January 20, 2010

Life Lessons :: You break it, you buy it.

We were in the fabulous Hobby Lobby on Monday to buy some ribbon and buttons, both of which I'd never bought there before. As we wandered along looking for ribbon, we came to the bridal/baby shower isle that housed some ribbon along with various shower favors, including bags of candy.

The Pickle wasn't interested in helping pick out the ribbon, but found great amusement in smacking the bags of candy hanging from the rack behind me. I asked her to stop; she didn't. As I heard another smack, I turned around to find a shocked look on her face and 1/4 bag of Jordan Almonds lying on the bags of candy stacked below the rack.

I bent down to her level and asked her if she knew what would have to happen now. She didn't. I told her we would have to buy the bag of candy even though it wasn't on our list and we didn't have extra money set aside to buy candy.

At this point, I looked more closely at the broken bag hanging from the rack and saw this:

I realized that she wouldn't really know the difference between a $7.00 bag of candy and a $0.70 bag of candy, so I told her that the bag of candy cost $7.00 and she would have to pay Mamma and Daddy back out of her piggy bank.

Oh, the tears. And wails. And trying to climb my leg. And begging not to take money from her piggy bank.

After fessing up to Daddy later that night, we went in and popped the bottom off her piggy bank. She had six one-dollar bills, so we fished out a handful of coins and I showed her what a quarter was, explaining that four quarters was the same as one dollar.

Since we needed one more dollar to make seven, I told her to pick out four quarters. The eyes pleaded, the lip trembled but she slowly found the four quarters and put them on the stack of bills. Obviously losing coins hurts much more than bills. When she had it all together, we counted it again and talked about how we must be responsible for our actions and make things right when we make mistakes.

She nodded and gave me a hug, then asked excitedly, "Do I get to put all the rest of my pennies back in my bank?"

In an instant, the pain of losing $7.00 from her piggy bank on a bag of candy she'll never eat was gone. Completely erased by the joy of being three and putting coins in her piggy bank.