Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Princess and the Pea

I worry that spoiling children too early in life leaves them full of future disappointment, or a thirst that will never be quenched.

I didn't fly in first class until I was in my thirties.  I knew it would change me.  Sure enough, the next time I flew in coach, I was especially irritable at the annoying neighbors that sat way too close to me, and the curt behavior from the flight attendant.  It ruined me.

My children have been complaining about their mattresses.  I think it's because of mom's super comfy bed as comparison.  Having a fabulous place to sleep is important to me.  Nice mattress, egyptian cotton sheets, down blanket.

This weekend, we caved and bought the kids new mattresses.  Now I'm worried.

When I was a kid, as most my peers will remember, I slept on a crappy mattress.  For a few years, I slept on the foam insert from a small couch set.  I slept wherever a pillow was. 

When I went to college, the dorm room did not look like the ones from 90210.  My room looked like a holding cell for prisoners, with an equally inviting mattress.  A mattress so broken that twin sheets didn't fit tightly, and hung over the side.  Looked more inviting than the floor, though.  Hard tile flooring- I'm pretty sure it's the same floor they have at Walmart.

The point is... I survived.  I don't know if my children will survive.  When they head off to college (knock on wood), will they immediately call home in complaint: "this mattress is unacceptable, mummy." 

(In my vision of this, they have an English accent and call me mummy)

The entire college experience needs survival training.  Cafeteria food, hikes to class (mine were always uphill, I went to WSU) trudging through rain and snow, squalor living conditions, endless noisy neighbors, and toilet paper in dorm bathrooms that is clearly not two-ply.

The first apartment.  The first bed, minus a boxspring.  Their first set of plates, either from a garage sale or handed down from grandma.  The car that comes with a rusty door and lacks 2nd gear.  Living on generic brand mac and cheese.

Ugh.  My kids don't even eat boxed mac and cheese.  I make homemade.  They call kraft the orange kind.

Have I spoiled my kids?  Then again, I'm old.  I want the fancy stuff for my tired old mind and body.  I've paid my dues.  How do I make them pay their dues without skimping on my acquired rights and priveledges?

Or are all the kids going to be like this?  Maybe the dorms really do look like the ones on 90210 now.  Maybe I'll be telling my grandkids about the glory days when airplanes only had 4 rows of first class, instead of half the plane.

No comments:

Post a Comment