S/P/T Day 21, and one crestfallen six year old


Today’s theme is ‘dark’. I’ll admit, I cheated with this one. This is a re-edited version of a picture on my 365project. We were running a little late this morning so it wasn’t as dark as I would have liked.

My heart, however, is dark and heavy. Ellis announced to Granny last night that Father Christmas is bringing him a Nintendo 3DS XL.  At £195.00 a pop, Father Christmas is doing no such thing. Even if Ellis hadn’t waited until four days before Christmas before dropping this particular bombshell, he would not be getting one. That’s practically the budget for both children for all their presents.

He was devastated when we told him he absolutely, definitely, most certainly would not be getting this overpriced piece of plastic. I couldn’t bear to look at him, his face looked as though I had just asked him to drown a sack of kittens.

Of course, I did what parents do. I mentally beat myself up about it. I spent last night trying to explain to him that mummy and daddy do have to send Father Christmas money to pay for all the toys he makes, and that we just can’t afford that much – especially as it wouldn’t be fair if he got one and Fin didn’t; and wouldn’t it be much more fun to have lots of little things rather than one big, expensive thing; and that Father Christmas thinks he only wants one because Calum is getting one, and Father Christmas says they are a bit rubbish anyway, really, and nowhere near as good as the Playstation2.

I tortured myself last night remembering how his lovely little face fell in crestfallen disappointment. There was no tantrum, no stropping off. Just a little six year old boy being sad, and rather brave, really, considering mummy had just pee’d all over his festive parade.

The rational, sensible, side of me tells me that no, he will have forgotten all about it by Christmas day, especially when he sees his bike. The same rational, sensible side of me also tells me that children do need to understand that they can’t get everything they want, and that life is full of disappointments and that Christmas, like life, is not just about material things.

We’re going to watch the Wartime Farm Christmas Special later on, on iPlayer. Perhaps seeing the kind of gifts that children received – and were grateful for – in 1944 will help him to realise that what he already has, and what he will receive, is far more than many children could ever dream of.



7 thoughts on “S/P/T Day 21, and one crestfallen six year old

  1. bethduckie says:

    I know how you feel- Alex came home SO excited about that school skiing trip recently… and was lovely about it when I had to say we simply don’t have a spare thousand pounds (!!) for skiing. But I still felt like Bad Mother Of The Year had been tattooed across my forehead.

    • Awful feeling, isn’t it? But, in the long run, I guess we are doing the right thing. I actually feel rather sorry for children who get everything they ask for – they are going to get hell of a bump when they have to face reality as adults.

  2. Heather says:

    aw darling…. I can tell you with absolute certainty that Ellis will LOVE his bike on Xmas day… get on youtube and just so happen to see some big kids doing AMAZING bike stunts. Check out some of the videos people have taken on their bikes at Glen Tress. Review the Olympic BMX finals. Shift his focus to the utter coolness of biking and inject the idea with subtle but total awe and positivity. Kids can’t resist a hero. So give him one atop a bike. In this day and age of obesity it is BRILLIANT that kids are still getting bikes/skateboards/roller blades/trampolines etc. for Xmas. I’m hoping to talk the in-laws into getting the sprogs a decent basketball hoop stand to share for their birthdays this yr. Computers etc. are a fantastic rainy day standby, but for chrissake, they shouldn’t be the main event IMO (although I can see the case for the Wii which has families jumping around like happy maniacs all over the country and is bloody good for a bit of aggressive venting when you need to faux box your husband’s Mii into next week).

    I have been racking my brain for you, trying to remember what it was that one of the kids wanted one yr that was just totally out of our budget. I fretted about it as you are now. But we also just said no from the critical moment and moved on. I do remember being dumbfounded on Xmas day that the coveted thing was so entirely forgotten by the small, with not even a hint of a backward glance. The fact that I can’t remember what this item was at this point in proceedings is testatment to the fact that it was (a) not that important (b) also swiftly forgotten by child and (c) superceeded by all the things we could afford and which were appreciated – by us and the kids.

    I’m sure Ellis will have his DS at some point. And in the meantime he’ll have his BRILLIANT bike and THAT is contributing to building a totally epic lifestyle that will payout over his lifetime, not just on the 25th of Dec. 2012.

    And, as if all of that wasn’t compelling enough evidence from which to gain total fret-release from, there is also a gathering tsunami of research and support for a completely screen free childhood based on the emerging trends observed in modern day adults who spent what we’d probably consider to be moderate amounts of time in front of screens as kids. Now I am not about to ban the kids from screens or to feel guilty about not knowing something we couldn’t have known but can benefit from now. Rather, what I’ve read in this area serves to help me make choices when I’m swithering about being active as a family – good statistical evidence about how to turn the kids into happy adults gets me off my butt and helps me balance the fact that we come home and watch TV later! All things in moderation and all that.


  3. You are *totally* doing the right thing, never fear for all the reasons pointed out. We read the Little House on the Prairie books to ours – they were so delighted with a rag doll and a piece of candy. It’s depressing how acquisitive we’ve all become.

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