Wow, what a day! Ok, so let me make this clear up front; I’m not the type of guy who really enjoys being dragged out of the house to participate in a shopping spree that takes me to more than two stores on any given occasion. To my chagrin, on this day, I was forced to loosen my usual stance where shopping is concerned and carouse six stores in one day.
We started out at Fresh Market for lunch, then on to Dollar Tree, Kroger, Walmart, Trader Joe’s, and finally, upon the girls repeated requests, we landed at Toy’s R Us!
We pulled into the parking lot of the toy store, and I commented out loud that, this was the first time I’d ever been inside this particular Toys R Us! To which Delaney cleverly responded, “Well Dada, this will be your lucky day!” We had a nice chuckle, as we paraded inside the toy store. At this point, the girls where delighted and filled with anticipation.
The jolly mood soon turned sour when Marley couldn’t find a toy she liked that didn’t cost less than $50.00. Delaney and Journey previously each had toys purchased for them elsewhere, and we were still considering buying them both something small here as well. But Marley couldn’t understand that we were only willing to purchase items in the $20.00 range. Marley deemed this dollar amount to be unacceptable apparently, and the pouting ensued. Even when Rach and I both tried in vain to help her find something, nothing we picked out for her was sufficient.
What began as a chance for us to splurge a bit on the girls, and on a day we hadn’t even planned to buy any toys from the get-go, turned into an opportunity for us teach them a much needed lesson in gratitude.
Unable to reach an agreement on a suitable store item for Marley, and with the situation beginning to deteriorate quickly and on the verge of full blown temper tantrum, we were forced to flee the store empty handed and in a hurry! I’m sure we made quite a scene, ushering three inconsolable children past the many curious onlookers in the check out line, and marching them single file through the door and into parking lot…leaving a trail of tears in our wake.
Once they were all loaded up in the car, we did our best to calmly explain to them why they were not able to get anything at this time, but our voices were practically inaudible over the unpleasant sound of three distressed little girls wailing at the top of their lungs.
Delaney and Journey were reminded that they already had new toys in the car with us, while we tried to help Marley see that see shouldn’t be so picky in the future when it comes to toy purchases, and adhere to the price limits we set.
Toys R Us advertises itself as a place where kids can be themselves – “where a kid can be a kid.” But Rach and I are certainly not in the business of allowing our children to use negative behavior to express themselves when they don’t get what they want, nor are we interested in raising spoiled kids (if we can help it).
The girls seemed to understand what we were trying to convey to them I guess, and once we got home the whole episode was almost forgotten after they dove into the mountain of toys that their room is already stuffed with.
Although it didn’t feel like my lucky day at the time, like Delaney told me it would be, in hind sight, the chance to teach my children the virtue of being thankful, certainly made this day a successful one.