by REBECCA SPARROW
I just spent three hours trying to track down a 12 inch plush Peppa Pig doll.
My four year old – all of a sudden – has decided that Santa is absolutely definitely bringing one to her on Christmas Eve and like one of Naomi Campbell’s terrified personal assistants I have spent the past three hours ringing every single store I can find to get one.
Seriously. Bring me all the wine. RIGHT NOW.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, alright. My credit card has started to weep when it sees me coming.
You know, I’ve watched A Very Brady Christmas, I KNOW that Christmas is not about the presents … but every time I enter any type of shop at the moment (The supermarket! The chemist! Australia Post!) I keep finding new things to buy my four-year-old.
Because you see that Tinkerbell-Soap-On-A-Rope thingy is going to make her soooo happy. For thirty seconds. Until she opens the next present and completely forgets about it. BECAUSE SHE’S FOUR.
It’s as though I’ve decided that my parenting report card hinges on how Christmas Day goes down. WHICH IS INSANE, I KNOW. And yet, here I am, Tinkerbell Soap-On-A-Roping my way into major credit card debt.
Or I was. Past tense. Because 15 minutes ago, Ava gave me a reality check.
I asked her what she’d like to do in January (when mummy is having a nervous breakdown under the dining room table). Did she want me to take her to a waterslide park? To the zoo to see the pandas? How about a movie with popcorn?
And she grabbed my hand (I know, it was like some kind of Hallmark moment) and she said, “I really, really, really want to make choc-chip biccies with you”.
And that’s when I got it.
It was her ‘ice-cream soda’ moment.
When I think back to my own favourite childhood moments, I have a few. Sitting on my parents’ bed while dad made up stories about the Purple People Eater. Singing Wild Cat Kelly in the car with him on the way to tennis. Sitting with my mum on the rumpus room floor making peg dolls with her one day when I was home sick from school. That was also the day she taught me how to play hopscotch. Sitting at the kitchen bench on Saturday afternoons while we made ice-cream sodas together.
Notice how none of those memories featured expensive toys involving loads of AAA batteries?
At the risk of ending this post like A Very Special Episode of Seventh Heaven … it’s a reminder that our fondest childhood memories are rarely of expensive overseas holidays or toys. Our own favourite memories so often are of spending time with our parents. With the people who loved us. Why would our own kids be any different?
I hope you’re listening, Peppa Pig.
What is your favourite childhood memory? Are you feeling under pressure to buy the kids in your life expensive gifts?