Saturday, August 15, 2009

Learning life's lessons for the grand total of $2

It was 2 summers ago and I was at the Bi-mart, hugely pregnant with baby girl #2 and a little 2 year old in tow. I found a patio umbrella for 40% off and had been looking for just that! I hefted it onto my cart, balanced precariously. I was there for other things, so my cart was full of this and that.

And then Emma found a big display of bouncy balls and wouldn't leave them behind. As time ticked on, I knew I would be forced to draw her away. Emma was plagued with tantrums, horrible awful tantrums for nearly a year and I knew what was to come. Oh, it was a doozy. She screamed and threw herself down in the middle of the isle. There was nothing inconspicuous about this fit and people stared. The time dragged on and on and her screaming did not lessen. I've never wanted to buy a stupid $2 ball more in my life. I  just wanted to silence the child. I ended up throwing her kicking and screaming body under my arm, without the bouncy ball, and pushed the cart, jumbled and balanced to the counter. I was quickly helped and I left the store with my cumbersome burdens in tow.

Training Emma through those years was such a challenge. There was scarcely a day that didn't end with both of us in tears and I felt like such a failure. I thought of that time today when I was at Bi-Mart and Emma spotted a set of 4 water guns on the sale rack. She asked if she could buy them -- they would be perfect for her and her cousins she persuaded. I looked for a price, but couldn't find one. I told Emma we would ask the cashier how much they were, but we would not buy them unless they were a good deal. I said I wouldn't pay more than $3 for them. She carried them around the store and then handed them to the cashier asking her, "How much are these?" They rang up for $7.95, clearly not on sale. And Emma said with a resigned sigh, "I guess they aren't a good deal." She quietly let them go, although I could tell she was very disappointed.

I was so proud! I was proud of Emma's maturity and I was proud of a mama who didn't give up on her conviction to train a child in the way she should go. Many of life's biggest lessons are learned when we can't see beyond the turmoil.

Later this morning, the girls and I drove by a garage sale with a lawn full of children's things. We stopped to see if there was anything we "needed." The seller had 2 girls older than Emma and we found many things for just the deal we were looking for.

One pair of white Keds with pretty jewels that jingle and fit Emma right now....




One green dress that dances perfectly....



Another pair of identical white shoes with jewels that jingle in the next size up....

And a pair of kitty boots.

For a grand total of $2.

Now that is a deal!

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8 comments:

Sadie said...

Alysun,

What a great story. I love how mature Emma sounded. The ending was nice with all the deals you found.

Shawna said...

I was waiting for the part about you showing and the BiMart pregnant with two girls in tow and someone stopping you on the way in as if you were on the 'most wanted' list posted on the wall!

What a great story and three pair of shoes and a pretty dress will beat guns any day!

Kitty boots! How cute is that?

Grandma Sherri said...

Now thats a memory for sharing at her wedding one day! Her husband will be really thankful for you! And all of this for the price of a ball, 2 yrs later, should be one very happy little girl. (hopefully Mandy won't be quite as challenging)

Dan & Hillary and little Russell said...

Ah.. you're going to have two son's-in-laws and a daughter-in-law that will thank you for raising financially sound children:-) Yeah for you and Emma!

Kellie said...

Way to go for sticking to your guns in Bimart so many years ago. It's so hard to stay firm when it's so tempting to take the easy route to make the tantrum stop. But so worth it!

And you found some really good deals at the garage sale for $2 to boot :)

Cathy said...

Ahh, the joys of motherhood. I remember those days. Now, the challenges of motherhood are very different. Great deal for great stuff! Woohoo!

Sara said...

Way to stick with the training and not take the easy way out. It's hard, especially in public. =)

Awesome garage sale finds! You sure score the best garage sales! Were those the original prices, or did you have to barter the price down? I LOVE the kitty boots - maybe I'll be able to find a pair for Abby some day. =)

Linds and Manda said...

I love that store. I still rave to people here about how I could go in there at 11:30 at night (coming home from a day at the coast) and pick up Ben and Jerry's for 2.87. What a country!