zird is the word (lizardek) wrote,
zird is the word

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I think that it must be some sort of parental overcompensation to want to buy your children all the things you never had when YOU were a kid. Especially the toys. I mean, I ALSO want to share with them all the things I had and loved, like certain books,* and Spirograph, and Etch-a-Sketch. But when I stop and think about it, who did I really buy that Slip-n-Slide for last week?

We've been kicking around the idea of getting one of those gigantic bone-breakers trampolines for the kids for the last year or so, and I think if we ultimately break down and get one, it won't just be because all the other kids in Sweden have one, or that if we had one, we would know exactly where our children were when they were outside (not a bad argument, actually), but because neither one of us had one when we were children.

Sometimes, though, it totally backfires, because the things that were so COOL and GROOVY and the BEE'S KNEES when we were little sprats are jaw-crackingly-yawn-inducing for our over-indulged, modern, technologically-savvy offspring. Wooden Brio trains? Eye-rolling. Winnie-the-Pooh? That's for babies, mom! Spirograph?? *collecting dust on the shelf*. Who needs a nifty stand-up 2-sided easel with CHALK when you have Paintshop Pro Kids on the computer?

We don't want our children to be DEPRIVED. But, by not buying into the latest "keeping up with the Svenssons" must-have summer accessory, I don't necessarily think we are depriving our children, since I think that they will learn to use their imaginations and their creativity much more if they DON'T have every piece of plastic-electronic-fad-trendy-pokemoniacal THING that all the other kids have. I can remember the feeling of complete deprivation when I wanted something so bad my mouth literally watered, and the only real reason was because all my friends had one. You can't be part of the cool kids club if you're a have-not, and I don't think that's true for just the modern generations. I'm pretty sure that Laura Ingalls Wilder had some angsty moments about the number of crinolines the other girls were wearing at some barn dance or something.

So, I feel this sort of vicarious treating of MYSELF when I buy something for the kids that is the current must-have toy of the moment. Thankfully, most of the fads around here seem to be about 30 years behind the times...the latest hot toy is marbles, for crying out loud. My daughter has been nagging us relentlessly for a Gameboy or TV game console, but I'll be damned if I'll add another thing to our house that encourages sitting in front of a screen. They get enough of that bad role-modeling from me/computer and Anders/television, plus their own library of children's computer games (they're English! They'll help with spelling! And vocabulary! And, uh, cognitive recognition!...and in all fairness, they HAVE, but, well, still.**)

So, they get a few Pokémon cards, and marbles, and a Slip-n-Slide once in awhile. But they also have a playhouse, and wooden trains and an easel, and I share the good books too, the ones that taught me to dream and imagine and play and laugh, the ones that will teach them, too.



Julia over at Hippogriffs wrote a delightful bit about things we're good at and things we have to work at, which reminded me about my recent musings. Her thoughts are much more succinct, and infinitely more amusing (warning, if you don't want to read a hilarious, but lengthy, treatise on potty-training problems after you click on that link, stop after her 3rd paragraph).

Really Great Writing Out There Right Now: Vicious Gossip

More Really Great Writng Out There Right Now: Too Many Books Isn't Enough

*It's a firm belief of mine that no child should come into this world without their very own copy of Winnie-the-Pooh, for example.
**Copyrighted Slaughter-family argument ender number one.
Tags: obiterphotos, offspring

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