Charlie and I decided when we had kids that we would not give them the world. We did not want to create "premature affluence". We want them to do without sometimes, hoping to create some character. They do not have the latest or largest toys like a kitchen set or a red coupe car. We do not go out for to the latest show that comes to town like Disney on Ice or Yo Gabba Gabba Live. We don't buy them toys except for their birthday or Christmas. We rarely even go to the movies or museum. That is by design. At this point, they won't remember it and it hards to say whether they could set still and enjoy it. Those activities are expensive. We don't go out for girls manicures or pedicures. We want to make those experiences a treat, not an expectation.
Don't get me wrong. We do fun things. Simple things like monthly coffee dates with Mom or a Purdue Football game with Dad. Soon we want to take them to the high school games too. We go to Dairy Queen once a month. We go to parks a lot. We go to the Children's Museum once or twice a year and therefore, it is a big event and a treat to go. We'll go to the apple orchard in October and their grandparents will take them to the Pumpkin Patch and the Christmas parade. Somehow even without buying them many toys, we have a house filled to the brim with them. Last night, Laci and I went to family movie night at her school. That was a simple treat for us. And it was perfect because it was on lawn chairs in the gym. She doesn't sit still for 90 minutes very well yet so being able to be wiggly was perfect. We go to free concerts at the park in the summer.
Right now this decision is harder on me than the kids. They don't know what they are missing yet. I see people on Facebook with their daughters getting mani/pedis. I see them taking their children to the latest show that came to town. I wonder if we are short changing our kids because we aren't doing these things. Are they missing out? We go to big birthday parties at bounce houses and Chuck E Cheese. I actually told Laci she could have her party at Chuck E Cheese but we ultimately decided that we could have a more fun party at home. I can't wait to take Laci to see The Nutcracker. I look forward to the fun and simple things we can do with them as they get older and appreciate more. We will take them bowling, movies, putt putt, etc. But not every weekend. As the kids get older, it will be harder to say no to the latest gadget and gizmo. We won't always say no. They need treats, excitement and things to look forward to. But they also need to know that they can't have everything and they don't need everything. That lesson will last longer than the things they are missing.