Come, Mommy

Friday, February 09, 2007

What Does Donald the Great Big Tickling Shark Buy At The Pet Store?

This morning I suggested to Donald that we should go to the pet store to get some more aquatic plants for our fish tank. He agreed this was a good idea and grabbed his wallet and pretend car keys. We got to the store and picked out a couple of plants to provide some cover for our shyer fish. And then we reached another milestone in childraising. My son declared he had enough money to buy himself a pet.

Now, I fully expected any child of mine to ask for a pet of his own sooner or later, but I didn't expect it to happen this soon, and I didn't foresee the offer of financial responsibility, either. Unsure as to how best to proceed, I asked Liam what kind of pet he wanted to purchase.

"I want to buy one of those teeny-tiny goldfish over there, Mommy!"

Liam pointed to a tank of feeder goldfish - you know, the kind that become dinner for other, bigger pets, and are sold for about a dime apiece. My heart began to melt, and I would have agreed immediately, but I just had to find out how he was planning to pay for the fish. He started rooting around in his wallet, opening various zippers and pulling out several pretend credit cards. Then he clearly was struck by inspiration and opened the center compartment to reveal two quarters- "Look, Mommy! Actually, I have money! I have coins! Can I pay with coins and not a toy credit card?"

I looked at the price of the goldfish and told him he could buy three goldfish with his two quarters. I have never seen such happiness - he wanted to buy one fish, and ended up able to buy three. He carefully told the sales associate exactly which fish he wanted. He paid for his fish, we brought them home, and he put them in our tank with only a little help from me.

My son may exist primarily in he dreamy world of imagination that 3-year-olds are known for, but today I got a glimpse of things to come - independence, self-assurance, and admirable problem-solving ability. I just hope I get to spend a bit more time with Donald the Great Big Shark Who Tickles People before he decides to morph into a mature boy.

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