"I want that toy!" Little Hoss says. She is pointing at the T.V. screen where previously was a delightful little episode of Jake and the Neverland Pirates. After the kids go to sleep it will be showing a very awful alien type movie but it's ok because there will be boobs. That makes it worthwhile.
The toy she is asking for is some sort of tinker bell thing. I'm not sure which one. As a father of a 5 year old girl, I am very well versed in the Tinker Bell line of take my money. I could write of at least 3,999 different tinker bell products that constantly battle to get into my wallet. It turns out that Tinker Bell is a capitalist pig.
"Sure baby." I tell my daughter. I have no intention of buying this for her.
The next commercial comes on. It's a racetrack. The kids already have a racetrack. They got it for Christmas. I am proud to say that it last a whole month before Little Hoss took a pair of scissors to the power cord. I keep debating to myself if I should rewire it or not. To do so would show how awesome dad is that he can fix anything. To not do so would show that you can't destroy your things and have them magically replaced. This is the debate I am having with myself before I realize that Little Hoss will probably take a sledge hammer to it next.
"Dad, can I have that toy!" my son asks. He has fallen right in line with his big sister.
"No problem son." I tell him. Again, I have no intention of buying this for them.
Again another Tinker Bell toy commercial comes in. But this time it's Tink AND her friends. They seem a joyous lot, full of piss and vinegar as my father would say.
"Dad.............." I tune out the rest and just give the automatic response. I've got a championship level game of Angry Birds going on my phone.
"Yup." She'll never get it.
This pattern will continue until the commercials are over and the pre-requested show comes on. I believe it is Bubble Guppies. I am beginning to hate them.
Here are a couple of truths for you. My kids watch way to much T.V. I will not deny it and I will not be one of those people that says "I'm so embarrassed" or try and distort the truth of the situation. They watch a good 23 hours of T.V. a day. The last hour is spent pooping and eating. In between there, I try to teach the children valuable life lessons.
Lesson 1: Always cave before a beat down of a fight that you will never, ever win. I learned this technique with Hossmom over many, many arguments about things that don't matter. Should I disagree with her about politics, what comes next is a 2 hour beatdown of a debate where I'm left shattered and crying in the corner sucking my thumb. Should I suggest perhaps a different parenting strategy I usually end up in a time-out myself. Hossmom loves to debate and I have found that my life is way easier if I just don't engage her. And this of course, just pisses her off more.
The next lesson I'm teaching my children of course is that materialism is good. You should covet everything that you see. And not only that, you should expect other people to give it to you rather than actually work for it yourself. Besides, what else are you going to sell when you have to declare bankruptcy because of your never ending spending? A Tinker Bell doll might get you five bucks. Restraint doesn't give you a pot to piss in. I think my children will be great adults.
I know though that there are a lot of parents out there that are screaming now "But you are lying to your children!" Gasp, shock, Gasp.
Get off your high horse my fellow parents. First off, my children already suspect that I am a baby bunny killer. This is about the worst thing a father can be. Being a liar would probably be a step up for me, a move in the right direction. At least this way I'm not cutting the heads off Snow White's dwarfs and woodland friends.
We all lie to our children, just as our parents did to us. There is a Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy exists, Mommy and Daddy were just wrestling. Should I go on? Ok, answer this question then: How much T.V do your children watch each day? Be honest, just try it.