And I am the world’s worst spoiler.
Well, in some ways. I get them glasses of milk at dinner time. I drive them places my mom would have expected me to walk to. I give them money to walk down to Sonic for a shake pretty much whenever they want to. I buy them too much.
But they don’t get a car the day they turn sixteen. Are you kidding? Some of the kids at my daughter’s high school actually get brand-new Mustangs and Camaros for their sweet sixteen. I remember the first year I got my license. I hit a car so hard, when I turned to look over my shoulder at the other car, I was horrified to see it on its roof, wheels lazily spinning. Two guys crawled out the windows, a young man and an old man, who was carrying a small suitcase. I eventually asked him where he was going, and he was on his way to the hospital — to have heart surgery.
This is why first-time drivers don’t get nice cars.
I know of a kid who wreaked four cars in three years. Gosh, at some point, don’t you think, “This just isn’t working”?
Then there’s the clothes. My daughter wanted these crazy $100 jeans with enough rhinestones on the butt to blind anyone looking at it. (Actually, not a bad idea, from a parent’s standpoint. On the other hand, why do women put words on their chests and butts and then complain when men stare at them? You gave him something to read, for goodness sake!)
I will pay up to $30 for a pair of jeans, and I prefer it to stay in the $20 range. So my kids know, if they want $100 jeans, they get a job, because I will not do it on general principle. I don’t care how pretty they are; I just don’t like getting screwed.
And why is it that the smaller the shorts or top, the more it costs? Sorry, kids, I’m buying you a tent. You can cut it down to fit.
I’m also pretty nutty about food. I don’t buy soda. It’s too expensive and bad for teeth. They drink Cool-Aid, or they–altogether, now–get a job and buy it themselves.
I do, however, buy books. All the books they can read. You have to have your priorities straight, right?