When I was 6 years old, school break times were all about Top Trumps, Panini stickers, Espana ’82, Star Wars, hopscotch and running around singing “who wants an ice cream?”.
And am I the only person who remembers E.T. biscuits?
Fast forward a bit – 35-ish years – my own daughter is now 6. I’m beginning to understand the pressure that generations of parents before me have been going through. A cycle which will likely last for evermore. The fads, the crazes and the peer pressure. There’s definitely a balance between keeping kids grounded and spoiling them rotten.
The last thing in our house was Shopkins. Essentially, tomorrow’s landfill perfectly designed to part parents with their hard earned salary. The enthusiasm even led to my daughter requesting a Shopkins birthday cake. Of course. I duly obliged by spending a day baking and constructing a ‘Wishes’ cake. It was worth it though.
But then last week, all of a sudden, our house was hit with a tsunami of excitement for ‘JoJo Bows’. In short, ridiculously large, massively over priced hair accessories endorsed by social media tweenie dancer – JoJo Siwa. Who???
Apparently – according to my daughter at least – all the girls at school have them, they’re really pretty and one girl even has 3. She told me she wanted a black one or a rainbow one but she didn’t mind which as long as – quote – she “had one with the JoJo Bow tag on it so her friends knew it was real.”
She proudly announced that she was going to save her pocket money to take on holiday to Devon and she was going to buy one when she was there (which is good parenting if you ask me)
But then I realised we weren’t going away for weeks and she would have to spend 2 months pocket money just to get a small one. 3 for a big one! I know I shouldn’t have, but a few days later, her big blues eyes got the better of me and I gave in.
Seems though that you can only by real one’s from Claire’s Accessories. For me – Claire’s is Dad purgatory. Nearly as bad as Ikea if you ask me. But what can you do?
The easiest thing was to go to Claire’s on my own after work one day. The wall of JoJo Bows in the shop was confusing and the choice was bewildering.
I’d decided there was no way she was getting a large one. She’s 6 and only has a little head and she’d probably look daft. But then again – what if all the kids had big ones? What if they took the mickey out of her just having a small bow? What to do?
I looked at the black ones. Far more versatile if you ask me and far less offensive. They’d go with far more outfits. Which black one though? The one with the sparkles? Maybe.
But she doesn’t care about versatility, she’s 6 and the rainbow ones looked nice and they were sparkly. Surely she’d prefer one of those. She did say black first though.
My brain hurt. There was only one thing to do – ask the assistant. Clueless Dad trying to look cool in front of a 20 year old shop assistant – probably not the first time that week I guess.
It didn’t really help either. She told me that apparently, all the parents preferred plain small ones but all the kids wanted garish big ones. I decided I couldn’t win and anyway the shop was probably closing soon. In the end I just took the plunge and went for a small rainbow.
Turns out it wouldn’t have mattered what I bought. Her face was a picture. She was so excited, so happy and really grateful. It was a delight, she’s treasured and looked after it since. And she does look pretty cute in it to be fair.
So we’ll have to see what’s next on the agenda. She’s not getting a bloody fidget spinner though.
To finish – thankfully – the Top Trumps revival did make it to our house. Totally safe territory for me. Except the rally cars, fighter jets and F1 cars have been replaced by Elsa, Willy Wonka and Kooky Cookie.
Still I’ll take what I can get. Especially considering my old man threw ALL of our Top Trumps on the fire to teach me and my brother a lesson for arguing over them.
ALL OF THEM.