocketful of the gravel from the playground. Um, yeah. Nice and all, thanks, but what am I supposed to DO with that??? Now if she’d commit to bringing home a backpack-full a day for the next few months, I guess we could use it to go around our backyard climbing structure, but a handful here and a handful there just isn’t cutting it. I am at least now thankful it’s JUST my own daughter who’s contributing to the cause. Good luck with the harem girl wannabes!!!

  2. Jan 28, 2011

    I’m sure these girls will soon be old enough to tweet. Then they’ll tweet something that mentions you, and a bunch of people will tell them what a big meanie you are. Then…no more pipe cleaner jewelry for you. Problem solved!

  3. Jan 28, 2011

    Three girls in my son’s pre-kindergarten class have informed me that he is marrying them. (I don’t think any of the three is taking the competition into consideration.) Could these gifts to you be in the way of an introduction to their dowry potential, or to indicate what imaginative workers they might be?

  4. Jan 28, 2011

    Lol! You’re probably right, they just want to butter up Mom so they can get closer to Mini.

    I always tossed those things. I know, know. Terrible.

  5. drhoctor2
    Jan 30, 2011

    Awwww..how cuteifull are these little people ? So, so, cute. I envy you your heavy immersion with the age group you are hanging with these days..thanks to being Mini’s entourage …can he get you back stage ?
    On an experienced note…kids will ALWAYS give you/others all thier stuff…so lovable…but…some of that stuff might be for thier moms et al and the impulse gets muddled up with issues of permanence these guys don’t get yet.
    I love the artsy craftsy stuff from my people and that one bracelet was obviously high quality so my thing is to 1: admire..oooohhhh…ahhhhhh…you made that ? ooooh..I bet your mom (et al) will love to have that..hand back object. …if that won’t fly..then ooh ahhh etc. leave in car for next day and say..oh..here is that thing you made so your mom (et al) can see/have/love on this…if that won’t fly either ..you’re on your own.
    They just want to give you stuff cos you’re awesome and they are awesome and they want to get some interaction but they don’t always want you to keep it. I love the pre-school people. Most precious.
    coming up soon..Mini and other kids “giving” each other big expensive stuff..there’s a million meltdowns in that lesson learned.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.