I saw a Doritos truck this morning. I smiled. They're good chips...no doubt. I remember when Cool Ranch flavored Doritos came out. Delicous-ness. My mother never bought us Doritos. Well, at least not for me. Perhaps she did for my siblings and hid them, I'm not sure. I had a friend, a very close friend growing up, whose mother ALWAYS had Doritos in the house. And, her mother packed them in her lunch every single day. I felt her mom always packed her great lunches. I was envious. My mom would buy us Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. But only the original. Never the spirals or the character boxes. As a kid, I was so pissed about it. I would buy my kids any character mac and cheese they wanted. But, since they are now older and eat like there is no tomorrow, I find myself lecturing my kids the same way my mom did about it. I explain how the character boxes have less in them for the same price, making them more expensive.
I remember when Rosie O'Donnell had a talk show. She talked about how growing up, they never had Dixie cups in her house. I think the reason was because they were too expensive. But, she decided to always have Dixie cups in her home for her children, simply because she didn't have them when she was a child.
As a child, when my mom would pick up McDonalds for us, we were never allowed to get a drink. After all, we had drinks at home. Why did we need to buy them at McDonalds, just to bring them home? I let my kids get the drinks. Mainly, because it comes out cheaper to get a "value meal". Sometimes they want shakes instead. And, I let them do it.
We never had video games at our house. EVER. I'd go to a friends house and I couldn't even play Pong. I felt like a moron. I'd babysit for this one family, and they would let the older daughter stay up. The younger one would be asleep most times before I even arrived. Most nights, she would try to teach me how to play Super Mario Bros. To this day, I still cannot jump on a mushroom, or whatever the hell I am supposed to do on level 1-1. I have bought my kids every gaming system they've wanted since my oldest was about 3 years old.
When I wanted designer jeans as a pre-teen, I had to use my baby-sitting money to pay for them. When my kids now ask for a certain brand of shoes or shorts or socks (don't even ask about the weird socks my sons keep wanting) I buy them. I don't ask them to save for them. I don't tell them they cannot have them. I just buy them . When they want apps for their phones, however, they have to pay for them. (Buy the apps for the iPhones that I purchased for them and pay the bill on every month.)
Why do I do this? I don't know. Is it making me a better parent? I doubt it. Do the kids really appreciate any of it? Sometimes. Am I trying to live vicariously through them? Perhaps. In the end, do I feel better doing any of it? Nope. So, why am I doing it? I do not know. Does it really make me feel better to buy shakes at McDonalds or more video games? Does it matter that the kids have really cool gym shoes that they will outgrow or destroy in 3 months? I don't think any of it really matters. All I know, is that Doritos and character mac and cheese taste pretty fuckin' good while wearing really cool jeans and shoes.