Monday, 4 April 2011

Never thwart a child

Never thwart a child. That sounds like a dose of homespun nineteenth century wisdom from your wise and crumbly grandmother, doesn't it? Never thwart a child.

Well grandma was bloody well right. What she didn't say was the full version, and that is, Never thwart a child, because if you do, you stupid prat of a parent, you'll suffer twice and pay double, so give in now and cough up.

Take this example. A couple of years ago, we take Shark, Tiger and Squirrel to Ocean Park. I spend most of the day with my fingers over my eyes, but lift them only to persuade Tiger that she did not really want me to spend $59 for a cuddly jellyfish. I thought I had won.

What a fule I was. All I had done was manipulate Tiger's desire to my own convenience, for which end I temporarily did not spend $59.

A sensible course of action would have been to buy ten of the buggers right there and then, because I just had to pay a reentry ticket to go and settle the score. Of course she has harboured that secret need for a cuddly jellyfish for two years and, when she comes within sniffing distance, she's going to use her eyelashes, then I will think backwards and forwards of the gains and losses and immediately give in.

Shut up, shut up, shut up. I know defeat when it's staring me in face.

So this is what I've learned. Never thwart a child. When kids say they want something, they want it, right? There is no good trying to pretend they said the opposite, and no good pretending you are deaf, blind, busy, dead, or not related to them. The want merely comes back stronger and more resilient and bites you on the bum.

Learn from me. I am poorer and wiser. The benefit for you is that you don't have to call me grandma.

This is Ocean Park. Excrescence of plastic vomited against a mountainside.

More plastic.

What it's really all about. Retail outlets shifting product from Shenzhen
and keeping us economically busy producing and consuming yet more crap.

Ha ha ha! I locked them all in cages!

To be lifted up and spun round in this.
Of course I did not go with them! I may be broke but I'm not mad.

Yes, I admit the cable car was fun.

Brilliant views over Hong Kong, really.

And the jellyfish. I liked the jellyfish. Please don't mention the cuddly varieties.


MadameSmokinGun said...

I am still being reminded of the cuddly octopus for about £25 at the Natural History Museum last year that I refused to buy. Later that year at a local nature fair thing I was harried into negotiating a deal for a cuddly turtle - about 3 or 4 weeks of no pocket money I recall. Tortillus/Tautillus (Little Rock Godling can't yet write/spell so I have no idea) is now Cuddly Number One - but there is still an aching void in his heart for that lonely unloved pining-for-a-kind-cuddler furry octopus languishing in a cold dark retail pod..... suffering the injustices of poking kids and ridiculing parents...... It haunts me still.....

Yes I am crazy said...

"Excrescence of plastic vomited against a mountainside". What a wonderful phrase. :oD You have scared me though. I am big on you don't need x,y,z and mine are 8 and 4. Does this mean I have a ridiculously, large amount of bottom biting coming my way?!

Kestrel said...

I spent weeks, ultimately unsuccessfully, in search of a cuddly (but not electronic) anklyosaur. I have failed as a mother in being unable to produce one.

So I am richer than you but not in respect and awe, in that I am bereft and poverty stricken.

sharon said...

I was that cruel mean mother who gave her children a limited amount of pounds and made them chose within their budget on such excursions. They also had a limited amount of free pocket money which could be supplemented by 'jobs' that could be saved up and spent on anything said cruel mother disapproved of in the normal course of events. This course of action is possibly easier to stick to with boys ;-)

PS If you do make it to WA best stay away from the AQWA centre, it is amazingly expensive to get into and the shop is stuffed to the gills (sorry!) with mostly over-priced tat.

Gweipo said...

My standard line is "of course you can have one, just put it on your Birthday / Christmas list" (which ever is closer), and I know by then they'll have forgotten it. Fortunately mine don't have a 2 year memory for objects of desire! I also go into the conversation about "uselesstoys" it's become a noun on its own in our home these days.

But mine are smart. They know I'll almost never say no to a book, so that's what they'll usually ask for!

HelenHaricot said...

I have been there, as a teenager. just also some hugs for difficult non-choices as well x x

Grit said...

thank you for your comments, people. i am pressed for time right now. i have stuff to stare at and wonder how it got there. ... like, who bought all these useless toys? which idiot was me?