show them all the beauty they possess inside

The 2005 baby boom has hit the grand age of five, and Uncle John is finally hitting his stride. I think I've finally figured out the purpose of kids: they are an exquisite parent-torturing mechanism. You take these creatures who, by biological definition, are already on your friend's last nerve, give them a can of Silly String, and munch some popcorn while watching the pandemonium unfold. Sure, your friends hate you. You remember your friends, right? The ones who disappeared five years ago? Right, them. Screw them. Their children are the future. And they love you.

I had Henry open up his Amazon package with me on the phone. "Do you remember Uncle John?" Amy asked.

"Ummmmmmmm....yeeeeaaah...." he replied unconvincingly, doing a fair imitation of me when my boss asks if I've completed a task that I forgot about the moment I stood up to leave her office.

I heard Henry tear into the box like a raccoon in a dumpster. I wonder if he'll even know what it's for, I thought.


41J-hvBbEDL._SL500_AA300_.jpgWell, his mother certainly knows.

Seeing his new, real-world-not-a-toy bullhorn (complete with siren!) was an instant memory restorative for Henry. "Oh! He's the guy who got me the drums! And the cymbals! And the hamster! And the gun!"

• • •

The best part of this effort: parents screwing each other over. "Man, if you really want to give kids an annoying toy," one told me a year ago while I was tapping furiously on the Amazon app on my phone, "You need to send them one of these hamster things."