Alternate Title: Sometimes, Just Sometimes, I Think That Maybe We're Doing Something Right
At the end of January, we took both kids to the circus (yes, it's been that long since I posted on the blog). This was Julia's first trip, and though she had no idea what a "circus" was, she was thrilled. She's at a phase where regardless of what the event is, she wants to make sure that she gets to go. In fact, a common question from her whenever she hears us talking about anything, is "Me go?!?" I guess she finally started to realize that we took Will to certain things that she didn't get to attend, and now she is not willing to miss out.
Anyway, I digress. This was Julia's first trip to the circus, but it was Will's third. Last year, we had a firm policy that we were not going to buy any of the plastic, crappy toys that the circus has to offer. We made a big deal about how getting to go to the circus was the big treat, and he also got to get a snow-cone in a tiger cup, which we thought counted as a toy. It did not. At least not in Will's mind. He held it together pretty well until we were leaving, where we had to walk through the plastic toy gauntlet. Then, he lost it--screaming, crying, pouting--if you can think of a bad behavior, he did it. Needless to say, this left a bad taste in our mouth regarding our circus visit.
Fast forward to this year: we decided to come up with a new plan. We succumbed to the fact that buying a plastic toy for each child was just part of the circus experience and cost. But, we told Will that he was going to have to help pay for his toy by using some of his allowance. He gets four dollars a week (when we remember) and doesn't have much to spend it on, so he has quite a stash. He quickly accepted our terms and ran upstairs to get his money. When he came back, we were astounded:
"Here is my five dollars for my toy. And here is five dollars for Julia to get a toy. Because she doesn't get an allowance, so how is she going to get a toy? I brought five dollars for her."
I think I teared up a little bit. This is the exact attitude of giving and sharing that we're trying to foster, and he came up with it all on his own. Of course, he was praised effusively, which he loved, and we all headed out to the circus.
When it came time to pick a toy, he picked a light up, spinning sword, which I believe he has played with exactly once since. But, here's the best part of this story: Julia was standing with us while Will picked his toy, but didn't seem to realize what was going on, and we weren't about to clue her in if she wasn't begging for something (I'm sure she'll mention it in therapy later). After we paid for Will's sword, the man gave us a comment card that had a picture of an elephant on it. Julia thought that was her toy from the circus! And she was happy about it! Between the picture of the elephant and the free tattoo she had gotten before the show, she thought she had hit the jackpot.
And so did we.