Thursday, June 18, 2015
The Daily Chai is Unpacking
Life with kids is...busy! I left work today, drove all the way to my old town to pick up my girlies, back to my new town, picked up some groceries, made dinner, unpacked some stuff, went to pick up my modem (the kids, each of them, asked me at least three times what we were getting at the post office and then wanted to know what is a modem? Seriously? It's 2015, shouldn't they be building their own modems by now and shocking us all with their amazing knowledge of all things technical at the ages of nine and four?).
I had a little talk with them about asking me to buy them stuff. Well, I talked at them and after two minutes Kate covered her ears and started humming, but I said what I needed to by then anyway. I don't know about you, but it absolutely drives me crazy when we are out getting groceries for example and they spend the entire time begging me to buy them stuff, treats and whatnot that I never buy but nonetheless, they ask for. Don't get me wrong, I buy some junk food for sure, but there are certain things that I absolutely refuse to purchase, like Eggos, Froot Loops and potato chips. And yet, AND YET, every time I take them to the grocery store, Kate asks me for Froot Loops. I get it, I love them too, but seriously, they are not breakfast food. They are candy. I have refused to buy them even as a fun snack for years now and yet, when I ask her what type of cereal would she like, she answers, "Froot Loops!" every time! She now does it just to bug me, I know it.
I told them today that I would like them to think about the words, "I want" before they actually say them. I asked them to consider the good fortune they already have before they ask me for more stuff. I told them I don't like saying no all the time, but when they ask me for stuff we can't afford or stuff that they don't need, I'm forced to say no all the time and I hate it. I've always said no a lot and been relatively careful about spending money, but now I really have to tighten my belt and stick to a budget. Even if I had tons of money, I would still say no quite a bit, just on principle, but still I don't LIKE saying it. I don't like telling them all the time that they can't have their heart's desire. Even when I think the heart's desire is the stupidest thing I've ever seen, I hate being the one to refuse them all the time.
However, I've noticed something with Kate that makes it a little easier to say no when she is begging me for some toy. She has begged me, in German and English for some item, on bended knee with lots of promises to be good and clean her room and take care of her dog and and and. So you know, I'm weak and I cave sometimes and I purchase that coveted item. And she plays with it feverishly for three days and then I never see her pick it up again. I suspect this is because she has SO MUCH STUFF that nothing really is very special to her except when I try to throw it out. Then she tears at her hair and screams that she hates me because that is her most favourite thing in the universe and how dare I even CONSIDER throwing it out?? Megan backs slowly away and waits until Kate is out of the house before throwing said item in garbage.
Anyway, those kids want so much stuff all the time, but they don't REALLY care about any of it. I could leave that crap in boxes and they wouldn't even miss it. You know what they do want? What they consistently ask for? My time. To read to them, to cuddle with them, to play with them and talk with them. It's all just stuff people, but your time is finite and precious and you never know how much of it you have left.