Thursday, June 13, 2013

It's All About the Benjamin's

A few weeks ago, before my boys were home for summer break, I settled in for an afternoon of watching E! while I folded my mountain of laundry that only a family of 6 can bring. The E! channel is a bit of a guilty-pleasure of mine. I have been known to tune in an afternoon or two while the big kids are at school & the baby is napping. I look at it as responsible parenting because a) my boys are at school &/or asleep and 2. I'm being productive while I watch (cleaning, laundry, etc).

For the sake of being honest, I will admit that enjoy a little Fashion Police and I sometimes laugh at Joan River's bad jokes...sometimes you just have to laugh. For example, when my darling child rattled off about 15 potty jokes at lunch the other day. Why did Tigger stick his head in the toilet? Because he was looking for his friend Pooh. That stuff is funny. I properly scolded him afterwards, not to worry. But I did have a pretty big smile on his face so I'm sure it did the trick.

Now, I know watching tv like E! probably isn't the best for my moral hygiene. There are probably many other things that I could tune into that would better my mind, but sometimes you gotta let go. I'd like to believe God has a sense of humor; after all, He did create the baboon. And the Pug.


By the way, that is not a knock on the Pug. I think they're awesome, please no hate mail. They have the best expressions :)

Anyway, this particular afternoon on E! I decided to watch Blinging Up Baby, where they're going to show us the latest & greatest that celeb's are purchasing for their babies. Awesome. I have a baby. Let's see how the other half lives; maybe I can find the middle-class version at Target. 

They dove right in with pregnancy & how celeb's stay fit while sporting a baby bump. Can you say personal chef? Trainer? They're flashing pictures up of these girls in their designer maternity wear and then flipped to a Victoria's Secret model, you know, what every mom-to-be wants to see. They ask her if she has any cravings & she says (and I'm not being mean when I quote her, this is what she really said): 

Oh my gosh! One time, in the middle of the night, I had the worst craving. All I wanted was pineapple. I couldn't get enough.


Only a Victoria's Secret model would crave pineapple. The rest of us want cake.

Britney Spears caught a lot of flak for her pregnancy diet but at least she was being honest. Nothing wrong with a Cheeto or 10. Not that I would know anything about that...

That should've been my clue to turn it off but I kept on watching.

The next segment was on celebrity nurseries & how they're getting only the best for their babies. They showed these luxurious cribs & bedding. Cashmere blankets for the baby to poop on (can't quite shake the potty humor!). And finally, a $1,000 giraffe to complete the look. Pretty sure I'm not finding that at Target.

This went on & on & on: designer clothes & burp cloths, a shopping trip for one little darling where she got to pick out a $700 dress. I finally had to just turn it off. You know you're getting old & responsible when all you can think about is how many kids that kind of cash could feed.

Something about that show just kept staying with the me the rest of the afternoon. Finally, I figured out why it bothered me so much. The point of the show seemed to be to be a good parent you've gotta have only the biggest & best for your kid. You don't have to be a celebrity to try to achieve that. Look around; it's happening all around me here in middle-class USA. We're constantly throwing stuff at our kids: electronics, toys, state-of-the-art sports equipment, all in the name of good parenting. I'm as guilty as everyone else on this one. You don't want your child to feel like you can't provide.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret: kids definitely want stuff, no doubt about it. But do you know what they want more? You. They want to have a relationship with you: they want your attention, they want your approval and most of all, they want your time. That's it. Plain & simple.

Let's invest in our kids & not in their playrooms. Let's take the time to build compassionate individuals who care more about the people in their lives than their possessions. In the end, it's just stuff. Your relationships & influences are what leave a legacy, not a $1000 giraffe or a $15 DS game.

Put your phone down, step away from Facebook, email & all the distractions of life & play with your kid. Time is fleeting, haven't we all read the articles? Things can wait, your kids can't.

Make it about the Benjamin's and the Maya's and the Ethan's and the Lily's...

Invest in your people, the rewards are priceless.

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