I find that victories as a parent are few and far between.
Maybe it is because at times I feel like I am parenting a miniature version of myself. Daily I see snippets of me in her sassy mouth and her crazy sense of fashion. My Dad will often sit back and chuckle at Madaline's antics. In this chuckle I am reminded that he is seeing bits and pieces of me as a child in my daughter.
And, so, perhaps this is why Madaline's actions Saturday stick out of me so well. You see, I don't often write about our financial situation. Maybe that is because it is no ones business but our own. But, truth be told, we are getting by on one income. And, at times, money is tight. There is very little money for "wants" as opposed to "needs". If you know what I mean. And, this comes into conflict with the parent that I have always wanted to be. I've always said to my husband that I wanted to be the parent that said no to a new toy or a new trinket because I could. Not because I had to. And, while Madaline wants for very little (Grammy & Grampy are more than very generous), it does make me ache at times that I can not give into her every whim and want.
And, so, as we wandered around Target, I was more than happy to say YES to the new sand pail that came with a shovel (thank you Target for your $2.50 bins). And, again I said YES as we wandered thru the seasonal items and there were some boxes of other sand toys - each for .99 cents. I even let her choose two. Maybe it was because she'd asked so nicely with her good manners. Maybe it was because she'd actually been riding in the cart the whole time instead of trying run up and down the isles like a heathen.
Before we knew it, we'd come full circle back around the store. By now she's asked to get out of the cart and walk. And, in my mind I was thinking if we can just get thru the checkout past the shelves of "needfull things" we'd be all set. And, besides, I'd just told her that because she'd been so good, that I'd treat her to a lemonade and some popcorn.
And, that's when it happened. It caught her eye. On the bottom shelf in the check out. The miniature barbie toy.
"Mama, can I have it"
No honey, not today
I said NO, not today Mads
"I want it"
I SAID NO
"I want it"
Madaline Elizabeth, we just got you a new bucket and new diggy things for your sandbox, you don't need it
"I want it"
Ok...you know what - you have to make a choice. If you want the barbie toy we will have to return all the sand toys
"I want both"
I'm sorry, but you can't have both. Either the sand toys or the barbie toy. You choose.
::Madaline hangs her head and stand there thinking for a few minutes::
::she turns and stomps back over to put the barbie toy on the shelf::
Thank you for making a choice Madaline - now, would you like your lemonade and popcorn?
And, when I looked up, perhaps the best thing that could have happened? The cashier that had just rang us out, looked over at me and smiled. A little knowing smile. Kinda like the smile I wished that someone had given me that fateful day at Old Navy. But, oh well. And, now that I think about it, I don't think the popcorn at Target has ever tasted as good as it tasted last Saturday.