Shiny received lots of presents on her 8th birthday bur she was very sad because she knew that her mother would not allow her to open all the presents at once. Her mother would open them up and sort through them all to make sure they were age appropriate. If she thought they were not suitable, she would put them away until some time later on, pass them along to another child or donate them to a charity. Shiny never liked this and she always argued with her mother about it. She wished her Dad would try to convince her mother to let her open her own birthday gifts all at the same time for this one birthday.
Dad looked at Shiny's long face and asked her why she was sad on such a happy day. After Shiny explained how she felt, her father thought it over for a few minutes and then promised to talk to her Mom about it. In fact, her Dad had never liked the fact that Shiny had to wait to see what gifts she had been given. Just a few minutes later, Shiny got her birthday wish - her parents agreed to let her open all her presents at the same time. She really enjoyed seeing all the boxes and bags with the brightly colored wrapping paper, ribbons and bows and she had a difficult time deciding which gift to open first. She was so happy!
The first present she opened was an airplane. Shiny's eyes sparkled as she took it out of the box and looked at all the parts. It needed two 8 volt AAA batteries. Her mother said that she did not have that size in the kitchen drawer but she would add it to the list next time she went shopping. Although Shiny was disappointed that she could not play with the airplane right away, she picked another decorated box to open next. The only trouble was she was in such a hurry that she did not put all the airplane parts back in the box.
The next gift was a Barbie doll. It had green hair and was wearing a beautiful green dress···but Shiny had never enjoyed playing with dolls so she gave it to Tiny, her 4-year old sister. Tiny looked at the doll and decided she did not like that green hair and green dress. She only like dolls with pink clothes because pink was her favorite color.
The third gift was a kitchen set. It had lots of pots and pans, utensils and cutlery, and many little packets of pretend foods like pizza toast, bananas, and cookies. Shiny called Tiny over so they could play with this toy. She then remembered all the presents still to be opened so she just left the kitchen set scattered all over the carpet and returned to do some more unwrapping.
Shiny kept on opening her birthday gifts -one after the other- and found there were so many things she was really going to enjoy playing with. It was going to be hard to decide which game to play first or which book to read. She also noticed that the room was becoming very messy with all the torn wrapping paper, ribbons and bows scattered all about. She knew that she was going to have to do some tidying up once the birthday celebration was over.
Several days later, Shiny's grandparents came to visit. They had not been able to come on the very day of her birthday but Shiny was so happy to see them because she knew that their gift to her was always something very special. This was one gift her mother always let her open right away. Shiny waited for them to get comfortably seated before she told them in an excited voice that her mother had let her open all her gifts this year. She rushed off to fetch some of the presents from her room so her grandparents could see how many wonderful things she had been given.
The first gift she showed them was the airplane but she still needed the batteries so she could not show them how it worked. Another problem was that some of the parts were missing from the box so, even if she had the right batteries, she still could not make that airplane do its tricks.
Then she ran to get the kitchen set. Her grandparents said it would be nice to have a cup of tea and something to eat. Shiny looked in the box but the tea cups were missing and she could not find any bread or cookies. Now she began to feel a little ashamed that she had been so careless about putting things away. She offered them oranges instead of tea and everyone laughed as they enjoyed fake oranges at the tea party.
Shiny kept bringing out her presents, one after another, but it seemed that each one had a part missing or had already been broken. She remembered that her mother had never allowed her to open a new game until she had used the previous one for at least a month and had taken proper care of it. If she broke a previous gift or lost a piece of it, then the new present was delayed for one more month. Then Shiny thought about the big mess in her room. She decided that getting a lot of presents at the same time was not much fun if she could not play with them and they just stayed piled up in the corner of her room.
Before she could spend any more time thinking about birthday presents and their problems, her grandparents gave her their gift. It was a chair in the shape of a teddy bear. Shiny's eyes sparkled with happiness when she saw it - it looked so soft and comfortable. But then she said she would wait to sit in it after she had cleaned up the mess in her room and she had to find the missing pieces of her other gifts and put them away properly. Her Mom was so glad to hear this. She knew that, in the future, there would be no more arguments about opening birthday presents.