The trials and tribulations of shopping with a four-year-old

With $50 in random birthday gifts, we took a four-year-old to Target.

“Shopping spree.” “Anything you want.”

She picked a too-small princess dress. “Anything but that.” She picked the princess wand. “Okay. Put it in the cart.” She picked the Dora microphone. “Oh, God. No. Please.” Then, she picked the Strawberry Shortcake set, which was perfect because that’s what we were leading her toward the entire time.

The Dora microphone was the point of contention. Our goal: get it out of the cart. She wanted Toy Story, but she got distracted and wanted the Tangled book with the fake brush that made noisy magical sounds, and then she wanted the princess book with the crown.

We made a deal: she’d get the Tangled book if she put the Dora microphone back. It’s a book, at least, and this was an upgrade. We then tried to upgrade the Tangled book to something else. Anything else. Remember Toy Story? What about the new Ladybug Girl book? How about this new Mo Willems book?

The cart held one princess wand, one Strawberry Shortcake set, one noisy Tangled book that had thankfully replaced the noisy Dora microphone. It was 15 minutes past bedtime, but we had begun to gain ground with the anti-noisy-Tangled campaign.

And then she had to go to the bathroom.

Distracted, she didn’t see me put the Tangled book back. I added Ladybug Girl (as a gift from us). We headed to the front.

After the bathroom, she checked the cart. Strawberry Shortcake – check. Princess wand – check.

Tangled book?

Preschooler meltdown.

I had underestimated her. I paid and went to the car, while mom and four-year-old went to grab the Tangled book.

In the parking lot, as they walked to the car, her bag was decidedly unbook-like. She opened up the bag and showed me her new pair of tennis shoes.

And no Tangled book.

Sometimes, things work out for the best.

This was lovingly handwritten on August 3rd, 2011