Like most middle-class American parents, my husband and I are on a budget for the multitude of things we have to purchase every year for our kids. We splurge here and there but are careful about it and try not to do anything too crazy because, hello, they are just kids. They do not care if their pajamas are $50 and stitched together with angel hair. They will not appreciate the beauty of a $1000 custom wall mural in their bedroom. And they are fresh out of shits to give about pricey outings and chi-chi car seats. Any of the expensive things we ever do for them is usually for our own benefit and/or bragging rights. I try hard to keep this in mind when I become blinded by all the beauty of the expensive stuff marketed to parents for their little ones.
Yesterday, I received my annual reminder that my kid's life is basically total shit- my mailbox held a glowing copy of the 2014 Pottery Barn Kids Back-to-School catalog. My yearly eye-rolling at all of the over-the-top items available for your tiny and discriminating scholar has reached it's limits and I now feel the need to share with you all the incredible span of ridiculousness that its gilded pages hold. Gird your loins, because here it is- the worst of the worst from the 2014 Pottery Barn Kids Back-to-School catalog:
1. You Don't Love Your Kids Unless You Spend $100 On Lunch Paraphernalia
Let's add this up, Pottery Barn Kids. Bento box metal thingie with actual canvas lunchbox- $59.50. Ice packs shaped like magical forest creatures- $9. Thermos- $19.50. Oh, and don't forget the whimsical sandwich cutter (aka, cookie cutter) for $7.50 because nothing says love like a sandwich shaped like a flower. That is $95.50 before tax and shipping, if you order online. I think I just blacked out for a second.
Don't you remember how lowly and classless you felt as a kid doing your homework at the kitchen table? You should never disrespect your child's need for a private "learning space" replete with a $600 desk, $300 chair and more kitschy accessories than you can shake a stick at. Preferably, displayed artfully on a distressed cork board.
3. A $40 Mini Lazy Susan For Crayon Organization Is Just Good Sense
We are not fucking around here, parents. How else will your little Lord or Lady make their way into an Ivy League school? With crayons touching erasers and pencils?! They must be separate. You might as well take a shit inside of that $2 Target pencil box you thought would do the job. How do you even look at yourself in the mirror every day?
4. Disorganized Armageddon Will Happen Without This $1000 Storage Crate Monstrosity
This is the bare minimum of PBK storage systems coming in at a very reasonable $1000 (which, naturally, does not include the $50 baskets). How else do you expect your tiny prodigy to play and work at optimal speed? A basket for everything is what I always say. And you don't really allow your children full creative control unless they can draw on it so best get those cabinets faced in chalkboard paint.
5. Monogram Everything Or Else Your Child May Forget Their Name
Lunch boxes, backpacks, cardigans (for all those country club brunches!), bed sheets- there is really no end to what you can lay claim to with your child's first name or initials. And like I always say, why not try to make things easier on a kidnapper creeping on your kid? If they can see their first name plastered whimsically across their backpack it's all the easier to convince them to come look at the puppy and candy collection they have in their van!
6. Their Very Own Childlike Silverware
Now I realize there are certain parents that would consider a $9 set of utensils for a child's lunch box to be a bargain so they don't risk sending them to school with THE FAMILY SILVER and having them lose it. I am all about being earth-friendly, but seriously, my 7-year old would lose these in a heartbeat. Just make them use a disposable spork. You could even buy some and cover them in decorative washi tape if it makes you feel better.
7. Your Little Artist Will Weep Without A Special Paper Table
We already discussed how the kitchen table is not a worthy surface for the completion of homework. You didn't think it would be ok for scribbling and coloring, did you!? Behold: the craft table. For a minimum of $500, you too can own a small table with two chairs and for an extra $9, a roll of paper that your kids will never decide to completely un-spool all over the floor while you are on the phone with the cable company and not paying attention!
8. You Need Hazardous Bunk Beds For Back-to-School Sleepovers
Your child's room would be incomplete without a bunk bed so close to the ceiling the kid's nose can touch it when they lay down and then, a beam they can knock themselves out on when they climb out. Your kid's friend's parents will LOVE you.
via Pottery Barn Kids catalog