Are sno-cones really worth it?
By KATE SNYDER
Life with a Smile
Has a sno-cone ever ruined your life?
No, me neither. I have a flare for the dramatic retellings of life events, but even I wouldn’t go that far. I would, however, say with utter confidence and no hyperbole that a sno-cone put a serious damper on what was supposed to be a really fun day a couple weeks ago.
I took my youngest child and two of her friends to see Disney on Ice in Lexington as a belated birthday celebration. Princesses! Costumes! Ice skating! Indoor Snow! Cotton candy! Could anything in the entire world possibly be more fabulous for a 6-year-old girl? I think not.
Except for that darned sno-cone. It was all she wanted, all she talked about on the way there. It would come in a commemorative cup (the kind her sister got from a previous outing). It would be rainbow colored. It would be worth the $12 price tag because it would be perfect.
She dropped it. Of course she dropped it. Not once, but twice.
That’s right. She dropped the original sno-cone and then dropped the second, replacement sno-cone, too. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s $24 in sugar-ice melting on the floor of Rupp Arena, along with another $24 in sugar-ice being ingested by her companions, who each had their own. Let’s round up and call it an even $50 spent on sno-cones.
When you spend $50 on frozen corn syrup you really hope to get some smiles in return, rather than the heartbroken sobs of a 6-year-old in a sticky Princess Anna costume.
There are moments in parenthood where you really have to ask yourself — “is it worth it?” Not parenting, of course. Parenting itself is worth it. But, Disney on Ice? That one I’m less sure about after our experience. An expensive outing laden with sky-high expectations and an astronomical amount of sugar is perhaps not “worth it” in the cosmic scheme of things.
It’s not just the money. I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of money on things for the kids that I felt were totally worth it. Like the $95 bean bag chair from Pottery Barn Kids that I bought for my youngest’s birthday this year.
Look, I know that $95 is an obscene amount of money to spend on a beanbag chair. I’m embarrassed just typing the words. But my big kids each had one (purchased as floor models for cheap) and they’ve held up beautifully and my third-born wanted one desperately. I’d already bought not one but two cheap beanbags in an attempt to avoid buying the expensive one and let’s just say they were worth exactly what I paid for them. So when I finally broke down and paid up for the real deal, it was money well spent.
And then there are Easter outfits. I love matching family Easter clothes almost as much as I love matching Christmas pajamas. My kids are young enough and close enough in age that it’s pretty easy to find adorable coordinated holiday ensembles.
It can also be easy to get carried away. Dresses? Shawls? Butterfly sandals? Checked polo shirt with a matching fedora? They need it all, and such adorable frivolities can add up. Luckily for me, my mother shares my fondness for cute clothes and usually bankrolls the Easter garb.
Then there’s the small matter of forcing my children to wear their adorable matching outfits. This year, I faced the rumblings of a mutiny on Easter morning. One daughter declared her dress too poofy. The other announced hers was scratchy. My son took issue with the fedora.
But I was not to be dissuaded. I let my kids wear pretty much whatever they want 363 days of the year. Easter and Christmas belongs to me, small children. Accept your fate and don the plaid polo shirt.
As I look back through photographs of Easters past, I can say with absolute certainty that the money spent on matching outfits and the effort put into enforcing the dress code are totally worth it. We are one cute family — with or without rainbow-colored princess sno-cones.