We get compensated for taking A to these studies and assessments (she did great, we’ll find out the results in April) and it’s kind of cool, especially because I’d probably do this for free if I was asked to.
When they handed me the cash today, I had a thought.
I handed the money to A and said, “What do you want to do with the money?”
She responded, “I want to go to the bookstore and have hot chocolate and you can have coffee and we can totally split a pretzel, then buy a book and the rest can go in my piggy bank.” She said it like it was all one word, not a pause anywhere, like she’d been waiting for this moment and had been rehearsing what she was going to say.
I said, “Ok, sounds good to me.”
The women working just looked at A in absolute awe. I have to admit, it was a very, very proud parent moment for me. Choosing the bookstore, knowing I love coffee, being willing to spend part of her money to buy me coffee, wanting to split a pretzel with me, wanting to buy a book over toys and then…and then…SAVING THE REST!”
I gave her a change purse to keep her money in (I emptied mine into the bottom of my purse) and we went to Borders. She picked out a few books to choose from and took them to the cafe to set them down and claim our spot. Then we went up to the counter and she surprised me again!
The ladies behind the counter asked what we were going to have. A piped up and said, “I’d like a hot cocoa, a coffee for my mommy, and a pretzel please.” They looked at me in shock and I just shrugged and said, “Here I thought I was ordering.” The ladies then went into angel mode. They asked A what size cocoa she wanted and showed her the cups so she could make a decision. Then they did the same with the coffee cups. They asked her if she wanted a wheat pretzel or a cheese pretzel (she picked wheat!!) and if she wanted it warmed up. She handled all these questions like she’d been ordering at the Borders cafe all her life. They asked her for her name so they could call it out and she put her $25 on the counter. The lady running the register told her that people usually wait to find out how much the total is before giving her money. She then told her the total and let her know she didn’t have to give over the $5 because she only needed the $20. She made change and counted it back to A so she understood why she was getting money back that was different.
I was almost crying, my love for these women and their patience and the memory they were giving my daughter made my heart feel so big! Then A put her change back in her change purse and we went and sat down. A looked at her books, trying to decide which one she wanted. Then they called us and we went up to the front and got our drinks and pretzel. A carried the pretzel and got napkins and a straw while I took the drinks to the table.
We had a great time drinking and reading and munching.
At the end she asked if she could get all the books. Two were almost identical so I made her pick only one of the heart-shaped valentine’s day books. She put the other one back and then we bought the other three. I made an executive decision to buy the books and told her, “You got the coffee and pretzel, I’ll get the books.” So she would know it wasn’t just arbitrary and what my thought process was.
She said, “thank you” (she’s a manners rock star after all) and I let her carry the bag while I put to-go lids on our drinks. We got back in the car and drove home to find S at the kitchen table making a diorama with a big shoe box and a bunch of pipe cleaners. She was also using glue, fuzzy pom-poms, construction paper, scissors and more pipe cleaners to make a bunch of flowers for her teacher at school.
My children amaze me every day with their social skills, creativity, and the ease with which they navigate the world.