You Break It, You Buy It
Just The Norm
Most of today was rather inconsequential. The morning started with the boy crawling in my bed at an ungodly hour, the girl asking if it was ok for her to play on her Kindle and dogs whining to go out. Laundry, coffee, breakfast, more laundry, more coffee, showers. Where is this? Have you seen my that? She’s bothering me, he’s taking my stuff. A Saturday that dreams are made of, no?
The girl had a birthday party at 1 pm, and we had a gift to pick up on the way. The boy and his daddy hung back and did boy things while the girl and I ran to Walmart and then to the party. After bowling, playing games and squealing for 2 hours with other little girls (she was squealing, I was wondering if I had Advil in my purse), we packed it in and headed on our way to meet the boy and his daddy for some frozen yogurt. The boy has been begging for it, but having temperatures in the teens wasn’t exactly helping his cause. Today was more like 60 degrees, so it was a little easier for me to get on board with his plan.
FroYo was great. I didn’t get any myself, but the boy did feed me a bite of his cotton candy/too much other stuff to know what I was eating combo. It was near the end of our FroYo adventure that things started to go a little off track.
Jumping the Tracks
The girl and I had discussed taking a trip to the craft store to finish out our afternoon. The Hubs and I were already in separate cars, so splitting back up was no big deal (besides, he loathes the craft store – probably a result of my hoarding.) Yeah, except that in the last few weeks, the boy has also really started to show interest in art and hearing that his sister might get to pick up some new supplies was just too much for his little head to handle. He declared his intention to join said craft store trip, and as dad seemed to be relatively on board, the decision was made to leave one of our cars at the FroYo place and travel together to the craft store. We could always swing back by to pick up the second car later. A minor change, but nothing that was causing any problems.
As we were leaving the FroYo place, we could tell that the boy was getting pretty wound up. He and his sister were already starting to bicker. He was poking and picking, pretty much anything he could do to get a rise out of her. It was getting on my nerves and we hadn’t made it out of the parking lot. He was warned and settled a bit, but I could tell he was twitching on the inside. Parking lot to parking lot was a 5 minute excursion, tops. He had to be warned again in that tiny span of time. I knew this wouldn’t end well, I knew it, but Hubs was making a very consorted effort to enjoy family time (as much as he hates the craft store) and I was doing my best not to squish his efforts. Also, the girl really had been good and I love feeding her craft habit, so I didn’t want to punish her by calling off the trip.
That Awkward Moment When…
Hopping out of the car, my first move was to tell the boy to hold my hand. He shot back at me with a “no!” Excuse me, son… I conceded and allowed him to walk beside me, sans the hand holding. The bouncing, grabbing at things and general unruliness didn’t slow down, even with repeated warnings from his dad.
And then it happened.
Did I mention that this particular craft store happens to also have a large home decor section? With lots of glass and ceramics… very breakable glass and ceramics. And there ya go. The boy, still bouncing around like he was on a playground and not in a store, smacked into his sister and pushed her into a shelf full of ceramic vases. One met its untimely death on the cold, hard floor. Shattered into about 50 pieces, at one point it was a very pretty $23 vase. My children reduced it to little more than mosaic pieces and a safety hazard. As I bent down to pick up the fallen vase, I told Hubs to take the kids to the car while I collected the broken pieces and I would pay for the vase. That’s when the screaming started.
“Why can’t I get my art supplies?!” “He made me do it!” “She broke it, not me!” “inaudible wailing”
The Devil Is In The Details
Deep breath. Time for a lesson in consequences. This was going to be bad, but I was committed to it. After a brief moment to rethink my plan, I told Hubs to never mind my instructions to take the kids to the car. Instead, they were going to put back the items they had picked up and go with me through the line to pay for the vase. With much huffing and puffing, my directions were followed. Items were returned to their rightful homes and we took our place in line. When I handed the broken vase to the cashier, I said “my kids broke this and we need to pay for it.” She looked confused. Apparently people don’t normally pay for the things they break. She asked me if I was sure I wanted to do it, and for a second I almost said no, then I remembered… I committed. I was teaching a lesson. I confirmed my desire to pay for the vase, had her wrap and bag it as if we were taking it home, then had my kids take it – together – and throw it in the trash. We discussed what impact their actions had on our money, on the store and on themselves. They didn’t like it, they still wanted their craft supplies, but in the end the whining stopped, the boy got it together and the rest of the evening was relatively smooth.
Right or Wrong?
Did I do the right thing there? I’m not sure. I feel like I did, but I question if I should’ve just shut the whole thing down before we ever went into the store to begin with. This parenting thing is hard! So many decision to be made on the fly. If this had happened to you, how would you have handled it?