There are so many small everyday sort of things we do which can be to our kids big life defining moments.
As of her fifth birthday, we started giving Rainbow an allowance. A little while ago our local comic book shop was having an anniversary sale, 50% off graphic novels. We let her use her allowance to pick up the Marvel Classics version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. This is the second time she has saved up and bought something with her allowance. Rocket was quiet about it, not whiny at all, but you could tell she was disappointed. My husband felt bad for her so he promised that the next day we would go to the toy store and pick out a treat.
I had mixed feelings. My husband loves to shop and he likes to reward the girls with Stuff. You’ve been good, you get a toy! I would rather reward good behaviour with praise and attention than material goods. It’s something we disagree on. So I sort of winced at the promised toy store trip, but let it slide.
The next day we headed to Toys R Us for the promised reward. I normally always put Rocket in a cart. This time Hubby let her walk free and lead the way. I expected no good would come of this. I expected the entire trip would be a flop but I was very wrong.
Hubby explained to Rocket that she could pick anything she wanted as long as it cost less then $20. Of course money means nothing to a two year old, so when she pointed out expensive toys we would say “Too big, you need to find something small.”
She would walk up to each toy and say “Oohh… Coo-el. A dog! Look, look, a baby! A robot!” She would pat it, look at it and say “Not my treat.” and move on. She minutely examined pretty much every item in Toys R Us, got excited over each one, and then would say “Not my treat.” and keep looking. It was pretty amusing. She eventually settled on a Duplo set. It was on sale and within the dollar limit. She insisted on carrying it to the checkout herself, though the box was half as big as her.
We arrived at the checkout, third in line. Rocket says, “I, Rocket, am big now. I get treat. I BIG. I share with you. ” and plops the box down on the ground next to her sister. Rainbow examines the box and tells her it has nice pieces. Again Rocket says, “I big now, Rocket, I BIG.”
She said it with such emphasis, such authority. I realized that for her this shopping trip meant much more then a new toy. It was a rite of passage in her eyes. She was “big enough” to lead the trip, to pick out a treat, to get a treat. To her it was a Really Big Deal.
On the ride home Rocket continued to babble to her sister about how Big, Big, BIG she now was. As my husband was helping her out of her carseat he casually mentioned that Big Girls use the potty. And Rocket marched right inside, sat down on her little potty and peed! “Rainbow come see… I made something yellow! I big!”
We’ve been getting no where with potty training for a long while now. If I had known that a Duplo kit would put her over the edge? Trust me, I would have bought one months ago.
It’s moments like these when I feel like my kids are blessed to have two parents with differing points of view.
How about you guys? What surprise moments have turned out to be Very Important to your little one?