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Thursday, July 28, 2011

$1.65 for my daughter's happiness

This morning I took Alexis to the shops to buy bread. I carried her on my hip because I didn't want to bother with a trolley or pram for such a short shop. She's heavy though and when she wiggles she's hard to hold.

Her eyes latched on to the banana stand. $13 something a kg. I tried to avert her gaze but to no avail. My baby girl absolutely adores bananas. She hadn't had one in a week. There was no getting out of this without tears. So I chose the smallest ripe banana I could find and I gave it to her to carry. Her little eyes beamed with joy.

She held that banana while I grabbed two loaves of bread and stood in line. She reluctantly gave it to the lady to weigh before snatching it back again. This was her prize, her precious.

An elderly gentleman behind me asked curiously, "how much was that one banana?" "$1.65," I said sheepishly. "Well if bub loves them that much," he said. For some reason I felt the need to elaborate, "she hasn't had one in a week and she loves them so much. She would have them everyday but I'd have to go back to work for that." "Well they say the price is going down soon," he said sympathetically. "Eventually," I said. This guy was nice but sometimes people can be so rude. I've heard it all from, "you shouldn't buy them they're ripping you off", to "did you win the lotto", to "where's mine". These comments usually come from women reaking of smoke and clutching gossip magazines.

I strapped Alexis into her carseat still clutching her prized banana. Still in its skin. I wasn't gonna risk her dropping it in the car. I kept justifying the expense to myself as if I'd just bought a new diamond ring for myself. "I don't smoke, I don't gamble, I don't buy coffee, I don't eat out much, I have only had two glasses of alcohol since May 2009 and one of those were free, I don't buy designer clothes or fancy handbags, I don't buy magazines...I can buy my kid a banana."

For goodness sake, it's $1.65, cheaper than a bottle of water or a matchbox car or most food-related treats. Corey and I have found an easy, healthy, shopping bribe. I glanced back at her, having the time of her life holding this banana. I stopped in the drive way to take some photos.



When we got inside I opened the fridge to put the bread away. Alexis put the banana on the shelf and helped herself to an apple. She is still happily munching on the apple half an hour later.

o

Oh this kid confuses me. At least the banana kept her happy at the shops. She got about half an hour's happiness just looking at it. All is not wasted, she'll discover it this afternoon or tomorrow morning and smile at her good fortune. Oh wow, a banana.

There's always the possibility that *I* might get to eat it? Oh gosh that'd be nice ;-). Isn't it funny how I didn't feel guilty buying dinner at Gold Class on the weekend but one little banana raised so many questions. Corey and I can do what we want with our money. We really don't waste money, so we can afford bananas. Feeling frivolous and wasteful for buying fruit is ridiculous. It'd be ok if I didn't get "wow, going all out are we?" glances at the shops every time. I realise we are all mad at supermarket giants for over inflating the prices, but that is not my 17 month old daughter's fault!

What's the stupidest thing you've falsely felt guilty for?       
    

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13 Comments:

At July 29, 2011 at 8:30 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't feel guilty. It's not chocolate or full of sugar, it is full of nutrients and is healthy. While bananas are $13 a kilo, we still need to support our aussie farmers after the dreadful disasters this summer. A lot of good has come from your choice

 
At July 29, 2011 at 10:03 AM , Blogger Alex aka WHOA MUMMA! said...

I 'splurged' and bought 3 tiny lady finger bananas this morning. The kids haven't had them for ages and were pretty excited when they spotted them on the bench.

They scoffed them in about 1 minute. It feels expensive but it's cheaper than a bar of chocolate and way healthier.

 
At July 29, 2011 at 10:12 AM , Blogger ANB said...

We're still going through 3 or 4 a week (for one 16 month old!) but I agree with you, they are expensive now compared to what they used to be, but they are healthy and Little E loves them.

 
At July 29, 2011 at 1:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn! If you invested that $1.65 at 6% interest compounded annually, by the time your little girl was 21 she could probably afford 20 bananas! You should be ashamed!

The Cranky Old Man

 
At July 29, 2011 at 1:11 PM , Anonymous rachel said...

I but my kids bananas every now and then as a treat cause they love them. i secretly hope that they will drop and i might get to eat it!! i do feel a little guilty but not too bad - they are ridiculously expensive but if a banana makes my boys happy then i am happy and i don't want to deny them good quality, easy to carry food!
i think i feel guilty about buying anything for myself these days but can justify anything for my kids!
visiting from Not a ballerina x

 
At July 29, 2011 at 2:42 PM , Blogger skyelee said...

It's funny - I wonder if anyone would have batted an eyelash if it was a $2.50 chocolate bar you were buying her instead? Where have people priorities gone when you can't buy fruit without an uproar? You are buying her a nutritious treat AND supporting our farmers to get back on their feet. The next time the smoke laden woman ask where theirs are let 'em know they could have bought a whole bunch with what it cost them for their fags!

 
At July 29, 2011 at 5:47 PM , Blogger Amanda said...

LOL I think $1.65 is a small price to pay for health and happiness :-) and I don't usually admit it but my small boy still has a banana for breakfast almost every day (and no, we are not rich). My justification (because yes, apparently we all need one!) is that I make every single meal he eats - he has had pre-prepared baby food twice in his life (I tried a third time once when we were all sick and out of frozen homemade meals, but he rejected it) so I have saved hundreds of dollars there. And heck, bananas are so good for you!

And thanks for taking part in Not A Ballerina's Weekend Wanderings!

 
At July 29, 2011 at 7:50 PM , Anonymous Kellie @ Three Li'l Princesses said...

I agree with Skyelee. Funny how it's always the same sort of person who raises their eyebrow. And I'm more than happy to invest in good food for my kids, rather than chips, chocolates and fizzy drinks.
We bought three this week. We haven't had one in a few weeks. It was just part and parcel of Ella's time as a baby, so I hate that Baby Holly misses out. I also love that something like a banana can be viewed as a treat! Maybe I should try the same psychology for beans!

 
At July 29, 2011 at 9:16 PM , Blogger CRAP Mamma said...

I'm with Skylee and Kellie, no-one would bat and eyelid if you had a chocolate milk in your hand for her and it would have cost more and not be as good for her! I can't NOT buy my kids bananas, they're healthy, they're convenient and they fill them up. Mind you I don't send them to school with Mr Cuddles because I feel like someone would think we're 'flaunting' it or something. It's crazy. Great post Karlee.

 
At July 29, 2011 at 9:32 PM , Blogger Kellie said...

I quite happily spend over $10 for bananas and don't buy other fruit just because I know my kids will eat them. Apples, pears, kiwi - they've been done to death. We are bringing back the nana.

 
At July 30, 2011 at 10:17 AM , Blogger Jess Newman said...

I felt the need to justify banana buying myself yesterday, which is just stupid. It is cheaper than any of the other 'treats' we buy and so much healthier!
I'm with Kellie. Bring back the Nana!

 
At July 31, 2011 at 3:23 PM , Blogger Kirsty said...

We're not rich but we haven't hesitated to buy bananas all through the price hike. We love them and they are power food. There are plenty of grocery items that cost far more than $13 a kilo and everyone buys them (ham,beef, etc). $1.65 seems a bargain to me for a healthy snack.

 
At August 1, 2011 at 10:58 PM , Blogger The Mother Experiment said...

thank you all for your comments. I'm so glad to know I'm not alone.

 

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