days 20, 21, 22: the good, bad and the surprising

Post image for days 20, 21, 22: the good, bad and the surprising

by Janice on 03/29/2012

Life came crashing down a bit over the last few weeks and it was difficult to stay focused on bootcamp or on blogging.

Our eldest caught a nasty virus that affected the lymph nodes in her neck and triggered her extremely high fever response. Luckily it wasn’t meningitis, but the first time for us with sore neck and high fever – hopefully the last! With both girls at home for spring break (two weeks!), and my planned vacation days cancelled by some unexpected events at work, something had to give.

Despite this, we were able to salvage a trip down to the American Girl store, north of Seattle. In preparation, I had explained that they could withdraw $50 US dollars from their bank accounts. I explained how tax works, then we calculated that they could spend $46 in pretax dollars. Pouring intently over the catalogue, they identified which items they could afford and created their shopping lists for the store. This was our first real attempt at teaching the value of money, and it was very heartening to see how easily they adapted to this new set of rules.

I struggle with the fact that the entire point of this trip was consumerism (which I’m supposed to be giving up for Lent), but their audible gasp at the first site of the store was something I won’t forget any time soon. Also heartening, my eldest daughter’s observations when we were in the check out line. We have made a big deal to them about how expensive these dolls are, and made it very clear that they need to take care of them. Much to my daughter’s horror, the girl ahead of us was dragging two dolls around by the hair, both sporting matted and dirty locks, while her Mother purchased a pile of new goods and accessories. Her observation (made outside of the store) was that “the little girl did not deserve new toys if she wouldn’t look after the dolls she had”. This brought a second glow to my heart.

After this trip, I explained to the girls, that to make way for the new things they had chosen, we had to do a purge of toys. To my surprise they agreed and did a terrific job of culling two bags of stuffies, and two bags of toys for donation. They also agreed to donate their old puzzles to our local kindergarten. I’m eating my words a bit at this as I had encountered extreme resistance from them in the past.

It turns out I am getting through after all!




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