Did You Bring Me A Prize?
They Have Grown to Expect Them
As a old baby boomer I can't ever remember asking my daddy or mama when they went into town to bring me back a "prize." It just wasn't something we expected and very early in life we realized there are a lot of things we could live without that we saw advertised on the boob tube. Even in those days money was tight and if we perchance had some snacks that had been purchased at the grocery store we felt very blessed. Whether a bag of bugles or a box of moon pies, these were a rarity and we enjoyed those treat grudgingly.
When my boys were small I didn't think twice about getting those special "prizes." Little things that might only bring a temporary sense of joy to them. Little toys or balls or some trinket they just had to have cause so and so had one at school. Today it is my grandsons who are first to ask when I return to the house,"Paw-paw did you bring me a prize?" Many time I have done so and the simpler and less expensive are the ones that they seem to enjoy most.
My wife and I enjoy going to estate sales and yard sales and oftentimes we pick up those special "prizes" for our grandsons. Recently we found two sets of Lincoln logs which they are now enjoying. Its good to see their imagination in the things they tell me they are building. Last night our little Maddox who is three told me he was building a monster truck out of some Lego's he had just brought up from the basement. "I need a hood,paw-paw!" he told me. Fortunately, I found a Lego that had a radius suitable for a monster truck hood and he also found one for the rear. The fabrication looked more like a T-Model than a monster truck but then Maddy doesn't know what a T-Model is anyway so he was happy.
I can't help but remember some of the "prizes" many we bought for ourselves with hard earned money. I suppose the first to come to my mind was the hula hoop. That stupid circle of plastic we all tried to keep going with the gyrations of our hips. I was never too good at the hula hoop thing but I did have one as did my sister and younger brother. Then while watching cartoons on Saturday morning, the craze of the day was the Duncan yo-yo. Daddy did fork over money for each of us a new yo-yo and soon we were fairly adept at doing tricks such as walking the dog and the easiest one for me was the Around the World trick.
Do you get your children or grandchildren "prizes" when you are out and about and do you think this might teach bad habits and lead to false expectations?