Keeping The "Special"

Here is a photo of "Nin-ty" and a
much smaller Little Spooner
Today I got "nin-ty" (that is Little Spooner speak for her blanket) literally thrown in my face.  I was resting on the couch while we let our lunch settle and took in some "Muppets Most Wanted". I may or may not have been dozing off a little, but Little Spooner was snuggling right along side of me.  After the movie ended I asked her to turn off the television and we would go outside to play... which was quickly prompted by a grunt, foot stomp and nin-ty in my face (not playfully thrown either).  The first words out of my mouth were, (stated ever so calmly) "you better get in your room".  I went into her room 5 minutes later and she was out like a light.  I do not think she has ever acted this way, EVER.
Stunned is probably the best way to describe how I was feeling.  To quote one of my favorite movies from my younger years, "who throws his shoe?".  I can usually put up with a lot... For a 5 year-old she can try to be quite manipulative.  I can handle the "I miss my Daddy" when I am not letting her have her way, or how quick she can flip from smiley/happy to the biggest crocodile tears you have every seen this side of the Mason-Dixon Line.  All that, while unacceptable, I can handle.

Geauga County Fair... Shortly after this she asked if she could
get a cow.  As "un-country" as Avon has become maybe we
could bring back the 4-H
I feel like I do a pretty decent job as a single Mom.  We do lots of fun things (just yesterday we went to the Geauga County Fair, we've been kayaking, going to the zoo, movies in the park, swimming).  While I feel it is important to do fun things, it is just as important to appreciate staying home.  I know the "competition" I am up against when it comes to fun activities, or the amount of toys that are being bought, or types of gifts being purchased.  I was raised, for the most part, staying home and playing outside or inside with my toys.  My parents did not feel the need to constantly be entertaining us by

taking us to fun places on a weekly/daily basis.  When we did fun things or went to fun places it was greatly appreciated and most of all SPECIAL. When these types of things become expected, where is the "special"?
My parents took us to the fair, and took us amusement parks when we were of age/size.  They did not take us to Cedar Point until we were tall enough to ride a majority of the rides (what a waste of money to take small children there when they cannot even ride half of the rides). We had fun family vacations, and they took us camping.  I do not feel like I was cheated out of my childhood because I didn't go to Chuck-E-Cheese on a regular basis, or taken to concerts with pop stars where we sat in the front row (oh yeah this happened, even against my better judgement as her Mother), or constantly doing SOMETHING fun.
I guess my question is, when we spoil our children like this now when they are so young, where do you go from here? Is there a precedent being set? I constantly feel like Little Spooner "expects" me to entertain her.  At times it is like she is unable to just play with her toys in her room without my full undivided attention.  There are days that I am amazed that I get anything done at all due to her constant whining of being "bored" or having "nothing to do".  I feel like I am at my wits end as far as what to do anymore.  I gave up a looong time ago trying to be the "fun" parent, because I know that later in Little Spooners life, it is not only going to be the "fun" times that shape who she is as a person.  Sure she will remember some of the fun things, but she won't remember how many times I did or didn't take her to Kiddy Park or how many times I did not buy her a stuffed animal at the zoo.  All I can do is hope she will remember the important things, and the life lessons that I am going to try to teach her, and hopefully I can still keep some some things "special" for her.
Do you ever feel like you are at your wits end trying to keep up with the Jones's when it comes to entertaining your kids?? What are some fun things that you do around the house to make staying home fun? Or better yet, what are some budget friendly excursions you take your kids on so that you don't have to break your budget? - Mommy Spooner (this entire post was written while Little Spooner slept off her rage)


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