So right now I am trying to figure out what I think about going big on holidays, buying stuff for your kids when they don't need it, buying stuff for your kids for no reason, giving them treats, spoiling them. I think I'm trying to figure out if what I feel right now, and what I want to do for Easter, is Not So Great Parenting.
See, I feel like I messed up Christmas. We didn't do an Advent calendar this year and I don't really know why, other than I was lazy. We didn't put tons of thought into gifts for our kids - I think I put more thought into gifts for my nieces and nephews than I did for my own kids. And Molly really truly wanted this Disney princess doll. She saw it when we were shopping for something else in the Disney store. It wasn't the Barbie kind, it was one of the "toddler" or "little girl" princesses and they were actually pretty cute and I honestly don't have much of a problem with Disney princess stuff. I asked the clerk if I could buy it without Molly noticing, but it didn't work out and I ended up not getting it. Instead I gave her a doll with a huge collection of handmade doll clothes. My grandmother had bought sixteen-inch dolls and made wardrobes for my sisters and my one girl cousin and me when we were all too old for dolls. I've had it for years and always thought I would give it to my daughter one day. This Christmas I thought: hey! I'll save my money! I'll give her something meaningful! It could be a Family Heirloom! It's not another Disney princess piece of crapola! This is better!
You guys, it was not better. Molly liked the doll, but the clothes were too hard for her without my help. The clothes were more the kind of thing you and I would think are cute rather than a four-year-old girl. The doll itself was super cute, but not any more special than Molly's other dolls. Months later I still massively regret not buying her that stupid Disney princess doll. It wasn't super expensive. It wasn't inappropriate. It was the one thing she happened to really glom onto around Christmas time. WHY DIDN'T I JUST GET HER THE STUPID DOLL?
In my family Christmas is a big deal. So is Easter. My mom used to make us these huge Easter baskets and hide them around the house. We'd have big dinner or brunch with family and friends. Our outfits were super special. We got to sleep in CURLERS for Easter. When I found out that Phillip's family was barely registering Easter this year (and my parents were going to be out of town) I made sure to create our own Easter celebration. We'll have friends and food and an egg hunt. And I've been buying Easter basket fillers for weeks. WEEKS. I want the Easter bunny to knock their socks off this year.
And yesterday? When Jack was sick and just Molly and I went to church? Afterwards I took her out to lunch at a restaurant she specifically requested, then we went to the mall and bought a [Disney princess, natch] necklace at Claire's because she's been dying for "kid jewels". No reason! No occasion! She wanted it and I wanted to give it to her.
Half of me is "WHY NOT" and half of me is "oooh, this is NOT GOOD".
I don't feel like I spoil Jack. He's the oldest and I know I'm subconsciously harder on him (I'M THE OLDEST TOO, JACK. WE'LL CHAT ONE DAY!) He's never really been INTO a certain kind of toy or theme. And he goes to full day kindergarten. He's just not AROUND as much.
But Molly, and Emma by virtue of being my SWEET WITTLE BABY... man. I'm sure a lot of you think I'm terrible for taking those girls out for coffee and pastries nearly every morning. Part of it is just what we have to DO, to manage the silly drop off schedule, but we'll do it even when we don't have school. I love going to coffee shops with them. I'm very much aware that Molly will be in full time kindergarten in just a few months and I CHERISH that time. I really honestly do. Should I let them eat chocolate croissants and cookies and chocolate chip muffins nearly every morning? That doesn't sound like a very concerned or involved or aware parent. AND YET. I am so happy to spend my cash on morning treats, so happy to have that little half hour of sweets.
And they're only little for so long. There's only a few years when Christmas is THE BEST DAY EVER!!!! and Easter is super exciting and your birthday is a high holy day. (Okay, some of us still treat our birthdays as such.) Plus they have a mom who loves sugar, loves presents, loves parties, loves celebrations.
But they also have a mom who wants them to learn the Reason For The Seasons (gag) and doesn't want to create spoiled little brats and wonders how much is too much indulging and cares what her stricter friends and family think. I don't feel like I SUPER indulge my kids. I am certainly not going around buying them every which thing, but I've been known to buy a superfluous pair of pink shoes, cookies when there are bagels, and we always hit up the Target dollar section.
I don't know. I think I'm freaking out about both of my big kids going to school in the fall. They're, you know, a package deal. Once they're in school that's it. Life goes faster and they get bigger and the last thing Molly will want to do is go have a coffee with me before school. OH I FEEL SO SAD ABOUT THIS.