So, at the end of the first week of school I have an inspired thought: DD2 needs a new lunch box. How about I swing by Vera Bradley and get her the one she was admiring when we where there picking up sister's backpack and lunchbox. I'm loving the one her sister got, and think this would be a wise purchase... and it will make DD2 SO HAPPY!
Yes. Or NOT HAPPY AT ALL as the case may be. See, when told she had a present waiting for her at home, she immediately got excited. Which I then fed with remarks about how pleased she will be, and how I know she's been needing a little something to make her feel special about going back to school too. Apparently she got it in to her head that she'd be receiving a set of these:
...instead of this:
So, when presented with this lunch box, that is not an inexpensive purchase considering she is 8 years old, she threw a mother of a tantrum. As she threw it on the ground screaming, "I wanted SQUINKIES!", my jaw absolutely dropped. I picked it up, put it back in the bag and said, "Fine. This can be returned. If you don't want it that is fine. You won't have it." Turned my back on her and dropped the subject. Refused to engage her. Sent her to her room when her crying started to get on my nerves.
A few days later I still hadn't gotten over the the mall to return the unwanted lunch box. She noticed the bag. "Mom, when we pack my lunch tomorrow can we use my new lunch box." Me, "It isn't yours, I just haven't returned it yet. No."
Come Friday morning she looked over at the bag (which I was planning on taking back that day after drop off), and said, "You know, I really do want that lunch box. I do need one." I said, "So you don't think I should return it?" She smiled (thinking she's winning at this point), "No. We should keep it." I smiled back at her and said, "Fine. Instead of my returning it to get my money back, you can buy it from me."
Shock. Betrayal. Horror. Tears. "No! I want the lunch box! I don't want to buy it! You already bought it!" Me: "Yes, and after your behavior regarding this gift I purchased for you, I've decided that you aren't grown up enough for a very nice lunch box and it should be returned. However, if you'd like to pay for it, I'll sell it to you." She was SO mad at me when I dropped her off at school with her paper bag lunch.
Cut to that evening, "Mom?" "Yes, DD2?" "I want to buy it. The lunch box. How much is it?" At which point I told her to get the receipt from the bag and read it to me. Then she went to her piggy bank and brought me the money.
And now it's hers. Ironically, I went in to it with the actual plan of spoiling her a little - and it backfired in to a pretty good life lesson. How often does that happen?