It hit me last year that my three kids were spoilt.
No, literally, it hit me. I opened our ‘board games/jigsaw/random electrical cords/Brad’s laptop from 2009 cupboard’ and BAM! The Charlie and Lola, Winnie the Pooh and The Very Hungry Caterpillar jigsaws crashed down onto my head in some kind of fit of jigsaw rage.
And I don’t blame them. That board-games cupboard is like some kind of retail sweat lodge. It’s cramped, man. There are, oh I don’t know, say 32,000 other jigsaws crammed in that death trap of a cupboard, five different Play Doh sets (Italian Restaurant! Ice cream Parlour! Dora! Something Something Shapes and Sea Creatures!). A craft box (don’t even ask). Ten board games. Twister. And a “Charades for Kids” set which is yet to be cracked open (possibly because I would rather eat a box of hair than play ‘charades with kids’).
And that’s just the cupboard.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by IGA. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in her own words.
My kids also have a rumpus room and bedrooms reminiscent of Veruca Salt. Every nook is crammed with stuff. Stuffed toys, barbies, dress ups, pretend cafes and pirate ships, building blocks, a fleet of cars, trucks, diggers and planes, a stable of My Little Ponies, Lego, Lego, Lego, So Much <insert expletive> Lego and one loathsome Furby that, frankl, sounds like Cartman from South Park and has the social skills of your Aunty Karen after ten wines on New Year’s Eve. FURBY DOES NOT STOP TALKING. EVER. EVERRRRRRRR.
The fact that most of the toys my kids have are hand-me-downs from friends or family is irrelevant. The simple truth is my kids – like most people’s kids – have too much stuff. Waaaaaaay too much stuff. Toys are cheap in 2014 and my kids are drowning in stuff.
And this worries me. A lot.
Because along with teaching my kids to be resilient and empathetic and to have integrity and to always understand that the Counting Crows’ August and Everything After is one of the best albums of all time – I want them to understand and appreciate how much they have and how little others survive on. I want them to realise they have a responsibility to give back. I want them to know that true success in life is to have been significant in your community. I want them to walk through their lives with a social conscience.
Which sounds awesome and noble and for some reason makes me want to start humming the opening music to Working Girl. But how do you do all that?