Monday, April 30

Spoiling our kids

My dander is up, people!  I'm stepping up to my soapbox and shall begin preaching...

Perhaps it was a hormonal bad mood, but my 7 year old pulled a doozy this weekend and I nearly flipped out.

We were rushing like mad, but having some nice one-on-one time.  First was the dry cleaners where I picked up a formal dress of hers that needed altering.  ($30)  Then a three hour long church class, and a quick bite to eat - a fabulous pizza place ($10) with a donut shop next door for a quick and easy dessert ($2) (and yes, I know I'm a food freak and donuts are horrible for just do as I say and not as I do for now, eh?).  We polished off the pizza and donuts, then we were off to get her a new swim suit and SPF shirt to go over it ($21), and then to three other places for new shoes ($5 at a resale shop, yahoo!) for that formal event next weekend that called for the $30 dress alteration...because you KNOW I'm not going out and buy a new dress when we've got a perfectly good one in the closet.  So what is that?  $68 I spent on my child in a matter of hours.

Then we hit the grocery store.  I'm feeling guilty about the donuts, and replaying in my head the documentary we watched this weekend on how bad meat and dairy are for you called "Forks Over Knives" - outrageously raises your chances of cancer.  And I'm having a mental tug of war.  You know, meat I can do without.  No prob.  But dairy?  Oh my gosh.  Kill me.  I eat sour cream and cheese on nearly everything.  But I decide to be brave and grab the Tofutti sour cream, then load up on a bunch of other organic, healthy, boost-your-immune-system stuff.  Not cheap. 

As we're checking out, my daughter spies the Easter clearance.  "Mommy, can I go look over there?!"  Sure, I say.  Have at it.  I'm just going to cry over my grocery bill for a moment.

Three minutes later, she comes up to me with this Easter bucket of singing chickens in an off tone, scratchy, guy-voice.  "Buck, buck, BUUUUCCK, buck, buck, buck!"  Very funny.  "Oh mommy, isn't this so cute?  Can I get it?  Please, please??  I'll pay you back!"

Now we have the moment of pause.  I immediately stop what I'm doing, set down my soy milk and can of lentil soup, and stare at her.


Really, child?  You are seriously asking me to spend more money on you?  Has your little brain forgotten ALL of the crap I just bought you no more than 20 minutes ago?  Your great-grandfather had to walk a mile to school, wearing his sister's high heeled shoes because they were so poor and there were no other shoes to wear.  And you want singing chickens??

So where are we in life that our kids are so freaking spoiled that what they get is never, ever enough?  We can buy and buy and buy, and they will still ask for more and more and more.  For my part, I am depressed about the whole thing.  It's our own damn fault.  MY own damn fault.  Luckily, I can give my kids the wild-eyed stare and they straighten up real quick, but it's still there.  Always right under the surface.  "I want, I deserve, I get." 

One of my friends is having difficulty with her 1st grader talking back and whining.  She absolutely knows it's due to spoiling.  With resignation in her voice, she flat out told me, "When she was younger, she'd just do her 'Mommy, pleeeeeeeeassssseeeee can I have it??' and I'd give in."  Of course I snottily replied, "Yeah, you can't do that."  Then I turn around and have a chicken incident.  Serves me right.

We've got to stop this.  We have GOT to stop this!

Lesson for the day:  Say no.  No, you cannot have three desserts in your lunch.  No, I will not buy you this shirt just because Tommy has one just like it and it's super cool.  No, you may not spend your hard-earned money on yet another video game.  No, you cannot order a steak dinner, and NO, you will not ask me for one more thing!!

Here's to getting tough, my friends.  Say NO to chickens.

And NO, I didn't buy the damn thing. 

What the pluck...

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