Buying your wife a Mother's Day gift: How to avoid disaster

A few years back, I decided that Mother's day was no longer a concern for me. My mother died a long time ago, I wasn't married, and I had no plans to become a baby daddy. Moreover, as I was staring down the barrel at 30, it didn't look like my situation was going to change anytime soon. I decided that Mother's day, like Washington's Birthday and the Feast of the Epiphany, was among the many holidays that I could more or less wipe off the calendar.

Needless to say, things have changed.

I now find myself the father of a two-year-old. Quite apart from the other little stresses associated with having a daughter in my life, I'm reliving the joy of buying Mother's day presents. When I was a kid, Mother's day was easy -- I'd pick up some bath salts, a kitchen tool, or some other innocuous item that my father told me to buy. I'd wrap it, pass it on to Mom and revel in her thanks. I'd get to feel like a big guy, my mom would get a little appreciation, and we'd both ignore the fact that the little present was hardly payback for the endless things that she did over the course of the year.