I’ve never had a problem saying “No” to children. It’s easy. “NO”. Just like that. I was careful to choose my battles though. Didn’t care what they ate, read or wore , whether their rooms were tidy or whether or not homework had been done. Did care about them being kind, thoughtful and appreciative of their privileged existence.
So they knew at an early age that asking for anything was pretty pointless, and the surest way to not get something. This has backfired now they’re older, since any request from me or Himself for ideas for presents is usually met by the response that they don’t need anything especially, thanks. And Prodigal Son still recalls in acute embarrassment the engraved message on the back of his first iPod saying “Thanks for not asking”. It was a very uncool message, apparently.
And so we were both surprised and hilariously entertained on a long journey today when Middle Daughter began to reminisce about her childhood Winnie-the-Pooh obsession. In what became a bizarre materialistic real-life version of My Mother Went To Market, we assembled the following list of character merchandising we had been caught by. In our distinctly and avowedly non-materialistic household.
She never wore or carried it all at once. Just so you know.
Slippers (slip on and furry)
Home knitted jumper
Dressing up outfit (two)
Duvet cover and pillow
Books (including old editions)
Strawberry flavoured toothpaste
Concert performance (singing)