Sunday, September 2, 2012

Our Most Expensive Child: Can You Guess?

I think most people would agree that children can be expensive. But lately I have realized that some children are much more expensive than others. In fact, we have one child who is proving to be very pricey compared with our other two.

It's not Ben with his never-ending quest for Lego sets.  I find it pretty easy to say "Let's wait for Christmas or your birthday" when it comes to big, expensive boxes of Lego.  Ben saves his money in a piggy bank, doesn't care about clothes, has no desire to enroll in any extra-curricular activities, and would eat nothing but macaroni and cheese if he had a choice.  Ben is--without a doubt--our least expensive child.

And while it's true that Alaina loves her babies, enjoys dress-up, and wants every sugary treat she sees at the store--the real financial drain from her comes from the fact that her sippy cup of cranberry juice must remain full at all times.  This is a relatively affordable indulgence, though, and since Alaina is pretty content playing with Janae's toys, wearing Janae's clothes, and following along with Janae's ideas--at least for now--she is really not that expensive.

That brings us to Janae.  I'm sure you have guessed by now (if not before you even read a word of this post) that Janae is BY FAR our most expensive child. 

As soon as Janae gets a toy, doll, dress, pair of shoes, hair accessory, or almost any other item, she wants ANOTHER ONE.  A newer one, a bigger one, a sparklier one, a better one.

Being the thrifty, no-nonsense type of mother that I am, though, I have to wonder how it's happened that I have so often given in to Janae's excessive materialistic desires.

I have come up with a few reasons:

We have all heard that a constant drip can wear away a stone.  And we've all heard children ask over and over again for the same thing, only to have us finally give in, despite our best intentions.  This is why Janae now has a Merida costume hanging in the closet--she's promised not to wear it until Halloween, but I have already caught her in it at least three times (and we only got it three days ago!).  And we are currently on the Disney Store's waiting list for the matching hair.

It is also why she now has this flashy gymnastics bodysuit.

Ben took gymnastics for a few months last year and was more than happy to just wear shorts and a T-shirt (his school uniform ones, at that!).  Janae doesn't like to wear shorts--only skirts--but she does have a couple of ballet leotards that I thought might work for gymnastics.  Yeah, right.  Janae doesn't start her gymnastics class until NEXT Wednesday, but we'd heard about the need for a proper suit so often, I'd already given in by the end of last week. Yes, constant dripping can wear away a stone.

Janae also has the unique ability to take a situation that seems pretty commonplace to everyone else and make it appear to be a matter of life and death.  This brings me to another recent purchase.

We were at the zoo a few days ago, when it clouded over and started to rain lightly.  All of us were dressed for a summer day in short sleeves and skirts or shorts.  Ben and Janae actually had helmets on as well, since they were riding their bikes around the zoo.  While the rest of us carried on, making the best of the situation, Janae carried on as if she were, in fact, dying.  Not wanting to leave (it was only noon), I made the financially fatal suggestion that we take cover in the zoo gift shop.

I should have known we wouldn't be leaving without this:

And finally there is the fact that most of the things Janae wants are so cute--and the awareness that she won't be little for very long--
that make me break down and buy things that I would have scoffed at before I became Janae's mother.  So whether it is a set of fairy princess pillows (unnecessary but very sweet!)

or over-priced made-from-bamboo clothing (so soft!),

I just can't say no all the time. 

And look at that happy face :)

Luckily we do have Alaina to pass it all down to (and hopefully she will continue not to mind!). 

But now that I am aware of what is happening, I can plan better (i.e. , have a sweatshirt in the car), and be strong when it really counts (i.e., I'm going to keep saying no to another hamster, no matter how many times Janae asks). 
And maybe we can even things out a little.

Then again, this is Janae we're talking about. . . .


Anita said...

Let's hope she marries well...or becomes a doctor:) Is that her bamboo skirt?! Also, I spotted your outdoor furniture--so cute!! I think we need a trip back up there just to see all your (and Janae's) new stuff:)

Lisa said...

Anita--the bamboo is in something else she's wearing . . . the skirt is what we ordered to get the total high enough for free shipping :)

mom said...

I guess there needs to be some compensation for being the middle child. She does have a very cute smile though, the kind that you can't refuse !!