Kids. And Cash

by Marinka on December 16, 2010

So Husbandrinka is not super comfortable with my blog, so I thought I’d make it a bit less personal. So today I’m going to discuss kids and money and try to work in some sex in there. But I can’t make any sex promises because to be honest with you, I don’t see you that way. It’s not you, it’s me, thinking of you.

A few weeks ago I ranted against The Man and how my son wants an XBox Kinnect (which I will not be getting him) and how I polled my friends who happen to be the mothers of his friends and was heartened to know that they are standing firm and not getting their kids an Xbox Kinnect.

Except then a Christmas Miracle happened and now it seems that all the moms changed their minds and now all the boys are getting an Xbox Kinnect.

Except Young Ladrinka. Because Jesus and Santa hate him.

I have to tell you, it put me in quite a mood the other day.

I talked to one of my Xbox gifting girlfriends about it and she said that she wanted a “WOW” gift for her son.

I can relate to that. Which one of us doesn’t want to make our kids happy with a gift, to see that moment of “OMG, REALLY?”

But the problem is that it is increasingly hard to do.

Most of my son’s friends have a DS, a DSi, and a Wii, as does he. I’m ashamed to say that in the booming economy, I didn’t pay much attention to the acquisitions. It was always for a big occasion– Christmas, Birthday, Real Housewives of New York season premiere, and I felt that it was always affordable.

It took the economic shall we say apocalypse to make me put the brakes on.

Because I think that having the newest gadget is just too much. It creates expectation and becomes less of a WOW! than Yes, just put it over there, and peel me a grape.

And that just doesn’t work for me. And it shouldn’t work for anyone.

My son knows that he’s not getting the Xbox.

And I think he’s suspecting that I’m taking parenting back.

One year ago ...

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

marathonmom December 16, 2010 at 11:32 am

I agree. I say no because I am so sick of my kids monopolizing the tv with their Suite Lives. And my husband hogging the other one with all the cooking shows, like he is gonna get rid of the kids one night and make me a nice candlelit meal in my own damn house.

I am with you. TV’s are for watching Lifetime Movies and Real Housewives. Because we all need some Betty Broderick and NeNe in our lives.

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Kia December 17, 2010 at 10:51 am

Don’t even know you, but I love you!

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Megan
Twitter:
December 16, 2010 at 11:32 am

Amen. My husband wanted to buy our son the Kinnect, but it’s far too expensive considering he too has an old Xbox, a Wii, two DSs and my husband’s old PSP. Far too many electronics. The child requested an iPod Touch (he has a perfectly functional Nano – the video kind) and only wants the Touch to play games on. Um, no.

Last year’s WOW gift was a Flip, which, thankfully, I won and didn’t have to pay for. Because he rarely uses it anymore. Wow just doesn’t go as far as it used to. I’d like to take it back.

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Cathy December 16, 2010 at 11:38 am

I couldn’t agree more! My kids have so MANY gadgets, I seriously lose track of them. My husband thought the kids NEEDED a Kinect this year for Christmas, but not happening. I mean I love the excited looks on their faces, but teaching them it can be achieved with something less expensive is important to me. I mean, crap, I get excited over a new pair of cozy socks. 😉

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Kristine
Twitter:
December 16, 2010 at 11:49 am

My husband has to keep me in check with this stuff, because I find myself wanting to get them WOW shit all the time. In the end, my mother usually gets the stuff, and then we just look like assholes.

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PsychMamma December 16, 2010 at 11:54 am

Amen, sister. Stick to your parental guns. I’ll back you up.

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kakaty
Twitter:
December 16, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Oh, man do I ever agree. I KNOW we are the stingy parents and my oldest is only 4. But when visiting other houses I can see that M has far, far less then other kids. For Christmas we limit it to 5-6 gifts. One Wow! gift (this year – Disney on Ice tix which I got for free), 2 gifts from us and 2-3 small gifts (think books, pajamas) from “santa”. We were thinking of getting her a Leapster game thing, but then the tickets fell into my lap so we’ll save the Leapster for her birthday.

Compare this to my coworker and his 7 year old son. Right now he’s purchased 27(!) gifts and he just left to get 2 more over his lunch break. And this is big stuff like drum sets and a DSi. That’s more then even the entire Duggar family needs under the tree.

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the mama bird diaries
Twitter:
December 16, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I hate the excess of the holidays and I struggle with it every year. Way to have a backbone.

