Friday, February 1, 2008


You guys are really on a roll lately. I can barely keep up with reading everyone, not to mention posting my own worst mama moments. Epiphany and Karen had particularly strong showings in January with their tough parenting and I am in awe of you both. Way to stick to your worst mama guns.

This week I broke Allison's Nintendo DS.

I was getting it out of the back of the van and I dropped it on the pavement. It broke into several pieces, never to work again. The Nintendo DS is kind of like a Gameboy but it has a strong following with girls because of games they have developed where you can create your own little worlds. It is easily Allison's most prized possession. She plays it every moment we allow her to and because it's works with our WiFi she connects with her friends. They visit each other's virtual homes and trade clothes and furniture etc.

I admit that my initial reaction upon watching it explode on the pavement was not remorse but annoyance. Annoyance that she had left it in the back seat of the van. Annoyance that I was going to have to tell her and she would cry and I would have to decide what to do about it. And when I told her she did cry and then later that day she said

"It's okay Mom, I forgive you."

Which should have been sweet I guess, but I found that annoying as well. (It didn't help that she had already started researching on the internet what replacement color she would like.) I responded with,

"That's good Allie. I forgive you for not taking care of it and leaving it in the back of the van."

And then I explained to her that we just didn't have the extra $130 in the budget right now to replace it. In fact, I wasn't sure when we would. More persistent tears followed that statement, as well as a heartbroken phone call to tell her friends that

"My mom broke my DS and I might not get another one. (Sob)"

Big sigh. Oh wah. Little did she know how easy she was making it for me to feel no sympathy whatsoever.

But then, yesterday, after a day free of any DS related comments she came to me and asked if we could have a garage sale and sell her old toys to buy a new DS. The pile of stuff she had amounted to sell was actually pretty impressive. In fact, it was nearly everything she had left in the toy department. And I admit it, that did it. Seeing her step out of her martyr role and try to find a way to pay to replace it herself made me finally feel a little guilty. And I told her that if she could raise half of the money for a new one I would pay the other half. We are going to see about selling her stuff at a consignment sale along with some baby toys to try to raise the money. I feel good about the arrangement and feel like she may appreciate (and take better care) of her DS in the future.

And it won't kill her to be without the thing for a few weeks in the meantime.


Epiphany Alone said...

She should take better care of her things. If it had been properly put away, it wouldn't have been in the van to fall out. I'd've been irritated by that. It won't kill her to be without it for a few weeks, nor to come up with the money to replace it. I'm giving you 1 WMP because I would've made her come up with all the money.

*pab said...

Excellent work, Joy! I concur with Lady E on the point because Allie SHOULD take better care of her things, and take responsibility for keeping them safe. :)

karen said...

Nice job! I agree you deserve a point for this. My initial reaction was in line with Lady E, that Allie should have to pay for the whole replacement herself. After thinking about it for a while, though, I think you're right to split the cost with her. NOT because you were at fault (her toy should not have been left in the van...) but because her efforts to fix it herself should be rewarded.

Cathy P said...

I have a ten year old girl and an eleven year old boy....No less then twelve times today I got onto them for lack of common sense.. I'm hoping that it's something they grow out of...SOON or else i'm going to throw a fit. My daughter has lost three of her games since $30 a piece...or more, they will not be replaced by me! The kids wanted to watch their DVD player in the car today, when they got it and could not find the adapter I refused to feel sorry for them and let them use my laptop like I normally would. I will no longer enable them! Why should I?

Kids Special Needs said...

+1 point for you for discussing a garage sale & consignment shopping with your child. Recycling is great, thrifty, teaching kids a skill, and showing kids some creativity.

Nice job.