I've made up in my mind to throw a tantrum. I keep wondering if I lay down on the floor at the supermarket and bawl my eyes out over the high costs we must endure if anyone will come to my rescue. Have you ever been waiting in a ridiculously long line at the bank and then have someone standing a few people behind you in queue collapse? I witnessed this once and it was amazing how quickly tellers moved to give the woman some water, even asking if she wanted a cup of tea. And don't you know, she was placed in a seat and she was served and out of there before I could properly blink my eye. Now, I'm not in any position to say what type of physical condition the woman was in before, during or after, and neither am I making fun of her. It just seems amazing how slowly people seem to move when you are at their mercy as opposed to when the tables are turned. So, I devised a plan to put this thing into action. Today would have been a classic day to try my experiment. I was at my district polyclinic trying to get some free medical attention and I was tempted. The only flaw in my plan was the close proximity to the psychiatric hospital. I'm sure those men in white would have been there before I could finish executing my plan. But seriously though, I got there a few minutes before half past eight this morning and I left there after two this afternoon. I kid you not.
The highlight of my visit was listening to the women talk about their experiences with their kids and shopping for them. I honestly got scared. I need someone to tell me if this is what I have to look forward to in a few years. These women spoke of children telling them they can't be seen in Dallas Discount and SY Adams. One woman told of how she bought her son a blue shirt with a pink rabbit on it and that she found matching blue shoes, but the rabbit was yellow and this was a problem. Another mentioned a child who doesn't like taking lunch to school so she has to give him lunch money - has to. All this while, this super hero mom is listening, mouth open and silently going "what?" My brain found all of this mess hard to compute. Are you trying to tell me that after I work my butt off to instil the concept of individuality and the value of money into my child, that once he goes to secondary school all my teachings will go through the window? And here I was thinking that I was being proactive by having these conversations with my boys all now.
I realise that I come from a different generation and by nature, I'm a pretty contented person. I learned early on that with five children, it would be next to impossible for each of us to have a Nintendo or our own bedroom and being the last of three girls, I expected to get hand-me-downs sometimes. If I'm totally honest, there were times when my sisters had clothes that I kept my eye on and lay in wait until they would be all mine. I remember being teased and my clothes being referred to as "wearalls". But I also remember watching sitcoms where friends wore friends' clothing and I couldn't see how what my sisters and I did was any different. My mother told me the people teasing me were jealous and though that didn't make a lick a sense to me at the time, I leaned on her wisdom and found a way to cope.
I like to think that I'm stronger for the teasing I endured; there are some things that I think are just ignorant. When someone is going to make fun of you because your parents shop in Dallas Discounts, there is something wrong with that person's rationale. You've got parents that are struggling to ensure that you are fed, clothed, sheltered and educated and so much more, where others are not so lucky. What does it matter if you wear a brand name? Parents: teach your children attributes like self worth, value and to have a grateful heart and these will see you through these situations. People tell their children to lead and not follow, but what does that really mean? Even great leaders have to learn to follow sometimes. But if your child learns that his mind, actions and upbringing are what define him, rather than clothing, it will do him a greater service.
So even though I intended throwing a completely different type of tantrum, I'm satisfied.
Allison is mother to two active boys who challenge her on a day to day basis with their escapades. In her other life, Allison juggles a regular day job as a marketing executive in a health food organization. At night, when everyone is asleep, she dreams of being a fulltime writer and super hero.