It’s Good to Want

My boys have become little robots who watch television in a daze and mumble, “I want that” in a frightening monotone, I swear I’ve even heard it after a Barbie commercial or two. 

I long for the days when all my eldest wanted were toys instead of sophisticated and expensive technology.  As of late, he’s been begging for a cell phone and an iPod because he claims his friends have them.  You know what, they probably do.  They probably do because Big Daddy P and I are not their parents.

“It’s good to want”, at least that’s what my dad always told me.  I think he saw wanting as a character-building experience.

I was 8 years old in 1984 and the world had gone plain mad for the Cabbage Patch Kid doll. 

My parents were determined on principle not to get sucked into the Cabbage Patch hysteria.  So I was the only kid on my street and probably the world without said Cabbage Patch doll in 1984.  Screw those mini violins, bring out the big ones because in the 3rd grade I was invited to Jennifer’s Cabbage Patch Kid birthday party.  The invitation expressly advised guests to bring their Cabbage Patch doll.  Since I didn’t have one (bitter much?), I wasn’t sure how I felt about the whole thing. 

On one hand, I was super excited because Jennifer had a big two-story house with a trampoline.  On the other hand, it was a Cabbage Patch Kid party and I didn’t have one.  If ever there was a certifiable reason for my parents to join in on the Cabbage Patch craze, it was to get me a Cabbage Patch date for Jennifer’s party.  Since I wanted to go to the party (hello, trampoline), I was either going to be forced to go stag or show up with an alternate doll as my date.  Choosing what I thought was the lesser of the two evils; I reluctantly brought a no-name doll as my date.  Riddle me this, how many other little girls showed up without a Cabbage Patch doll?  Not a one. 

I spent the entire party hiding my doll out of embarrassment due to some mature principle regarding toy manufacturer supply and demand.  I didn’t partake in the trampoline or even the cake because of my lame doll.  While my lack of participation may seem excessive, in retrospect I understand my 8 year old self.  I lacked the self-confidence to transcend the masses by being different.  Truthfully, I never really cared about the Cabbage Patch doll at all; I just wanted to be like everybody else.  Well, in 1985, I got my Cabbage Patch Kid doll.  My parents thought it was high time since the dolls were readily available and had since dropped in price.  Shame Cabbage Patch birthday parties were so last year. 

Now just because I understand the shame that comes from going “without” (if I may even go so far as to proclaim that), it doesn’t mean I think my kid should have a cell phone or an iPod at 7 years old.  Not only are so many of the items our kids are dying for expensive, they are easily lost or stolen. 

So my eldest has labeled me “mean” since I’m obviously not budging on the cell phone/iPod decision and I’m O.K. with that.  My reply to my “mean” reputation?  “It’s good to want”, thanks Dad. 


  1. OMG how did I miss this blog? I never got a Cabbage Patch doll either, but that’s because my parents couldn’t afford it not because they were trying to teach me a lesson. I’m with you on the no cell phone/ipod at such a young age and thanks for reminding me of these principles.

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  3. Ugh… I am dreading the day my little girl gets old enough to WANT expensive things… SO not excited for it!! Found you on Friday Follow and think your just adorable!!! Hope you’ll come visit!

  4. I was also one who eventually got a cabbage patch doll. Long after others. Your son will thank you for being you someday! Hugs!

  5. We certainly understand our parents better when we’re parents!! Our answer when our kids wanted something was/is: Do you want it for Christmas or for your birthday. They would pick which and it would be settled and forgotten. OR we say they can save their money for it. The problem with that is that sometimes they do!!

  6. I tell my kids the same thing. It’s ok to want! My mom gave me everything on a silver platter when I was a kid and I feel it made me try to push the limits of what I could get from her. No kid should have to do that to their parents and I’m determined not to spoil my kids as I was spoiled. 🙂 Your view is very healthy!

  7. Ah, yes…the elusive Cabbage Patch Doll. I too wanted one so bad I could taste it. Just when I finally got one, the friggin Cornsilk hair Cabbage Patch dolls came out. Figures. I agree with you for not getting your 7 year old a phone or iPod. My 4 year old is already yelling for a DS. Pardon me, but those are like $150! For something he’ll play with for about a day and then forget where it is…Love ya girl!Pick up ANOTHER award from me over at my place tomorrow! =)

  8. I can do the cabage patch dance….

  9. Oh sad Cabbage Patch Kid story – you should have borrowed one of mine! I support your no ipod for an 8 year old, I’m 33 and have nearly lost mine about a million times I can’t imagine that an 8 year old could keep track of it.

  10. Just read your comment on my blog about my working out. and LOL! that was funny.ya know, I don’t do the arm portion when doing the elliptical because I need to be reading a book to stay on there for any length of time. If it makes you stay on it, you could hold a bag of chips. ;o)

  11. I am totally with you on not buying expensive things for kids – particularly my kid. But just ebcause it’s good parenting for us doesn’t mean it wasn’t TOTALLY UNFAIR that you parents didn’t get you a Cabbage Patch doll!

  12. luckily my kid is pretty good about not being influenced by what is on TV or the crowd. Most of her friends don’t have all the latest gadgets and the ones who do don’t go having parties…although all her friends DO have American Girl dolls and they do have those parties…so strike what I just said. Our kids do know to not pick on their friends who have to bring a generic doll to the party and play with that doll just the same.

  13. Great post. So true. I remember that craze. I just had my first baby and I was still a teen. I thought “I have the real deal, who needs a doll?”. My kids got them when they were passe’. And now my teen boys don’t and won’t have cell phones until they have a job to pay for them.

  14. Lori girl,I LOVE reading your blogs, you make me laugh!! What is up with these kids wanting cell phones, Jordan asks me like EVERDAY!! LOL…as for the ipod, I just let him use mine and think that it’s his heehee…They will thank us later, or at least thier girlfriends will, cause they wont be spoiled brats 🙂 your a FANTASTIC mommy and your “big daddy P” is a great dad!!

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