Thursday, June 30, 2011

Saying YES

There are days I just don't give my kids enough credit.

I raise them to be responsible little peoples who think for themselves and take responsibility for their actions, and then I'm all surprised when they actually do.
My bad, guys.
This week Crazy Aunt Jane & Traveling Uncle Matt sent the kids birthday money for their (collective) birthdays. With the caveat they use it for something fun (a day at the pool "on us!" or an all out splurge at the Dollar Spot. You get the idea.)
Immediately all three demanded we put the crisp new $20 bill into the Holiday World Bank; where all our pocket change and loose dollars have been going for the past two months. I nixed it. I told them they HAD to splurge. They HAD to have fun with it. Or Else. Whose kids are these anyway? So, after a dinner's worth of discussion...

"Can we buy a pony?"
"Can we buy an xbox?"
"Can we buy bubble gum?"
"Can we buy Nerf Guns?"
"Can we buy ice cream?"
"Can we buy new bicycles?"
"Can we save it all for Holiday World?"
"Can we save part of it for Holiday World?"
Yes. was decided that we'd put $5.00 into the Holiday World Bank and that each kid would have $5.00 to go buck wild with at Target. Because, you know, it's Target. It's like the mecca of random shit shopping. We love it there. Collectively. And individually. I mean, it's Target. Anyhoodle. We loaded up the Cavalier and were off.  The entire drive there I'm picturing full-on meltdowns in the toy aisle...arguments over prices and short? something similar to our typical grocery store visits.
What I got? vastly, and pleasantly, different.  I gave each kid their $5.00 and made them *gasp* do math.
They got a huge kick out of it.

Isabelle ended up snagging a paintbook with tiny little paints, a set of miniature dry erase markers for the dry erase board that hangs over her bed, and a pack of gum.

Sebastian hemmed and hawed and carried around eight different items for varying lengths of time until he finally put them all back, opting for the pool & bathtub Pirate Play Set. Which, honestly? Even I want to play with that thing in the bathtub.

And Sophie, well, The Monkey went all out. She found five disparate items all priced at $1 each...just so she could walk around the store with her arms completely full. She chose a bag of cotton candy, a pack of Strawberry fruit roll ups, a pair of Hello Kitty socks, a pack of six colored multi-shaped erasers, and a pack of "Buddle Gum" so she could "blow buddles".

You know how there are phrases that you are loathe to break your kids of, just for the sheer entertainment value they provide? That's one of them. "Buddle Gum". That just cracks me up.  Her brother & sister are already trying to smother it out of her vocabulary, but I let it slide. Because, let's be honest, part of The Munchkins inherent value in this situation is their entertainment value.

There was not one argument.
There was not one standing-to-the-floor-in-eight-seconds-meltdown.
There was no cajoling me for "just one more dollar, mom, pleeeeaaaase?"
There were just three very well-behaved, thoughtful, delighted little people who each had $5.00 to blow on whatever caught their fancy. The novelty of a shopping trip "Just For Them" had them enthralled. And knowing that, but for the price ceiling, I wasn't going to veto any of their decisions made it the perfect shopping trip.

If I'd known $5.00 was their price point? I would have been using this a loooooooong time ago!  But more importantly, it helped me remember that sometimes, it is more beneficial to my sanity to say "sure!" than "no way, jose" when the kids asked for something random and off the wall. More "Yes"es to the extra helping of ice cream, the five-more-minutes playing outside, the one-more-story. Less "No"s just because I'm tired or feeling cranky or out of sorts after a long day. 

I'm hoping this little more-yeses mantra holds true for all that cashola we have saved up in the Holiday World Bank. I'm already giddy at the prospect of being able to say "YES!" emphatically every time one of the Munchkins asks for an ice cream cone, a funnel cake, some dippin' dots...whatever happens to catch their fancy. Just because we can.

^ Crazy Aunt Jane & Traveling Uncle Matt ^

1 comment:

  1. Bwahahaha! Uncle Traveling Matt! LOVE IT!

    Does he send postcards from the outer world?


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