boy with balloonEverywhere we go these days, people seem to want to give my toddler something. From the bank to the grocery store, it appears that businesses and people in general are packing stuff to try to win kids over and/or keep them from losing it and creating a big scene.

It's "Here honey, have this ... " here and "Ask your mommy if you can have a ... " there. Oh, I know it's all well-intended, and much better than them being rude to my kid or even banning her altogether, it's just that ... I HATE all of this crap. Here are five of the frequent freebies we get and why they irritate me so.

1. Stickers

Oh how I loathe those tempting little sticky shapes. Because besides all over our car's interior and the furniture, the only other place my kids stick them is on their clothing. Said clothing then goes through the washer and dryer, and I'm left with a mess. I should buy stock in Goof Off.

2. Balloons

So bright, so cheery, so great for bopping your brother over the head, and spilling drinks in restaurants in the process. Or, if they manage to behave themselves with them IN whatever establishment they were given, there's a good chance (better than 50/50) that they will be lost to the wind in the parking lot. Then there will be tears and promises of balloons the next time. Don't even get me started on the dangers of balloons to boot!

3. Cookies

I would like to personally blast whoever came up with the idea that bakeries in grocery stores nationwide should give kids cookies just for the asking. Just what they need, more sugar, and bonus -- we usually go to the market right before dinner, so dinner is spoiled as well. Yay!

4. Goodie Bags

We didn't have them when I was a kid, and we don't need them now that I have to pick up after my kids and am constantly tripping over little plastic knickknacks that came in these party must-haves. HATE them.

5. Advice

This comes in the form of "Honey, tell your mommy to make sure she gets that hair out of your eyes" or "Tell mommy the doctor really should hear that cough." It doesn't make it any less rude when you tell me what to do through my kid.

I don't mean to be ungrateful. And yes, I could just decline their kindness, but that's easier said than done when the offer is made right in front of a toddler. It would be great for everyone if all the freebies for kids just stopped. It would save money for those doing the gifting and sanity for moms like me.

What free things that people give kids would you add to this list?


Image via Laurasphotos2011/Flickr