After a late night quick chat with and old friend I decided to try to take Connor (now 3) to the dollar store and let him pick out gifts for family. I was very excited about this idea and was prepping him all morning about a special adventure he and I would go on together.
I left work a bit early to make sure I could go pick up Connor and get through the store and then back to pick up Evan (3 months) by the normal time. Since the dollar store was just down the street from the daycare I wasn’t too concerned.
When I picked up Connor he was so excited to see me, and I reminded him he and I were going on a special adventure and he was even more excited! I explained to him again that we were going on a special adventure where we would pick out presents to give to other people. He was still pretty excited, but I was getting a bit worried about how he would handle not getting things for himself.
We were out to the car by the time he realized that we did not have his brother with us, after reassuring him that we would come back for Evan and that he and I were going on a special adventure just the two of us, he was OK.
We headed out to the dollar store and he was so excited to go shopping. I grabbed a cart and expected him to ready to rome, but no… he wanted to ride in the cart. He immediately saw teddy bears and was very interested in them, I asked him if he wanted to pick up a teddy bear for someone on his list and he decided he did. I listed out the appropriate recipients (yes, I was leading him a bit, but as his first shopping trip for others I wanted to make sure he kept the recipients in mind). Connor wanted to get the bear for his brother Evan.
From there I figured I would try to go down the list of people and just walk through the store and ask him questions to help him figure out what to pick out for each. I started with one of the Grammas. Connor’s immediate response was PURPLE! I started to push the cart around to find something purple and he spotted a glass figurine that he thought was fabulous! I asked him if he wanted to get that for Gramma, but Nope! we went through the list and he seemed unsure so we put it back to maybe come back after looking around.
Then, there were socks. FUZZY SOCKS! There was infact a variety of colors but I had spotted the purple, so we went that way. After several pairs made their way into the cart, I forced a movement to keep going. Otherwise I am pretty sure everyone would have ended up with socks.
We hit a few more sections and picked up items for everyone on the list. Overall only a limited issue with wanting things for himself. Since he did such a great job, I did end up letting him pick something for himself.
We got in line and I had him help put all the items on the counter and then he used the money to pay. My attempt at working on counting was ignored but he was very excited to get coins back.
This was a great experience for Connor and I to have some special time just us and it was so wonderful to help him learn how great it is to give to others. It will also be very fun to see what everyone thinks of the gifts he picked out for them.
Next on the project list for Connor this Christmas is to color some paper so we can make gift tags for the gifts he just purchased.
Lessons I learned;
Let him guide me, try to guide him less and see what he does.
Try to encourage him to walk through the store.
Maybe work with a smaller list and do more than one trip. This way we can focus on indivitials better and not have a list of people to think about.
I am so proud of the little man!
Here is a picture of the items he picked out to get for the people on his list, some really great choices, and a few interesting ones. Turns out the socks were mostly child sizes (sorry to those that get a pair).
And his prize…a travel coffee mug for his morning “Coffee”, such a grown up sometimes.