13 September 2010

purposeful disappointment

Nobody wants their child to be spoiled, but it isn't always an easy thing to do. I look around our house, filled to capacity of things we think we "need". I only buy toys for the kids for birthdays and Christmas, yet there always seems to be more than we can handle.

Annalia has been looking forward to her birthday for quite a while now. I guess she is finally old enough to understand that it is a day all about her, she gets things she wants, and of course, she gets to request whatever cake she wants.

She made it very clear that she wanted 3 things. A little sewing machine, a pink pillow pet, and a pink cake with blue butterflies. So simple, so little. Yet I didn't want to start a precedence that would eventually lead to extravagant birthdays with lots of expensive gifts. I prepared her for the idea that she MAY not get everything she asked for. Lucky me, she was eventually ok with it. She told me all she wanted was the little sewing machine and she would make her own pillow pet. (Can you tell she is my child?)

Now, I knew that a little sewing machine was not the most practical gift. She is a little to young to REALLY use it. But it was all she talked about, all she wanted. Did I "give in" to this one desire, or purposefully disappoint her that she won't always get whats she wants? Well, like so many other things, I let circumstances decide for me. I happened to be in Joann's without the girls and saw that the little tiny sewing machines were on clearance, and only 1 was left.

So I got it.

And I didn't get the pillow pet - but I am not sure that should count, because I did let the grandparents know that was what she wanted. And, come on, what grandparent is going to pass up the opportunity to get the prized gift?

And of course I was going to make her a special cake - that is just what I do.

Then, the day before her birthday, I get mega-sick. Could barely get up, was in no shape to make a pink cake with blue butterflies. The next morning I was feeling a little better, but not even close to good. She was disappointed, but didn't really understand that there was no way I was going to be able to make her cake. On the way to church, I have a great idea. I will swing through Dunkin Donuts and get her a donut with pink frosting. She is thrilled, and all seems to be well. Until I get to the window and realize that I left my wallet at home.

So much for worrying about getting her everything she wanted. It seems I was able to disappoint her without even trying. And of course I felt so bad. Who wants to make their beautiful 4-year-old cry on her birthday?

All in all, it was a great day, and she loved (almost) every moment of it. You should see the way her face lit up when she opened the sewing machine, and then the PINK pillow pet. That girl was in high heaven. And to top it off, I had Justin pick up a dozen donuts as her "cake", and you would have had no idea that just hours earlier she was crying over the loss of her pink cake with blue butterflies.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Very cool girlie! Awesome post and great video! So cool to enjoy these awesome moments! Hooray for turning 4!