Shopping with my daughters used to be uneventful. We could go to a store, hit the toy aisle to look and be done. Now that my daughters are old enough to understand the concept of buying things, shopping can be hairy. The toy aisle can still be fun, or it can lead to "Can I have this?" "I really need this."
A few days ago, I needed to go to a nearby mall. As a general rule, I avoid malls. I'm not a big shopper to begin with, and I hate those kiosks in malls where the employees badger you the entire time you're walking by. But the store I needed to go to is only in a mall and I had to go because I had a Groupon that was about to expire. So off we went to the mall.
As I pulled into the parking lot, I realized my daughters had never been to a mall before. Fortunately, the store I needed to go to is near an entrance, so we didn't have to parade through a department store. We bought what I needed and then my daughters asked to go on the nearby escalator. I humored them. They've been on escalators before, unfortunately, it dawned on me as we stepped on the moving stairs that I've always had other adults around when we've been on escalators. I held my breath. We all made it on and off without incident. Thank goodness the elevator was nearby and it was a glass elevator, so they were more than happy to ditch the escalator on the way down.
As we headed to the elevator, I spied The Disney Store. I decided to take them. Before we went in the store I repeatedly told them "We are NOT buying anything."
They were mesmerized by all the "stuff" in the store. They had fun looking at the "Tangled" items and seeing the tiny bathing suits for babies. The dressing room was a castle, so of course they wanted to go inside. No one was trying anything on, so I let them look inside for a few minutes. They didn't ask for a single thing. No one sighed dramatically or stomped her feet. I'm a huge sucker so I decided to reward them for their good behavior in the mall and in the store. They each picked out a cup with their favorite princess. (Actually, Roo chose Minnie Mouse because they didn't have Snow White). As soon as they found out they were going home with such a fancy surprise, I was inundated with choruses of "Thank you, Mommy." "This is so nice. Thank you!" Every single one of them thanked me profusely. At one point I was even declared the best mom ever. The point is: they're finally starting to get it. The lessons on manners are paying off. The lessons on not getting something every time you ask are working because now they don't ask for something every time we go to a store. The lessons on staying with mom in busy places are sinking in. Are they perfect? No, but they're finally starting to get it! I was on Cloud 9 for the rest of the day after all the "thank you's" I received.
(On a funny side note: when we got home, Tortilla said "Thanks for taking us to Disneyland, mom!" If she thinks this was cool, wait until we eventually go to the real place!)
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