Having It All

sunset on Green Lake

I had an interesting conversation with my daughter last night. For the last 2 years, all I have heard was that she wanted a DSi — a handheld video game system that “everyone” has. She had a DS, but no. She needed a DSi.

I’m talking TWO YEARS I’ve been getting grief over this highly coveted piece of electronic equipment!!!

For her half-birthday party last month, I found a used DSi on Craigslist that I purchased and gave to her. She loves it and has thanked me for it numerous times over the past few weeks.

Well, that lasted all of three weeks because last night she sprung a new one on me.

Everyone has an iPod Touch, dontchaknow.

We have an iPod Touch — it’s a family iPod Touch. Each child has his/her own playlist, and there are a multitude of games downloaded to the device, and they share it. Months go by when the thing isn’t used, but recently it has been quite the object of desire. Countless squabbles this week have erupted over the possession of the iPod Touch.

Now I’ve been informed that an iPod Touch is the current must-have electronic gadget among the pre-adolescent set.

I spent last evening waxing eloquent about why we cannot have everything we want, and why it is good for us to not get everything we want, and how we cannot find contentment when we are constantly comparing our material goods to that of our friends.

I used examples from my own life, and when that didn’t cut it, I finally pulled out the big guns and played the “kids who have less than you” card. I tried to explain how some kids don’t know if there will be dinner on the table, and how some kids come home to parents who aren’t even there or just don’t care.

No matter what I said, there was a reason that it is simply NOT FAIR that she does not have her own iPod Touch, in addition to the DSi and oh yeah. She would also like an iPad, a laptop and a cell phone. EVERYONE ELSE DOES.

Where have I gone wrong, I ask you?????

WHERE?

I sighed in defeat and left her room with an affectionate kiss on the forehead and then proceeded to my son’s room where I regaled him with the tale and got an appreciative chuckle over the inane conversation.

But I can’t help but reflect on the conversation and wonder. How can I expect a child who has almost everything she has ever wanted to truly “get it”? I realize that perspective will come in due time, and I’m not all stressy over this or anything. But how DO we teach our kids that they can live quite happily without every latest gizmo and gadget?

Simply by saying “no” and sticking to it, I suppose. Which is fine. I can do that. In fact, we do say no a lot. Which is probably why I don’t get why we are treated to the “it’s not fair” mantra so much. You’d think they’d learn eventually.

**And no, that photo has nothing to do with this post. I just love it. My husband took it one evening in Maine.