This weekend – well – we had a supergreat weekend. Partly because we went to see Disney Playhouse Presents with some of our closest friends. I get that Disney isn’t everyone’s thing. I like taking Bean to live performances (she’s also seen Backyardigans and The Nutcracker performed by the National Ballet). I want to share my love of live events with my daughter, and we’ve always had great memories of these performances.
Another part of the reason it was a great weekend was because I didn’t say no.
When she wanted the ridiculously expensive plasticy useless souvenir, she got it. When she asked for absurdly expensive popcorn and cotton candy, she got it. She danced, she laughed, and she waved at Pooh, Tigger and the Little Einsteins. Went full-on apeshit joyful at Mickey and Minnie.
How much money did this ‘happy’ experience cost? Not including dinner afterward, it was well over $150 (CDN). Or groceries for a week. Hydro or transit for a month and a half. Less than a week of daycare, but more than double my monthly gym membership. Easily classifiable as money we don’t really have and I’ll have to extra careful for the next two months so that I don’t totally regret it.
But for me, it’s sooo worth it. I say no so much. All the time. I’m not a minimalist; I just think kids don’t need a lot of stuff. Of all of her toys, she gets the most use out of her three-dollar watercolours, five-dollar crayon collection, and a large collection of glitter glue. When we go shopping she’s always asking me for pop, chips, sugary fatty junk that kids seem to like so much, and I say no. She asks me for cheap plastic toys, and I say no.
I don’t just say no, I explain why. Because you have lots of toys. Because we’re healthy and we want to stay healthy. Because we love the earth and long after you don’t like that toy, even after you grow up like Mommy, that toy will still be here. Because we don’t waste. Because because because. She’s on board for the most part. And she even will tell me sometimes, my three year old, when she sees me tossing out a Ziploc bag, that it can probably be reused.
Even with all of this, she was so HAPPY. Just to have the ridiculous spinney light toy. I can’t feel it’s wrong. I don’t feel like it shouldn’t have been bought.
Having said that, next time we go somewhere like this, I’m going to do some pre-planning. Let Bean know well in advance that the treat is the show, not the stuff. Let her know that there will be no stuff. Weather the disappointment at the show. Get something related at a cheaper shop after if she’s still interested.
Another side note, I let Bean buy the spinney toy with her own money. I told her it was her own money, and today, I logged into my bank accounts, and she and I transferred the money from her bank account into mine. She thought it was grand.
She doesn’t regret it either.