Damara Hutchins

Our material girl

"I want to just hurry up and get past college and get bigger, but I'm not ready to grow up because I'm scared to be alone and I don't know how to pay bills and stuff. I also don't know how to drive. I mean, I know you push the pedals, but it is soft, not hard and I don't know how to do it." These were the troubled thoughts of my 7-year-old daughter as I was tucking her into bed one night not long ago. It would seem that she's been turning over some deep ideas in her kid brain. "Honey, why don't you just stay young for as long as you can?" I asked. "You don't have to be in any hurry to grow up. Just stay with Mommy and Daddy for now." She seemed to consider this idea for a while and then reluctantly agreed. "Okay. I will stay with you so I won't be alone, but I need a bigger room for my things so we'll have to move to a new house."
Bingo! There it was. It always appears innocent until the hook reveals itself. I don't want to say my daughter is materialistic, but she does seem to want to have money and lots of it. She even expresses this often by saying things like, "I want money, money, money!" If we are getting her some clothes or supplies, she makes it clear that our money is being spent and not hers. If hers is being used, like in a gift card she received for a birthday, she is careful to leave extra for another visit. The kid has more money in her change jar than I do! I wasn't like this at all when I was little. I received allowance every week and, what I didn't blow on candy or other junk, I'd spend on Breyer model horses. I have 41 of those horses packed away in boxes right now, minus the one that Dante from second grade broke the tail off of. I finally threw it away when no glue seemed to work on it. My daughter spends her money on Barbie dolls. I had one Barbie, the Western one, and a Brenda Breyer, who was part of a set. She was boxed with, you guessed it, that same broken-tailed horse. Brenda and Barbie were only around to ride the horses and maintain the stables. My daughter has so many Barbies, I can't even keep track of them. You'd think they would fulfill her Barbie World fantasies, but apparently, they weren't. See, my husband and I were eager to get her started in the right behavior direction in school so we promised a trip to the store if she received good behavior rankings (meaning "green" days) for several days in a row. When she achieved this, we were so excited and proud that she earned a pink-haired Barbie. Unfortunately, the teacher sent home a note informing us that our little angel faked the results. Yes, she lied. Why? Her answer: "Because I just wanted something new SO bad!" Now she's in trouble on a multitude of levels, but she's learning some lessons too. At least, we hope so. Sometimes I think I can see visions of her future. She'd be a great salesperson or lawyer or, God forbid, politician! I'll be glad if she slows things down a bit and doesn't grow up too fast. After all, she's way too entertaining right now. damarainsebring@hotmail.com