Here’s a memo to Indiana Jones, the Monty Python crew, Dan Brown and anyone else connected with the ongoing search for the Holy Grail – You can pack up and go home. It has been found. The elusive item was uncovered, not in the back of some long forgotten cave in the Middle East, but in the hallowed grounds of Westfield Bondi Junction.
Of course I’m being facetious but the hunt for the right Christmas gift, the one that has been sitting atop of your child’s wish list all year, can feel like the never ending quest for the Holy Grail. My five-and-a-half-year-old has made two very specific requests from Santa this festive season – a doctor’s kit and a rainbow skirt. “Piece of cake”, I thought to myself ” I’ll swing by the nearest Westfield duck into Target and have my Santa duty sorted out within 15 minutes”.
Unfortunately my supposedly brief shopping trip turned out to be yet another case of a parent grossly under estimating the time and effort involved. I set about scouring the shelves for the prize like a constipated auditor looking for a dodgy tax deduction. There were Barbies, Disney Princesses and Fairies, Dora, Lalaloopsy dolls and My Little Ponies as far as the eye could see. Dress ups, sporting gear, pool toys, play dough and craft materials stretched all the way to the moon. However I could not find a simple doctor’s kit if my life depended on it.
Its curious that when you can’t find a particular item, its absence represents the dumbing down of society. There were cosmetic and haircare packs, jewellery making sets and Princess clobber galore. Talk about gender stereotyping. All this stuff is going to prepare our girls well for their future careers as jewellery making, beauticians who manage to marry themselves a minor European aristocrat. When I finally left, arms loaded with a bunch of miscellaneous items, I was frothing at the mouth at how Target was letting down the “sisterhood”.
Similar rummages through K-mart, The Big W and Myer also led to disappointment. Defeated, I re-focused my efforts on finding a certain book for my three-year-old daughter. It was a tale about a character she’d seen on You Tube and was quite taken with – Walter The Farting Dog. Sadly there are no dedicated book stores left in my local shopping centre. My best hope was the ABC Shop. After a cursory look at the shelves, I sidled up to the counter and asked in a hushed tone ” Ahem – I’m looking for a children’s book. Its called Walter The Farting Dog“. It was moderately embarrassing, like asking for that 50 Shades of Whatever book everyone is talking about. The obliging assistant said “No we don’t have that one but we have loads on the farting theme. How about this one “There’s A Monster Under My Bed That Farts” ?”. So much for my mock decorum, I burst into laughter and snapped it up.
When I arrived home laden with goodies but missing that one crucial item, I turned to the mystical font of all knowledge – Google. A few clicks revealed that if I’d journeyed to the next closest Westfield I would have struck pay dirt. I made a single phone call and the white doctor’s coat, stethoscope and shiny red kit were mine. Hooray for Mumabulous! My trip to collect this bounty yielded still more fruit. A bookstore there had three copies of Walter The Farting Dog. Needless to say now there are only two.
I was a very self-satisfied mother when I returned home to complete the gift wrapping and the hiding almost a month prior to the big day. Then I was hit by a shocking realisation. I had forgotten all about the gosh darn rainbow skirt. Epic fail!
Have you managed to track down all the items on your children’s wish list or is it proving as arduous as the search for the Holy Grail?