I’m annoyed with your child.
It’s fine, I’ll get over it. Also, my kids are probably annoying on account of some lack in their upbringing, and the following is certainly not meant to be a thinly veiled self-congratulation for my superior parenting skills.
To get to the point, my eldest daughter has just begun ‘Grade R’ — a preparatory year before the rigors of Grade 1 — and she has been accepted into one of the better government schools around, full of the best suburban children the Peninsula has to offer. Yesterday was her first ‘show-and-tell’ day, and she decided to take this pretty lilac handbag that she had bought for herself. I thought it was a really good pick — she loves it, she bought it with her own Christmas money from Gran and Gramps, and there’s a little story to it, because she discovered it at a car-boot sale when we were last there.
When she got home, she was incredibly disappointed, because all the children, even her best friend so far, had said that it was a boring thing to bring.
All the items with good ratings were things like skateboards with flames painted on the wheels (OK, so that is a bit cool), and Hannah Montana books. So we grow our kids up rude enough and media-saturated enough and stupid enough to know that they’re supposed to denigrate someone who isn’t ‘cool’ enough to big-ups Hannah Montana for show-and-tell? How exactly did we grow fully developed high-school attitudes in our 5-year-olds?
I’m glad my child is not (yet) straight out of the sickly Disney cookie machine and that she loves things because she loves them, not because she’s supposed to love them. I’m glad that she isn’t trained to be in step with in-group sameness. I really hope that she doesn’t immediately amputate those things that make her her just to fit in. I also hope that she doesn’t go the other way and aim at being different for its own sake, which is, after all, just the other side of that same coin.
Do us all a favour though, parents. How about thinking of one way in which you can ensure that Disney gets a little less of your money today, and one way in which you can stave off early-onset oafishness in your little darlings.