I am dying for spring to get here. My attention keeps wandering to plans for the garden. I long for blossoms to turn my fruit trees pretty colors. The sweet smell of pollen in the air and the buzz of the first bees – which I promptly run away from because I’m allergic to the suckers.
I miss going out to water my garden in the early morning and having The Cat chasing imaginary things in the grass. I would say she’s chasing bugs, but I really think she’s just nuts and it’s in her tiny, walnut-size brain. Not that it matters, it’s cute.
Being able to enjoy sunrise and sunset at decent times of the day, remember that? And starting the epic battle to get The Boy away from his video games and outside behaving boyish. Wait, no, I’m not looking forward to that. Maybe this year the kids will mow the lawn or weed a bit more. Probably not, they’re spoiled.
I was just talking to Mrs. Patience, who lives with her husband – Gandhi reborn, I swear – and their four children a couple of houses down. We let our kids get away with so much now. She thinks it’s innately ingrained in parents, mothers especially, to want to give their kids at least what they had as a child and preferably more.
Makes sense. My mother was raised with few money problems and generally spoiled. I was spoiled to the point of having few chores and given almost anything and everything I asked for. I never had to wait for Christmas or my birthday for things. Although wrapping paper was nice. Hubby’s parents had a tight budget, but they somehow found ways to give their kids things that they didn’t have when they were children.
My kids are spoiled. The Girl is a good sport about it because I told her when she was younger about The Mother’s Curse: All the trouble you give me, you’ll get back with interest when you have your own kids. (I pointed to her little brother that she considers the bane of her existence as proof that I wasn’t a perfect child). As good as she’s being, I still wonder what that’s going to mean for her kids when she tries to give them everything she had and more. How old will my grandkids be when they get their first cell phones (my kids were seven), or laptop (The Boy was five), or TV in their room (about four although The Boy doesn’t have one anymore – he has to earn it back)?
Mrs. Patience complained that her kids are picky eaters. I’m on board with that one. We feed The Boy almost anything he asks for because the kid is underweight and we’re desperate to get protein in him as he grows into his adult height. He knows this and uses it mercilessly. Except we won’t feed him junk food. He’s not happy about not being able to eat Goldfish crackers for every meal, but I’ll get up in the morning and fry him a ham steak. Hubby will make a full breakfast on a school day without blinking. I ate cold cereal every morning before school. Where did this change come from? If we make spaghetti for dinner, and he doesn’t feel like it, he’ll ask for – and usually get – a different meal. Mrs. Patience reports her husband has taken on the skills of a short order cook, sometimes fixing each child a different meal at their request.
When we were young, you were taking your life into your own hands to first: saying that you didn’t feel like this or that for dinner – when it was already on the table – and second: requesting something different. Why do they get away with it? I know I would have gotten slapped or spanked, depending on how old I was, and that’s not an option any longer. Send him to his room? Why? That’s where his laptop, tablet, and phone are – all with video games and a lifeline to his friends to complain we’re mean. Ground him? Yeah, I try. Enforcing it is a whole other problem.
I told hubby I’m going to start changing the wifi password weekly and they have to earn the new password. That’s a hassle and as annoying for us as it is for the kids. If they don’t like dinner – from now on they can make their own PB&J or Ramen to have instead. That’s more than I would have gotten.
This trend of spoiling the children has to end, or I fear for the world by the time my grandkids are grown.