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Monday, November 10, 2008

Pooh Palooza

Friday night Amanda and I took the girls to the Winnie The Pooh show. We’ve seen just about every kid show that has come to town via a perk of my sister’s job. It’s a very nice perk – in fact, without it, we would never go to any of that stuff because it’s insanely expensive. And by that I mean, it’s expensive for being expensive.

On top of the tickets, the show would be a Pooh palooza with tons of treats and toys to buy – all around $10 and up (emphasis on “and up”). Since we’ve done this before, I had prepped my kids in advance on the importance of having a “grateful heart” tonight, and that the “treat” here was getting to see the show.

Even with the freebie tickets we had, between parking and limiting my girls to ONE prize for the evening (they chose a snow cone in a cup that you got to keep), I still spent close to $50 bucks. As we settled in our seats, a lady sat down next to us who had two girls as well. She had bought three tickets (and these were not the cheap seats - $35 a pop), and then before the show had even started, each of her children had been treated to a snow cone, a cotton candy with a Pooh hat, a new plush Pooh Bear, a Tigger flashlight that twirled, and a program with color pages.

Now, we had just visited the souvenir stand, and so as I surveyed their loot, I couldn’t help but add it all up. She had spent $215 dollars on her girls… plus the cost of her ticket, and the concession stand drink she was sipping. And it didn’t stop there. The people on the other side of us had a little boy who was barely a year old, and didn’t even care about the show at all. In addition to their tickets, he was also treated to a flashlight, a program, and a bear, plus his grandma had bought them all dinner at the concession stand.

Tessa steadily admired her neighbor’s bear and twirling Tigger flashlight throughout the show. She asked for one twice, but I reminded her of the snow cone cup, and thankfully (and shockingly) she moved on. Grace was another story.

She thoroughly enjoyed her snow cone during the first act of the show, but she was lamenting her choice at intermission when the vendors came around with the cotton candy attached to the Pooh hats. Again, reminding her of the snow cone cup, I said no. Well... it just went downhill from there, and after an impressive fit that resulted in my having to temporarily remove her from our seats for a private “discussion”… she decided she would behave and enjoy the rest of the show – even without cotton candy.

Now, I’m not bitter towards those big spending parents… I mean, if you have $215 bucks to drop at the Pooh show… more power to you…. but I admit I was a little annoyed. I wasn’t sure why exactly… I mean, I didn’t think my girls were being deprived of anything. The show and a snow cone was plenty to be happy about and grateful for, and I’m sure there have been many times my kids had things when others didn’t.

But… something in me really wanted to look over at this woman and ask, “Seriously, toys, two treats, and a program? Give me a break! We’re in a recession for crying out loud and you just dropped my car payment on a bunch of crap that two days from now those kids probably won’t even be playing with.”

But... then again, I suppose it is easy for me to say “that’s too much” because I didn’t have an extra $215 bucks… and while part of me hopes that even if I did, I would opt to stick to my guns with my girls about being grateful and satisfied… I guess the truth is they might have walked out with a couple of Tigger flashlights and plush Pooh Bears as well.

As frustrated as I was with Gracie… well, I felt bad for her. I mean, I don’t know at what point it is in life that you begin to have a true understanding that you can’t always have everything, but the years between 3 and 6 are probably not it. She felt bad on the way home and apologized repeatedly for her “fit” saying she would work harder on having a more “grateful heart”. I told her, “That would be great. In fact, we could both work on it together.”


Tracy said...

what a wonderful lesson...for ALL of us!

The Merediths said...

$215 cannot buy Gracie the wonderful mother she has to teach her the importance lesson of gratefulness. You are awesome.