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Vicki
Twitter:
December 16, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I remember back in the ole’ days when our family had not yet climbed out of immigration-induced poverty and it was around the holidays and I had come down with chicken pox, I really, really wanted a Barbie. A lot. But we could never afford the Barbie, obviously. Yet, somehow, my dad, feeling sorry for me, managed to walk (since we were virtually carless) through nippy temperatures and increasing flurries to buy me a Dollar Store type Barbie for, like $7, and I played and played and played with her until her hair fell off. Another time, he salvaged an old toaster from a garbage dump and wanted to make a dollhouse out of it for me until my mom thought it would be unwise to combine 6-year-olds and potential malfunctioning electrical sources.

I feel very sorry that my parents had to go through so much at an age that I am steadily approaching and couldn’t imagine immigration, in order to plant me on solid ground in America, but I really treasure these memories I have of our early years in the US because it gives me a solid understanding of what people can really survive on and what people cherish and how spoiled the imaginary kids I don’t have yet are going to be and how, every time they ask for something, I’ll make my dad tell them this story (and then probably buy them whatever they want.)

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Sumana December 16, 2010 at 4:17 pm

@ Vicki : Your parents you mentoined in our house of 4 is me and my husband trying to settle our 2 little boys in the solid ground of this country . It’s hard really very hard . During holidays when other kids say they got this and that from their grandparents and aunts and uncles my kids gets things only from us and boy we can’t afford that many at all !
Trust me your parents gave you a much better gift, by settling here, than all those super store craps !

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Marinka December 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm

I remember those fresh from Old Country semi-poverty stricken times too. Although my papa never tried to kill me with an old toaster.

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Sumana December 16, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Oh my ! This is the reason I read your blog , you really put a smile on my face with your comment, I was really starting to feel depressed thinking about presents for kids !

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Augmented Gem December 16, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Good for you! It may hurt a little now, but he will grow up and be better for it – trust me. Besides, it’s not like he won’t get to play it at his friends houses 😉

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gdot December 16, 2010 at 1:51 pm

get him a goat….

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Awesome dude December 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Taking taking the parenting back is always good.

And the money is very hard to get now days.

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hokgardner
Twitter:
December 16, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Our kids are getting a kinect for Christmas. In our defense, our kids have never actually asked for one. My husband and I just decided that it would be a good family gift. We also don’t have any other gaming systems in the house – no Wii, DS, Nintendo, whatever. The kids will be thrilled.

And Christmas around here has never meant piles of gifts. The kids don’t know that Santa is supposed to bring tons of loot, so they are never disappointed with the number of presents they get. I like it that way.

But we are absolutely, positively not getting them the puppy that all four asked for.

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Marinka December 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm

I really don’t want people to feel like they need to defend their decision to get a Kinect or anything else for Christmas. Every family is different and different things work for us all.

Hey, how about you take the kids just to LOOK at puppies. Maybe they won’t even like them!

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hokgardner
Twitter:
December 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Yeah, that’ll work.

My across the street neighbors got a puppy a month ago, and it’s all I’ve heard about since. Campbell keeps saying he wants a baby puppy like Duncan.

It’s.not.going.to.happen.

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kalisa
Twitter:
December 16, 2010 at 3:48 pm

My son (an only child) is 17. I wish I’d made more of these decisions when he was younger.

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Marinka December 16, 2010 at 5:27 pm

If we’re going to be sister wives (Twitter joke, everyone. If you’re not following me and @kalisah, you’re really missing out!) you’ll have to provide more details!

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kalisa
Twitter:
December 17, 2010 at 7:24 pm

I gave my kid everything he ever wanted. Still do. It’s fucking ridiculous. I’m afraid I’ve done him a disservice. I need you to be the strict sister wife and I’ll be the lenient one.

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Bekah December 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm

When I have kids will you be my backbone?

I grew up not celebrating Christmas (looooong story there) and while I do now because of my fiance, I do the bare minimum. He gets one present, I get one present and his mother gets one present. Hopefully I can continue to make sure that the holidays don’t become a materialistic free-for-all when we have kids.

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Alexandria
Twitter:
December 16, 2010 at 4:22 pm

i agree that kids now a days have an abundance of things. but i am that parent that wants to get my son a “WOW” gift every year for christmas or birthday. and if not necessarily an expensive WOW gift then just something different & special.

