Today, I took Big A shopping for school clothes. She didn’t need a lot, but I want her to start her 3rd Grade year with confidence.
Let me preface this story by shedding a little bit of light on her ‘style’ situation. I can’t say that she doesn’t have a sense of style, because most of the time she picks out cute stuff. It’s when she tries to pair up outfits that makes me cringe. As far as her taste goes, she's inconsistent and it DRIVES ME CRAZY! She will wear the heck out of a shirt with hearts on it, but she won’t wear the jeans with hearts embroidered on them, and loves the jeans with butterflies on them. She picked out tennis shoes that were black and pink last week when we were shopping. Today, I found a pair almost identical to last week's pair, and she said they were ugly. Fickle. The child is fickle.
Any of you with a child of any age knows that when they see something they want, they turn into some kind of whiney mutant with a high-pitched voice that says, “Pleeeeaaaassseeee, Mom!” about 12,398 times, even after you said no. Big A is that child. No matter how many times I say no, there’s always a, “Pleeeeeassse, Mom!” after it.
Today, I was bound and determined to have a day without the whiney ‘Please, Mom!’s’. My plan worked.
I feel like friggin’ SuperMom right now. Bow to my greatness, all of you!
OK--Really, people have been doing this for years, but I decided to give it a try.
I went to the ATM and withdrew $100, handed it to Big A, and told her that’s all she gets for the day. She asked, “If I run out, will you pay?” My response was, “No. That’s it. When it’s gone, it’s gone. You’re done shopping." I only required that she bought at least 2 pairs of pants, the rest can be spent on whatever she wants, as long as it can be worn to school. Of course, the child was in heaven. She’s thinking she’s got the jackpot in her hand. I could see the dollar signs roll into her eyes like a slot machine.
Our first stop was Old Navy. They have great jeans for kids, and Big A is a tricky kid to buy jeans for. I have to buy her slim sizes because regulars are too big. Old Navy has kids’ jeans $30 for 2 pairs, so that’s where we went! When we finished there, we headed for the mall. I was tempted to stick to big-box department stores since they’re cheaper. In the end, I decided to try the mall anyway.
We went to no less than 10 stores while we were there. Usually after about the second or third store, the whiney mutant comes out, but Big A was on a mission. She had seventy dollars to spend! We actually had fun shopping instead of arguing over what she could and couldn’t buy. There were multiple times she debated over certain items and ultimately put them back on the rack because the price wasn’t low enough for her. At one point, she saw a pair of high tops she just had to have in a store window. We went in to check out the price and they were $54.99. She shrugged her shoulders and said, “I only have fifty dollars left,” then turned and walked out. I am so glad, too. Those were probably the ugliest shoes I had ever seen in my life!
At the end of the day, she ended up with 7 shirts, 2 pairs of pants, and less than a dollar in change. She spent every dollar and learned how to make good decisions with money along the way.