My kids and I have a tradition at the first of August to go on Special Dates. One at a time, they get to go out alone with me and shop for school supplies, clothes, shoes, and a Pick Your Poison treat. Oh, yeah, and a $10 toy that they Don't Have To Pay Back (wow! *gasp*)
Next stop Kohl's, in which I made the mistake of walking directly through on my way to the boy's department, as the direct route passed the toys. It was all over. It was all I could do to force the child to pick some shoes. He tried on ONE pair. Declared them perfect and, unable to curb his excitement One More Second, we checked out and headed to Target for him to get his most favored Battle Gear. Whatever. Couldn't get him to focus on school supplies. Barely got him to choose a backpack. Finally dragged him to the register, paid and fed him a slushy while he played with his new thingie in the back seat.
What was your favorite part, Eldest? THE TOY.
Next stop, Princess. Same routine, except she thoroughly enjoyed her shopping experience at Old Navy. Except for the fact that her style and her mom's do not agree. And she only wants to wear blue. Couldn't believe I'd let her have the glitter shoes. Didn't need to go to Kohl's. Enjoyed Target, but couldn't focus on school supplies. (We're in a bit of denial.) Really, Really, REALLY wanted to go to PetSmart. Got an Icee and walked over. Cruised through. Really, really, really wanted to go to JoAnn's. Loitered until I was certain her daddy would go bonkers. Finally asked if she was trying to find a specific toy or if she was just trying to blow the money because she knew she had it. Agreed, after she answered, that I would buy her a toy on another day when there was actually something she wanted.
What was your favorite part, Princess? besides being alone with you? the Icee.
Frodo, what was your favorite part? Shoe shopping.
Two observations: 1) Always start with their favorite part. They'll participate in the rest more agreeably.
2) Despite the fact that Frodo can exhaust me with his chatter about video games that I care nothing about, I always knew that child had something in him of me. Now we know it. Shoes.
Children are so stinking unique. Same trip. Decidedly different experiences. Love 'em all fiercely.