Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Raising kids in a material world

"We are living in a material world, and I am a material world."
— Madonna

Andie, the oldest of my 2-year-old twins by less than a minute, looked down at my feet yesterday.
"Ooh," she said. "Daddy got some new shoes?"
Andie, my 2-year-old, loves shoes. Loves them. Maybe not as much as The Wife, but that's probably because she doesn't have unlimited access to red heels. Yet. When Kate brought out the winter clothes bucket, most of it hand-me-downs from my brother's 4-year-old daughter, we discovered a black pair of shoes, and a brawl broke out between Andie and Allie. Kate let Andie have the shoes before the oldest twin grabbed a butcher knife and diced up her sister. She's worn them ever since, despite a sore on the side of her ankle from the rubbing. Love has a price.
I sighed. "No, these aren't new, I just haven't worn them in a while."
"I like," Andie said.
I know, sweetie. I know. 
That's not all. Andie has attachments. She loves silverware. She's carried around a knife for the last couple of days (not butcher, thank goodness). She pilfers Jayden's cars. She gets hooked on wacko toys she finds in her Happy Meals. 
I would say this is a chick thing - because, let's be honest, this is TOTALLY a chick thing - except it's kinda not. Jayden forms the same attachments. When freaks when his sisters have a toy of his, even if he hasn't played with it since he was born. When we buy him a new car, he carries it around for days, like a donated organ. He even — sigh — loves new shoes, especially if they feature anyone from "Cars," which, let's be honest, usually do.
I wonder if kids are born with the need to be material or if they develop it after getting a bunch of crap every year for their birthday and Christmas and occasional visits to Wal-Mart. It makes me worry a bit about what I'm instilling in our kids. I wish they could all be like Allie. 
Ah, sweet, sweet Allie, the younger of the two twins. Allie screeches when Andie takes her juice - that's just survival - but otherwise Allie always gives Andie a toy when Andie demands it. She watches out for Andie and will bring her stuff all the time to cherish. This is, of course, enabling, but it's also cute and sweet. Allie also loves shoes but was happy with the brown pair of clog-like sandals in the tub.
I don't know where the other two get it. My wife points out that I get pretty attached to a new pair of running shoes, but those are running shoes, they help me RUN, and that's, like, totally different.



StB said...

Now I see it. I am totally that way with beer.

The Wife said...

You know, the husband and I had a philosophical debate about shoes . . . do you have a shoe thing based on sheer number? Or dollars spent?

Prior to owning the Choos, his ratio of shoes to mine was about 1:5, but his price per shoe was about 5:1, based on the cost of expensive dress shoes and sports shoes.

Just saying . . .

If it wasn't shoes, and we were cavemen, it would be possessing rocks and sticks. We're human.