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Friday, October 24, 2008

A Valuable Lesson

I learned a lesson today - one, like most, that would have been so valuable a long time ago. It began with Garrett reminding me about the birthday party (that we had both forgotten!) tomorrow night. So began the panic in deciding what gift to buy. No fear - Garrett to the rescue...a Bakugan. I know, don't ask me. It's a cross between Yugi-O and Pokemon, and evidently one of the hottest boy toys around - and reasonably priced (YAY!!). As we were heading to Target, Garrett told me that all of the discount stores were out of them. I felt a severe anxiety attack coming on, because this could mean only one thing....Toys R Us!

I haven't been there in quite a few years (actually since Garrett was a toddler) for a reason - taking my 3 kids there was a living nightmare. If you've been around my kiddos long enough, you have seen that they are quite adept at the tag team effort. The premise behind it is if they beg, whine, run around crazy - one after another, then they will wear me down enough to give in. Sometimes I was strong. Sometimes not. It was enough to send anyone over the edge. Right as the stress peaked, the Toys R Us in Rocky Mount closed...allowing me to keep what remained of my sanity. Never, ever again would I have to go to Toys R Us....until tonight.

Through breaths in the paper bag, I gave Garrett (and the girls) a run-down on my expectations. I will buy the gift with a $10 limit, and you each may have $5 to spend on yourselves (no doubt that $5 would cause an issue - when's the last thing you've seen a toy that cheap?). We walked around the store for about an hour...browsing and looking at prospective Christmas gifts. The shock of all shocks? All 3 kids were amazingly well behaved. There was no running, riding the bikes, playing with the balls, or begging. The girls didn't find anything, and decided to save their money until tomorrow, Garrett chose the gift and his toy, and we were on our merry little way. Nothing short of a miracle!! The lesson learned? Kids under 9-10 years of age should not be in Toys R Us. Waiting until less than half of the store appeals to them cuts down on what they actually want to ask for. Sounds almost like common sense now. If only I had would have saved a whole lot of crying (mine!).