Thursday, March 24, 2011

Time Well Spent

I know, enough with the cliched titles already, right? I'm going to have to work on that. One of the goals I set when approaching 40, was to spend some time with each of my kids. I have had the opportunity lately, to get to spend some actual chunks of time with a few of them in the last couple of weeks.

My Jenna and I took off for the afternoon a week or so ago. We headed to Chipotle for lunch and then a little shopping. I asked my girl where she wanted to go for lunch, of course. Her response was "Taco Bell!". So, I thought I would do her one better, and take her to Chipotle, thinking she would just love it. It's kind of a cool place, you can choose what you get in your taco or burrito, and it has a pretty hip atmosphere. All of this was lost on Jenna. She was too cold, the stool was too high, the music was too loud, and the food was too spicy. So much for Chipotle. She did not have fun, and she didn't eat anything. This almost always happens with my Jenna, though. She's a bit hard to please, and if you don't do what she wants to do, even if you are trying to make it even better, she's not going to like it. You'd think I would have learned this lesson by now, but, sadly, I have not. I have repeated this mistake a few times with her. Part of me thinks she should just decide to have fun. The other part of me reminds myself that I brought her out to have a good time, and should have just gone where she wanted to go.

Well, we made up for lunch by shopping at Justice 4 Girls. This was a big sacrifice on my part. I HATE that store. It's filled with cheap, glittery, over priced crap. Jenna LOVES it! She likes to be very little girl trendy, and this store is right up her ally. I have gone in and let her get a few things twice, exactly. And we buy off the clearance rack. No way are you getting me to spend $16 on a tank top. Yes, I am that cheap. I have too many bodies to clothe to waste money in a trendy shop just because. But, she was able to find a few things she really wanted. Jenna was happy, we used her 40% off coupon, and she came away with sparkly shoes and a little hoodie thing, and something else with glittery stuff all over it. I am still trying to figure out who this kid is. She is truly interested in fashion, even did a research paper on some French fashion designer from the 1800s, and yet she chooses to shop in this Justice store. I love the little weirdo.

After Justice the real shopping started - Target! I love Target. I love the bright colors and the interesting stock. I love how cheap their cereal is and that I can buy gum and sneakers in the same store. I love that the Up&Up store brand is cheaper, but just as good as name brands. And I love that I never have to wait very long in line. One person in ahead, tops. Somehow, I manage so spend nearly $200 in there on a bi-weekly basis. Don't even ask me what I buy. I really have no idea. It just accumulates. I go in with a list, and come out with everything on the list, and about $75 worth of crap I didn't know  I desperately needed.  I love Target. My husband is somewhat less enthusiastic.

Kolbe and I were able to set off on a little adventure last week as well. He had to go take a standardized test for school, so we made an afternoon out of it. After his test, I asked him where he would like to go for lunch. This is my foodie child - so I thought he would pick someplace interesting, given that we live in an area that has more restaurants in 20 square miles than anywhere else in the country. Nope, my foodie child chose Wendy's. Yep. Not some cool new burger joint or the too expensive place we can't go when we have everyone with us. Nope, he picks our usual fast food of choice. Sometimes I forget he is only 8.

So, we sat in Wendy's and he had a kids meal, which I almost never let me kids order. With a frosty - he got the royal treatment, folks! One thing I love about this quiet, shy little boy, is that when he gets you all to himself he talks. And talks, and talks. So great! I finally get to know what is going on in his little brain. He tells me funny stories, and just cracks me up. Usually so serious, it was really fun to see him smile. He does tend to worry too much. He can't decide what to be when he grows up, and he lets it worry him. I keep telling him to just enjoy being a kid, but ever since he discovered that he is supposed to have a job when he grows up, it has been the main thing on his mind. As of this posting, he wants to be a priest, a restaurant owner, a dog trainer, and a paleontologist. I just want him to be a little boy.

After lunch we went to Kohl's to find a suit for his First Holy Communion. Happily, they were running a sale, and I had $30 in Kohl's cash. Nothing makes me happier than getting a good deal! He chose a dark grey suit and a shirt, tie and belt. Cash out of pocket for this $58.00. Mama was happy. Kolbe, who loves to dress up, was super happy. He can't wait to wear it!

Kohl's was followed by.... Target of course. My husband had called with a few items he needed, so we made our way across the parking. While we were in the store, I asked my Kolbe if he wanted to go look through the toy isle. He loves the Lego Hero Factory stuff, just like every other boy in a gazillion mile radius, it seems. I asked him which one he would like, and he responded with "I didn't bring my wallet, and I only have $3, anyways." I asked him again which one he wanted, and he was confused. My poor kid. We never, ever buy stuff just to buy it. He couldn't understand why I was asking, as he didn't have the money to buy it himself. Now, I don't want my kids spoiled, and I want them to appreciate what they have. That being said, I need to make a better effort to do small things, just every once in a while, just because of the joy it will bring my child. Especially a child like this who loves so much, worries so much, and thinks too much. Once he realized I wanted to buy it just to buy it, he was worried about the other kids. I told him to just enjoy it, and that they would get a turn sometime, too.

I love taking these moments with just one child. I like sitting across from them and learning a little bit I didn't know before. I like being able to listen with rapt attention to whatever they are saying. Half an hour. I need to to this more often, and get their dad doing it, too. You can learn a lot in an uninterrupted half hour.

I have one more story, but I'll save it for tomorrow, as this is already way too long. But, it involves deliciousness and an adorable three year old boy, so.... until tomorrow my friends, Awrevwar! Or in French, Au revoir!

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