It has been brought to my attention (by the curly-haired girl who lives in my house) that everyone has a phone as well. (Read this post for the jazz shoes reference.)
I've been informed that "two seven-year-olds at my daycare have phones!" Followed by: "Real ones, too!" She added that point of clarification because we've caught her trying to smuggle old, inactive cell phones to school.
My first inclination was to say, "The parents who gave phones to first graders are lunatics." However, I can totally picture my kid tracking down one of those moms and saying, "Hi, my mom said you are a lunatic." So instead I said, "Well, I'm not their mom and who knows, maybe those kids are freakishly responsible or something."
I mean, my daughter can't even handle turning off the light after she's done using the bathroom. Flushing happens only sporadically. She can't get up on time because, and I quote, "My eyes just can't open." Let's just say that she is not getting a phone any time soon. Her dad told her, "Maybe for your wedding."
I do see signs that the kid is maturing and becoming somewhat more responsible, but the phone is just a non-issue at this point. She can complain all she wants. I also need to see some evidence that she understands how money works. She keeps leaving her insulated lunch bag at school. I said, 'That thing wasn't cheap, you know."
"Well, how much was it?"
"I don't remember the exact price - I think it was around $13.00."
She rolled her eyes. "$13.00 is not that much money, mom."
It's not a fortune but it's too much to invest in something that ends up in the lost and found every other day.
She and I have taken several trips to the mall in recent weeks for back-to-school clothes. She drags me into Justice every time. I, in turn, immediately start feeling stabby (and a little nauseous from all the sequins and neon). "We need to go to Kohl's," I tell her. "I have a coupon." Much eye-rolling ensues. It's like this every time. Yesterday she told me, "You never buy me anything!" May I point out that she said this while a brand new necklace was swinging from her neck? And that she was wearing skinny jeans that are so new they still have creases on them? Followed by boots so new that they aren't even scuffed yet? Honestly, it's a miracle that she isn't mistaken for a homeless person every day of her life.
During our most recent shopping excursion, the final insult came when she begged to go to the American Girl store. The store is at an outlet mall so they don't sell the dolls there - just the clothes and accessories. I quickly noted that most of the outfits are in the range of $24 - $30. She asked for an accessory kit for her doll and I told her that she would need to do her chores, get her allowance, and save up the money herself. As you can guess, this was met with some extra-dramatic eye-rolling and a pouty lip. I walked out of the American Girl store while she followed behind me with her sad, leaden feet. Then we went to Oshkosh B'Gosh and I picked up a pair of jeans I thought she might like. She was outraged. "What?! You'll spend $30 on jeans but you won't buy me clothes for my doll?"
So there you have it. I'm a horrible mother who hasn't gotten any new jeans for herself in a year while my daughter prances around like something out of Vogue. Meanwhile, her doll only has two outfits. And neither of them has a phone. Oh, the humanity!