It’s a Rich Man’s world

8yo told me the other day that we are wasting our money – he might actually have said we are flushing it down the toilet, since they are all on a poo/stinky/toilet humour kick right now – by buying school pants, because the knees always get torn. My response was something along the lines of “put on your pajamas and get in bed NOW”, but I think I might also briefly have touched on the merits of ruining only one specific type of pants during school, rather than every single pair they own.
The big boys don’t like wearing their school pants because not many of the other kids wear blue chinos, but Husband and I can hardly bear to see the kids not wearing school uniforms and so blue chinos is our compromise. The knees do get torn to shreds, of course, and I fix them when I can (when the sewing basket overflows) and then I cut off all the legs and sew them into shorts. I’ve tried those cute monster patches but 8yo abhors anything that will draw further attention. Granted, the second week of the new school year, those chinos aren’t so elementary school chic as they were the previous week, but I’m not ready to give up on them yet.
There are, in fact, so many other things that I might be construed as wasting our money on, even moreso then blue chinos for elementary-aged monkeys, and my list is thus:

Bedding. The boys use a fitted sheet, and a blanket. Sometimes a sleeping bag.

Beds. Sometimes the kids sleep on the floor under their beds. Sometimes they do this for days on end because “it’s fun”. I wish they would have told us that before we spent money on keeping them comfortable off the floor.

Bedroom Furniture. Their clothes are strewn from hell to breakfast at the best of times – especially inside their wardrobe – and then rolled up and stuffed into half open drawers. I could easily have kept all those plastic bags from grocery shopping (before I stopped using them) for clothing storage. I might also have been able to find an abandoned shopping trolley to store them in.

Toys. We have had endless hours of enthusiastic engagement and hilarity from cardboard boxes and tape. Maybe even some bubblewrap. But mostly just cardboard and whatever other pieces of random actual garbage are lying around. I built a NASA substation a few years ago with nappy boxes, an old earphone set from a plane trip, a few paper cups, an old computer keyboard and I don’t even know what other stuff was jammed into the cardboard. The point is that those pieces of cardboard taped together haphazardly were THE most awesome toy ever. The cost was zero. I mean, priceless.

Puzzles. They get emptied onto the floor semi-regularly, and thrown back into a box containing pieces from all of the 27 rarely-used puzzles because it’s too hard to sort them out.

Toy Storage. No explanation needed.

Vitamins. We don’t actually get these very often, and I’m sure it’s because 4yo picks his nose and eats it all the stinking time, sometimes just to spite us because we ask or tell him not to. His immune system could take a holiday for a month and still have nothing to worry about; he’s eaten so many boogers he’s got immunity banked up for bloody ages.

Cutlery. Nothing new here.

Table Cloths. I should know better than to waste money on table cloths.

You get the idea. I could buy many, many pairs of blue chinos with the money saved from not buying even just some of the items on this list. Or I could buy more wine, a massage, regular haircuts or relaxing treatments of various kinds so I would stop worrying about what I was wasting all our money on besides school pants.

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