Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Big Kid Paradox

My four year old, Danielle still uses a binkie.[1]  She loves, loves, loves her binkie and has it every night at bedtime.  Three times now, my husband and I have bought what we've sworn to be the last binkies we'll ever buy her; so she'd better take care of them.  When the latest set developed chew holes after only a few weeks it was time for a new tack.  I told her that if she wanted new binkies she'd need to save her own money to buy them.  She always takes this with a good attitude.  She likes having some control over her acquisitions and will show inordinate patience (for a four-year-old) with the time it takes to save for the object she wants.  However, this was not the case in this instance.  There was some whining, "Uunnnuugghh - how much do they cost??  How much do I have??  (Followed by frantic piggybank shaking.)  Can I do some jobs??"  But overall, it wasn't much.

With new determination she saved and counted, then counted again.  Until, at last, she had the required $5.99 for the newest set of binkies.  As soon as the money was tallied, she deposited it into her purse and we were off to Fred Meyers.  I picked up a few things I needed and we made our way over to the baby aisles.  She looked over the pacifier selection much as a fine restaurateur might peruse the dusty tenants of a wine cellar.  She made her choice and refusing to add them to our cart, carried them in hand to the register.  I paid for my purchases, then she for hers.  She carefully counted the money while the checker patiently waited.  Mercifully, the checker bagged Danielle's purchases and handed it over in exchange for her money.  "My aren't you a big girl," she said graciously.  Danielle puffed up with pride.  I wanted also to congratulate her, but as I couldn't seem to muster the right words, I remained quiet.

Upon our return home she made a beeline for her scissors.  Lacking the required hand strength to cut through the Kevlar packaging, she enlisted my husband's help.  He opened them for her and she dutifully went to the sink to wash them both.  After letting them breathe for the slightest of moments they were each sampled in turn.  "Was it a good year?" my husband inquired.  "Indeed father, it was."

1. Let he who is the perfect parent with the perfect children cast the first lego.  That's what I thought, now sitdownwouldja.

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