Monday, September 19, 2011
Grab your backpack... let's spend!
What's the collective noun for a group of over-excited, be-ribboned and ever-so-slightly psychotic 3 year old girls in party dresses?
At least that's how I shall now refer to them. ( as in, "We went to a playcentre on the weekend, you should have seen the absolute Dora of kids there.")
Yes, we braved the concert circuit for the first time, going to see "Dora the Explorer LIVE!" at a local arts centre.
Having been forewarned of the aggressive marketing of 'goodies' at these events by a mum who came home $100 out of pocket from the Wiggles, I went in with a strategy firmly in place.
"Don't ask mummy for any treats," I said to the immensely excited Little Red in the backseat as we parked. "Or balloons," I hastily added as I saw another little chap emerge from the centre with one. "If you're a good girl, we'll get an ice-cream after the show." "Okay mummy," she promised.
Immensely satisfied with myself, we paraded in the doors. What a paragon of forward-parenting I was!! Only to discover there were actually no lollies on offer, and much more than just balloons.
There were DORA SHOWBAGS. $30 each. And every kid... I joke not, was clutching one. The pleading began immediately.
"Mummy, I want like the girl has," my pouting princess cried. "I really really want. Pwwwwesssee. PWeeeese mummy!" I hadn't veoted bags. Only treats and balloons. Loop-hole! Dammit.
"No darling, it's too much moneys." (30 bucks for a few pencils and stickers in a plastic carry bag? Are you freaking kidding me?) . "Remember, we're going to get an icecream afterwards?" But everything I said fell on deaf ears.
There were still a good 20 minutes until the show started and piggytailed toddlers everywhere were "exploring" their goodie bags with glee; Princess peer pressure at it's finest (and don't those merchandisers know it).
Little Red's tantrum built to a epic-proportion crescendo, the type which even polite parents have to stare at. Mummy wasn't budging though. I won't get sucked into this marketing hype! I'm too savvy for that. Ridiculous!
Then she pulls out the big guns. Dropping her adorable little lip, she sits down on her bottom in the middle of the floor, party frock all askew showing her undies, droops her head dejectedly and says in a small voice, "I don't want to go to see Dora any more."
Hear that? That's the sound of my heart breaking into a million tiny pieces, and my will simultaneously with it. FUCK. I can't spoil her day over a stupid $30. I bought the damn bag: angels sang, and the sun lit up and shone once more.
In the words of Swiper the fox... "Oh, Man".
Funnily enough, that showbag has actually been worth it's money, with every cheap plastic object pored over a million times since the show.
Sometimes this parenting thing is crazy hard. How hard is it to know when something is really, really important to them, when hundreds of really, really important things are asked for every day, refused and forgotten about moments later? Sometimes their important things are not your important things. Sometimes their important things come in packages you least expect - plastic, disposable ones.
This, apparently was one of the important things... and I thank my lucky stars I did buy it, because we ended up having a super day. A memory-making day.
When have you given in to The Drop Lip? Do you think I did the right thing?