Back in the day when I was young and carefree (read: before I became a mom), I indulged in spontaneous retail therapy quite frequently. Nothing felt better for the soul than to celebrate a new job with the perfect designer work tote, and nothing else helped me quickly get over a set-back in life than the procurement of an awesome outfit or a gorgeous pair of shoes. I thrived on the “rush” that impulse purchases would bring to my life because pretty clothes, shoes, purses, and accessories made me very happy. They still do. Except now, the phrase “impulse purchase” has a totally different meaning to me now that I have a toddler.
Here are some definitions for the word “impulse”:
Impulse: noun ˈim-ˌpəls 1. a force so communicated as to produce motion suddenly; 2. the act of driving onward with sudden force; 3. motion produced by such an impulsion or impetus; 4. a wave of excitation transmitted through tissues and especially nerve fibers and muscles that results in physiological activity.
See where I am going here?
The “sudden force” or “impetus” that causes an “excitation” of my “nerve fibers” is a three-foot-tall, 30 pound, four year old with unruly hair and terrible spending habits. I once brought her to Target and faced the laughter and scrutiny of other shoppers when my daughter ecstatically ran through aisles of the toy department declaring: “I want to buy everrrryything here!!!” On most occasions I can remain firm and not give in to her demands for buying useless stuff. But there are days when I’m TIRED and it’s just EASIER to get her what she wants because she has gotten on my very last nerve fiber. But after a couple of years of giving in to those occasional whims,
shit stuff accumulates. And wouldn’t you know it – those are the very items she plays with for about five seconds, before she gets bored and throws them aside.
Here are some examples:
The Abandoned Baby Doll
We bought her this doll when she started asking us for a “baby to play with.” My daughter has never been one to play with dolls, but hubs and I thought it might be a good idea to get it for her so she could explore her “maternal side” since we were expecting a baby. I have no idea what happened to her clothes. Needless to say, we never leave her alone with her baby brother.
The Sparkly Magic Wand Thing-y
My daughter was obsessed with this useless tube of sparkles as soon as she saw it at a museum gift shop. I was about 27 months pregnant and huge, so rather than chase her around the shop, I just dropped the $5+ it cost. As soon as the cashier handed me the receipt, my daughter handed me the wand she was forever done playing with and I ended up carrying the thing for the rest of our visit. It now lives in a toy box in our family room and comes out every so often for us to trip over.
A Plethora of Purses
This girl’s handbag collection will soon surpass mine. And this isn’t even all of them as we have some more scattered about in closets and each of our cars. I don’t know what she keeps in them, I am too afraid to look inside. But my guess is they are filled with other small items we have purchased on impulse or under the delusion that Mia will actually play with them.
The list can go on and on. But I have started to shop without my daughter as much as possible to avoid those impulse demands. And thank goodness for online shopping because now I don’t even have to leave the house!
What useless impulse purchases have you accumulated with your kids?