Have you ever seen those kits at the local “Stuff-Marts” with beads, Gimp, soap making supplies, fabric paints, and/or Stickers?
The other day while buying meat at our butcher, I noticed a new Toy Store had opened in Mitchell. It specialized in Die-cast European cars. The displays were phenomenal and I agreed with the kids that we should take a second to look.
First, a little compliment to the manager. Very nice man. I am not sure if he is “fresh over” from Europe, but his German accent was a joy to listen to. Second, a compliment to his store. Most of his toys were of phenomenal quality, and the prices were very, very good. I picked up little Matchbox sized cars, priced the same as the ones at the Stuff-Marts, and about 3 times the weight. That is going to put up with a lot of little boy action!
His displays and models were exquisite. And he actually encouraged my children to touch.
Anyhow, he had loads and loads of kits. I saw one that brought back memories, those sticker kits where you colour them in yourselves. Only his came with a large pack of markers, several additional sticker things that weren’t in any kit I had growing up.
I had a little cash left over from my babysitting earnings, so I arranged with him to slip in the sticker kit and a really cute little truck into the box of meat that I had just bought. He did an excellent job, and the kids didn’t suspect a thing.
When we got home I gave the kids direction to play outside while I unloaded the Meats. I then placed the toys in my cupboard that is off-limits to the children.
I was 😦 the next morning to find that my boy had gone into the cupboard and the kidlets were oohing and ahhing over the toys. I told them that they had been naughty and that they may not have the gifts at that point.
We discussed the meaning of gift, of boundaries and about rule breaking. And I discussed again, later on that day, the fact that they had a lot of work to do on being happy with the things they already owned.
It had been my thought to gift the children the day of our move with the new toys.
Well, then began the daughter and son’s campaign. They did all sorts of extra chores. And after each one, “Can I have my toy yet?”
Finally I banned them from asking. They each had a few warnings and then were told that the next time they asked, the toys would be used for birthday gifts. It just so happens we have two parties coming up and I can use them for gifts.
Well, I was in the office working when I overheard, via the open window, my boy telling his sister that she had to go to the house and ask me for the toys or he would throw her dolls under the next passing truck!
She came in the house and did ask. I asked her what I had said about asking and that I was now going to give the gifts away. She burst into tears! Wailing loudly that her brother had told her she must ask! So I called him in and asked him. He stoutly denied this accusation.
I then told him that I was very, very unhappy with him. In the words of his Pathways Reader, asked him one more time if he was going to change his story and if he wanted a little “help” remembering what really happened. He stuck to his story.
So, since I knew what was going on I let them know what happened. I told the DD that she was responsible for what came out of her mouth. I explained to her that I heard her brother, but that even still she didn’t have to say those words because she did know what would happen if she did. I gave her some things she could say next time, “Mom, Eric is trying to make me say things I know I shouldn’t. He is going to hurt me if I don’t.”
I told her not to say what, but that I would get to the bottom of it. I then told her she would not get her gift.
I told my son that I was very angry with him. I told him that he was not getting his gift. I told him there would be no next time. And because of his manipulation of his sister, he would be doing her jobs tomorrow.
At various points afterwards DS came to me begging to be able to earn his new truck back. But no. I will keep it, and I believe that by the end of the summer he will have forgot about it and I will be able to give it to him then.
This evening I told them that I was going to share my new Colouring Stickers with them. I think both understood their actions.
We did have a lot of fun colouring together.