Monday, March 12, 2012

The art of compromise.

This weekend I wrote 9528 words, not including this blog post.

Other than write an obscene amount of words this weekend, I also listened to a lot of whinging as to why a certain seven year old member of our family does not have an angry birds library bag, why did he have to have a soccer themed library bag,and so on and so forth.

Apparently he is the only member of year 2 that does not get a new library bag/school bag/everything, each time there is a new school year.

Well I called bullshit on that one, but I went on to explain to him that the items he uses, get replaced when they are no longer serviceable, either they are out grown or broken in some way, and to do so earlier is wasteful.

This was the perfect segue to lead me into a rant about the worlds limited resources, excessive waste production and environmental footprints.
I was about eight words in, when I realised no one was listening.

I carried on anyway, because I like the sound of my own voice, and there is still a small part of me that hopes my children take in this information.
If only on a subconscious level.

I was accused of being stingy.

STINGY.

I annually replace pencil cases, and pencil case contents, The old ones are demoted to the craft box.

I also annually replace shoes, usually because they are out grown and if they are not, they are very worn by the time the year is out.
They then become back yard shoes, stored near the back door for ruining to their little hearts content.
I replace also annually replace uniforms for similar reasons.

I don't however, replace bags, lunch boxes, library bags etc etc until they are no longer useful.

Is this stingy I ask?

I have many more questions....

Could I possibly be a bad parent by default, because every other parent sees fit to replace every item their child takes to school annually, regardless of need?

What exactly is the social etiquette to replacing school wares?

When I was school aged, I had no social spectrum for normalcy, I was abnormal, full stop.
Raised by the tree huggers, who smelt of patchouli, waaaaaaay before it was cool.
I was uncooly ahead of my time and yet, I survived.

Am I committing an unforgivable school yard sin?

Do I actually give a shit if I am?

After I had a little time to think and cool down, and process the quandary I was facing, I decided that I couldn't give a rats ass if I was committing a school yard sin, that I would not resort to wasteful, keeping up with the Jones's like behavior for any school yard politics.....(I may have added a few ponytail clad, gym wear, Range Rover driving, canteen duty slurs in there, but I know this says more about me than it does about them)

I did not get far with the argument with Master Seven, however I do think I managed to teach him the importance of compromise.





BEFORE




AFTER.

He was suitably delighted, despite my crap sewing skills.

How frequently are you replacing your children's school items?









- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

7 comments:

Madam Bipolar said...

I think the younger kids want us all to go to Smiggle because according to Miss Charisma: "It is a really good pen place."
So that's where the cool five-year-olds hang.

:perennial: said...

My son watched me write 1/2 C on his library bag a month ago right under the crossed out 1/2 L (2011) and Prep D (2010) and said "you know at some point I'm gonna need a new one right?". His library bag is a bright orange industrial weird papery fabric one given to all preps by the education department when they start school. Other mums tell me it repairs quite well with a well placed staple. At the rate we are going we will run out of space to write his class name before it rips or breaks.

He does need a new school bag though. Apparently the vinyl $45 bags aren't quite as heavy duty as the freebie. Bugger.
Carol

River said...

Well done on the bag!!
I don't think you're at all stingy and why replace the pencil cases?
I had only two pencil cases for my entire school career, one lunchbox,
and I got a new bag only when the original case fell apart.
In my first high school year.

Anonymous said...

There is absolutely no need for a new 'port' hehe every year... Your Mum xxx

Miss Pink said...

I must be wayyy stingier than you. I plan to NEVER replace Bluey's library bag. Especially as he sewed it himself before starting Kindergarten.
Also, his lunchbox and bag had well and truely had it come the start of term 4 last year and I made him carry on with them intact lecturing him about if he better looked after his belongings then he wouldn't have this problem.
Actually his lunchbox is already broken (apparently another child did it. I say apparently because I honestly don't know) and I turned to say "Well, good luck with that because this is all you're getting for the year."
Yep, bitch mum FTW.

The way I see it, there are too many kids who get given the world on a silver platter these days. I am not going to let my kids be one of them. Will I replace his lunchbox? Yeah probably, but definitely not this term. Probably not next either (it still closes just doesn't clip closed).
Uniforms I did not replace, and won't until he outgrows them. They really didn't need replacing anyway.
I do replace shoes as needed, but really hold off until you know, their feet are soaking wet because of the holes.
He got a new schoolbag (see above, was needed seeing as one of the straps was broken on his old backpack), he got a new lunchobx/drink bottle (lunchbox was smashed mid term 4), and he got new stationary supplies seeing as he didn't have them for kindy, so it wasn't replacing. All of these were wrapped and placed neatly under the Christmas tree. Yep, you don't get nothing for free here.

marketingtomilk said...

Oh that is just bloody delightful! go you with your craft shit!
i also culdn't give a monkeys about schoolyard etiquette, bloody tedious, they'll always find something to moan about, even if you do replace everything after they've farted in it once.

M2M

nappy valley girl said...

Haha, great post (and admirable skills on the Angry Birds bag makeover - I could not have done it).
I made my kids wait a whole year to get Angry Birds lunchboxes, until theirs were genuinely falling apart. (I may add that said lunchboxes are totally crap, and are falling apart before even the end of the spring term.) I think it's great to make them aware of needless consumption and wastefulness. And that you can't always get what you want :-)