Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Buying Happiness?

I need some opinions here. So Maya's big birthday party is coming up in a couple weeks. And since it's going to be a pretty big deal (at least in one three year olds eyes) and Maya will get lots of attention and presents, what is your opinion on giving Mateo a small present so he doesn't feel left out? Normally, I would say no way. This creates a spoiled child who feels entitled to a present at everyone's birthday. But now that it's my kid, and I'm going to have to keep telling him "no" to all the presents Maya gets, I think I might get him a little something to open while Maya is opening her presents. Maybe when he's older he can be expected to enjoy the process of his little sister opening her gifts, but he's only 3 years old. I think that's asking too much. So, what do you think? Present or no present at Maya's birthday party?

Speaking of consumerism....I'm going to be honest about something, a flaw I suppose, so don't slam me for this. I have a confession. I attempt to buy Mateo's happiness. Before you get all soap-boxy in my comments, let me explain. Number one: I grew up poor. My mom had to say "no" to a lot of things that I really wanted. I may be making up for that. I see Mateo begging for something at the store and the little me inside is begging too. Number two: I sometimes feel so bad that life is hard for Mateo that buying him that one toy to make him happy doesn't seem like such a big deal. Yes, I know the feeling is only temporary! And I know that it's superficial! And I know he should find his happiness in God, or himself, or his family, or whatever! But I feel so helpless sometimes because I don't know how to help him. I can't fix his hurts. I just want him to have some happy, joyful memories of his childhood. This is one thing I know how to do to bring a smile to his face. Is that so wrong? (If you answered "yes", don't tell me)

So, that is why we accumulate so much junk around here. But, on a positive note, after the cheap thrill of a new toy is over, I take it away and donate it. So, children out there somewhere are benefiting from my weakness.

5 comments:

Devan said...

My family, including extended, does the thing of buying siblings a little something when it's their brother or sister's birthday, just because it's hard for a little kid to see all those presents and not get to enjoy any of them. It allows them to celebrate with their sibling rather than be angry at them. I vote yes on the present for Mateo. And I don't think you are horrible for "buying" Mateo's moment of happiness. I think it's pretty honest of you and frankly you rotate the toys so you need new ones for him to be interested in.

Angie said...

I say yes to the present for Mateo! i think you are doing nothing wrong!! He will only be little for a while!!

JonesEthiopia said...

Two things: 1. My grandparents always brought my brother and me something on the other's birthday when we were little. (He's 14 months younger than me.) I don't think it is a big deal if you do, and if it makes the day easier, then do it.

2. Does "Host" REALLY get better after the first few chapters??? I bought it to read after I finished Twilight and couldn't get into it. Maybe I was missing Edward too much...

Joe @ IrrationalDad said...

Oh, that's an iffy one. I wouldn't give a present to Tyler if it was his sibling's birthday. But, Tyler doesn't have the issues that you're dealing with in Mateo. Tough call for me.

As far as buying happiness, you definitely need to be careful because kids are disturbingly perceptive. I don't dare tell a person how to parent, so if that works for you and you aren't harming your kids, more power to ya.

Heather said...

I think giving mateo a toy on maya's b-day is a fine idea.... maybe tell hime it's a present for being such a good boy lately, or for something positive he did so he doesn't associate the gift with her birthday (if you're worried about him expecting toys everyone's birthday)