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Issa
Twitter:
December 16, 2010 at 4:56 pm

I want to say, my kids are literally getting three gifts each from me this year. Small ones. Nothing major at all.

It was even true until about 10 days ago when my mom bought them something major, electronic and expensive. She bought it for me to give to them. It’s that WOW gift. I wanted to say no and then….I don’t know, it will make them happy and her happy and yeah.

It’s not an every year thing though. I won’t let it be. I do tend to do bigger things for major holidays though. Eh, I don’t know. I think there is nothing wrong with it at times, but expecting it to happen, I’m not that cool with.

Why is it that I never make sense in your comments? Sorry friend. You know that I tend to make sense in person. shrug

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Lady Jennie December 16, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Bravo. I don’t think they should get every latest thing either. Although I still want them to have their heart’s desires. It’s tricky now, but nothing compared to when they’re tweens/teens.

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meadowlark December 16, 2010 at 5:55 pm

4 gifts per child, 4 categories: Want It, Need It, Wear It, Read It.

If they’re getting more than that, I might suggest you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.*

*note: I get my first grandchild in February 2011. I might have to revamp this. 😉 But it was good enough for my children. Just maybe not grandbabies!

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Marinka December 16, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Love this response. Love it.

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Catootes
Twitter:
December 16, 2010 at 8:54 pm

I LOVE THIS.

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE

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Christy @ cat fur to make kitten britches December 16, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Perfect. I’m hereby officially adopting this philosophy! It simplifies everything. Thanks for sharing.

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Kimberly December 17, 2010 at 2:46 am

Wow…wish I’d thought of that list: Want it, Need it, Wear it, Read it….

Do you think it’s too late to start? They’re 14 and 11! I think I’ll implement it next holiday. Very smart!

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kalisa
Twitter:
December 17, 2010 at 7:24 pm

That is BRILLIANT.

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meadowlark December 17, 2010 at 7:43 pm

for the record, it’s not original. http://silhouettemachine.blogspot.com/2010/12/new-software-update-monday-tutorial.html At the end of the post she has some adorable tags for each “category”. Happy Holidays to all.

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JustMom420zaks
Twitter:
December 16, 2010 at 6:04 pm

All I have to say is, “wow”
And yet another “wow” for the friend of the commenter whose kid is getting 27 gifts.
I really respect you for sticking to your guns. It’s not always easy to do.
And yes, looking at puppies=bad idea.

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Christy @ cat fur to make kitten britches December 16, 2010 at 7:11 pm

While my son (who’s 9) would no doubt LOVE a Kinect, he is not getting one. But don’t feel sorry for him. He will get plenty of other ‘stuff.’

I think it’s a hard thing, navigating this tricky Xmas business — especially when you, personally, have come from one set of circumstances, and your kids are from another. I grew up quite poor, and often, it’s hard for me to believe that my kids have so much available to them – not just material things, but opportunities as well. Also, though they don’t know it yet, they already have the best thing of all: freedom from worry.

On the other hand, I struggle with this, because sometimes, I think there is much value in hardship and struggle, and I often worry that my kids have it “too easy.” Is their lifestyle making them soft?? Will they have the same kind of drive and determination that I did, because I knew I had nothing else to rely on?

Anyway — long story short: good for you for standing your ground. I do that often (my kids are definitely more ‘deprived’ than their friends), though perhaps not often enough. Sometimes I think the WOW factor at Xmas is more for the parents than the kids anyway, and your post was just the reminder I needed about this. (sorry for rambling!)

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Bonnie B. December 16, 2010 at 9:02 pm

My 13 year old wants the same Kinect thingie, but she KNOWS that’s not happening. The craziest thing I heard this holiday season was a woman who wanted to give her 7 and 9 year old sons iPhones for Christmas. Oh. My. God. My daughter also is dying for a cell phone, so if anyone tells her about those little kids getting iPhones, I’m going to have to come kill you. ( Merry Christmas!! LOL!!)

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Peajaye
Twitter:
December 16, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Hey, you’re from the former Soviet Republic – so you’ll love this… So you know the Kinnect cameras can recognize objects in your living room – right? So there’s this concern that when they see the Diet Coke can sitting on your coffee table, they will eventually be able to send you advertisements for diet programs or maybe even tell your health insurance provider to raise your rates. Or in some cases, maybe even send a homosexual interior designer over to redecorate. Scary stuff.

