Friday, April 28, 2006

The Birthday Gift

Another guest article from Jayne Martin-Dressing

Last night our family used for the first and last time the unforgivable birthday present my daughter received from my husband’s sister, the CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN. I’m sure that you all saw these mysterious boxes lining the shelves and the Wal-mart ads over the holidays, but no one ever really thinks about buying one. I mean, c’mon, its right up there with the S’MORE MAKER. I thought I had tucked the Chocolate Fountain from Hell safely away in the closet out of reach, and therefore out of mind. But a recent decision to clean the hall closet unleashed all sorts of forgotten birthday and Christmas gifts that didn’t quite make mommy’s ‘A’ list. My children immediately spied the possibility of a chocolate syrup bath and began to wear me down in earnest (okay, I did say if they didn’t totally trip out at the grocery store, I would consider the fountain experiment).

The CFFH is a syrup filled plastic contraption that aims to be some sort of ghetto version of a fondue maker. As the directions instruct, you simply “fill with your favorite flavored syrup”, crank up the four ‘C’ batteries and let her rip. What the directions don’t tell you is that your children will be covered from ear to ear in Hershey’s syrup, and that your deck, table, back door, shoes, pets, hair, and clothing will also be covered with high fructose corn syrup(with added calcium!). Thank Goddess I had the foresight to do this activity outside.
This was a gift, albeit a hateful one, from my sister-in-law (a.k.a. Satan in law) who almost had a spell when her son played at our house and I allowed the kids to have fun in the sandbox that still had last summer’s sand (horrors!). I think he gets a Clorox dip and a flea and tick check every time he leaves our house. This is a child who didn’t know how to use a fork and spoon until he was nearly 4 because he “just got too messy.” I can’t tell you what sort of slime-filled, play dough funhouse, 1,000 bead, and 800 piece puzzle-type of toy I’m dreaming of for his next birthday.

Who invents these contraptions that are garage-sale-items-waiting-to-happen? I know that I need to give it to Goodwill or some charity, but it almost feels like trying to give away a cat that pees on everything. Who wants that mess? But this item has got to be so far away from my children’s collective conscious that they never entertain fantasies of cranking up the ole plastic fountain again. At least if we are going to smother strawberries and apricots in chocolate, it might as well be the really good, rich, melted dark chocolate that I like to eat too.
So if you are having trouble getting your little ones to stick to the five a day plan, why not try the chocolate fountain approach. I know where you can get a good deal on one…


Anonymous said...

This is great - we saw these at Christmas and quickly branded these things the cheesey gifts of the season. I almost bought one for a white elephant gift exchange and then decided it was too cruel.

When we saw these, my mind went straight to the clean up and storage of the thing; chocolate goop everywhere, and a big huge thing that takes up space in cabinets that are already too stressed out to begin with.

Thanks StuntMom....

Anonymous said...

Lasts summer's sand, funny concept for something that has been outside (albeit elsewhere) for thousands of years! Apparently we are supposed to replace old dirty sand with other old dirty sand from somewhere else yearly, good to know;)