It happened. I kind of knew it was happening, but mostly ignored my conscience because I didn't want to fight. We were having a date, after all, and a tantrum spoils dates quicker than any other situation.
After having taken my other three daughters out for their Christmas shopping date, it was finally the four year old's turn. She had waited patiently for over a week--the whole time watching each sister excitedly get ready, staying home for a couple of hours knowing that the sister was having a fun time with Mom, then witnessing the giddy sister run inside with a bag in her hand and success written all over her face. It must have been terribly hard to be patient!
Well, today it was her turn. We picked out a cute outfit (my most outfit conscious child), bid the other sisters farewell (who were glad to see us go) and jumped in the car. For a couple of weeks, since the drawing of names, I had asked her what ideas she had. "Guitar or drums," she proudly declared. I was only thinking, How about something a little less than $200.
I decided to take her to the mall for variety's sake. You need to understand that my oldest girl is about as un-frilly as you can get. She isn't exactly a tom boy; she wears girl clothes . . . they just can't be pink and they can't be sparkly and they can't be cute. You also need to understand that my youngest daughter is all about pink, sparkly, cute anything. (Remember that she circled everything, literally everything, in the Toys R Us catalog that fell into those categories That included toys she already had and a little girl with pink clothes who was modeling a bike. She wanted the little girl!)
When we do our Christmas shopping, the children know that we are not there to pick out something for themselves; we are only there for the sibling gift. Over the years, it has taken different children different amounts of training, but they always get it and it is always a rewarding experience. Today was somehow different. My little girl could not shift her mind into older sister mode. Everything she saw that was over-the-top with color and twinkle was perfect! I reminded her in a hundred ways that her big sister would never like what was being picked. She was so sad. Her taste level is so exquisite, she couldn't imagine anyone not liking her choices.
So I bought her these.
Every single other child did not get to buy something for themselves! I mean, they each got a milk shake or a pretzel or whatever, but not a toy and certainly not pink, sparkly shoes! She really did need some new tennis shoes and these are kind of tennis shoe-y. They were on clearance and if I waited to buy them until she wasn't with me, they would likely have been gone. BUT, every one of my older children who needed new tennis shoes two weeks before Christmas would have found them under the tree on Christmas morning.
What is happening to me? My guard is going down. It is a good thing there is another baby on the way or this child could become a major problem--because of her mother.