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JulieBouf December 16, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Damn, now I feel really bad for going ahead and buying that dollhouse. (Not the Kinect, that was really for us…)

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alexandra
Twitter:
December 17, 2010 at 1:58 am

This is how we live, and it can be hard. But, we’ve noticed they’re happier getting less.

It’s too ADD to get everything you want, scattered all over the place. With 3 boys, they are happiest getting something they really like, and then only having that.

I see the peace in them.

And I see the craziness in other homes where kids get mountains of presents and they don’t know what to play with first…it’s very agitating.

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CSY December 17, 2010 at 10:38 am

We’ve got electronics out the ying yang! THIS year, NO electronics! I’m NOT getting the Kinnect until it goes on sale or is at LEAST 6 months old. That’s how the spawn get electronics they want…mom waits for the ‘fever’ to die down. But the Kinnect is for me – I’m hoping it’ll help me get up off my lazy hiney – I doubt it will – but a girl can dream, right?!?!

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elizabeth-flourish in progress
Twitter:
December 17, 2010 at 10:51 am

Wait, does this apply to husbands too? What if they want an XBox? Am I allowed to crack the whip on that one? Make him sit in a corner if he whines about it?

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Miss Britt
Twitter:
December 17, 2010 at 12:06 pm

How is this for crazy:

Nintendo gave me a Wii that I’m supposed to take to a holiday party and then leave behind as a surprise gift. Awesome, right?

We don’t seem to know a single freaking person who doesn’t already have a Wii.

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PsychMamma December 17, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Ummm….

We don’t have a Wii.

Just sayin’

=)

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meadowlark December 17, 2010 at 12:08 pm

@MissBritt – I’ll send you my address and you can surprise me. Our most up-to-date electronic is a SuperNintendo. Sad, huh!

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Mwa (Lost in Translation) December 17, 2010 at 4:44 pm

We considered it briefly, and then calculated what that would mean for three kids times 21 years. So no. And then there’s college. Luckily he wants Beyblades even more badly. WIN!

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Phoenix Rising
Twitter:
December 17, 2010 at 5:30 pm

In the booming economy my kids got something like 417 gifts each for Christmas. Now the economy sucks and I’d rather pay for heat. I needed a way to let them know they’d be having a scaled down Christmas. So I told them Jesus only got three gifts for his birth and his birth is exactly what prompted the holiday to begin with, and what makes them think they’re better than Jesus that they should get more than three gifts? They pitched a fit but only until I explained frankincense and myrrh were herbs and if they didn’t watch it they’d be opening up basil and dill weed come Christmas morn.

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Peajaye
Twitter:
December 17, 2010 at 7:25 pm

I just read that a porn company’s producing an interactive product for the Kinnect, so you might want to rethink your veto and keep it in Mommy’s room.

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MommyNamedApril
Twitter:
December 17, 2010 at 7:30 pm

good for you. it’s so easy to get swept up in the fun and fervor of giving your children their every desire. i know i’ve been guilty of it too.

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The Flying Chalupa
Twitter:
December 17, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Do you see that? It’s me standing and giving you a standing ovation. Way to hold your ground. Yeah, the shitty economy is a good reason. But another good reason? I freakin’ hate it when kids are addicted to video games (which is all kids, right?). How to avoid the infiltration of the TECH? How can I never get my son a smart phone, iPad, iPod, Wii, blahblahblah? I don’t know. He’s only two.

I wish Melissa & Doug made wooden Nintendo systems. It would seem so much more…quaint.

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Laura December 18, 2010 at 11:54 pm

I loved reading this (I love your site when it is the standard ‘funny story’, but I think I like it even more when you are serious). My kids are young, 6 and 2, so it hasn’t hit too hard yet, but my 6 year old did come home saying santa was going to bring him a ds. I quickly let him know that Santa knew he already had an x-box and that he wouldn’t be bringing him another video gaming system (I refuse to let the handheld video stuff start quite yet). He accepted it after pouting for a few minutes (I don’t think it was that big of a deal to him, rather his friends were all talking about it at school as something THEY were asking for). Anyway, he is getting one game for the x-box ($40 – OMG) and I told him that would probably be his BIG gift from Santa since is is pretty expensive. That and a ‘spy kit’, which I much prefer because it is an active thing…

Laura

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