So, "A" was out all night Friday & all day Saturday; and I needed to get some shopping done (now that I have a paycheck and actually have money to spend). I had hoped to pick up the towels to make hooded towels for nieces & nephews this weekend... but the dollar store didn't have any and big lots had them at twice what I would pay at K-mart... so that didn't work out.
"a" had to go along. Ugh. Knew that taking him to a store with toys and not buying him a toy was a recipe for disaster, but I tried.
I even tried to take advantage of trying to teach him the spirit of giving. Before stopping at the store, I stopped off at the hospital. "a" went with me and we dropped off a present (knitted hat, scarf & mittens) for a disadvantage mother... the lady at the information desk took them and said that she would have a volunteer make sure they got to the right place. "a" took me to the side and whispered "She's going to take them to Santa?!!!"... with a big grin. Yes, I assured him... she would see to it that they were going under the Christmas tree.
Next we went to a store (big lots) and tried to find towels. "a" was getting a little sad at walking by the toys and not picking one out. I told him he could "look" all he wanted, but that we weren't shopping for him. He asked if he could buy me something? I whole-heartedly agreed and he picked out a necklace. I then suggested that he help me find gloves for "A" -- since "A" keeps borrowing ours. It took a while to find them... in the meantime, he found a Polly-pocket doll that he absolutely had to buy for his sister (who's 20) and I could not convince him otherwise. So, of course, that meant we had to find something for his other sister (who is 22)... normally I don't shop for his gifts for his half-sisters (I don't know them well enough)... but, the good news is that he got the "spirit" of it (or so I thought); and it's the thought that counts right? I could not convince him that they would like a watch or jewelry... instead they got tiny dolls at big lots (so, unfortunately, I now look super-cheap). And then dad got mentioned... and he didn't think a toy would be right for his dad (I agreed) - talked him into a flashlight. Not that I want to be that cheap there either - but geez... hadn't planned on buying gifts for his father's side... and with money tight; I just didn't have it in me to spend more. So, since he was being really good - I said that I would pick out one of my gifts for him (the LAST time I do that). So, close your eyes (and yes, he peeked, but that wasn't really the problem), and I picked out some transformers....
He helps carry the bag out to the car... he's getting hungry. I'd picked up juice boxes & a snack as well, so while sitting in the car, I opened them up. Just as quick as that - he opened one of his sister's gifts. Then he had a serious melt-down over the fact that it was not ok to open someone else's gifts. He claimed them as his; threw his snack to the ground and started crying. I pulled the santa card out... it worked temporarily.
Since I hadn't found the towels I wanted, we went to the dollar store. I bought him a coloring book & colors in exchange for him not looking for a single toy. I didn't find the towels anyway. Note: I didn't buy anything at all that met my needs (barring the one toy I bought "a" that didn't really count) and spent over $40 between the two stores.
Grr.... on the way out of the store he's having another melt-down; I threaten with santa again (not working this time around) and threaten to take his coloring book & colors away... (this worked). He settled down and said that he would be good & color & I could go to one more store (shouldn't have tried it; but it was my last day to get free items AND it was the last day I could use my $5 off any purchase item)...
I picked up a few things, he wanted candy, was tired, but actually behaved himself fairly well. He picked out a toy he "really, really" wanted... but did let it stay behind without a complete fit.
But, by this time I was tired. Several of the things that I could have gotten free or very, very cheap were out of stock. And I managed to forget to use my $5 off any purchase reward. UGH.
We went home... I helped him "wrap" his gifts - consisting of putting them in gift bags & taping shut... writing name on stickers.
By 7:30 pm I was upset with myself. I was angry with myself for not getting the one toy at the last store (it was the only one)... upset for not using the slip and "wasting" $5... upset that I didn't get the free tape (when we needed tape). So, I drug him out one more time - we went to a different location... who had the tape, and a couple of the other freebies. I talked him into waiting outside in the car... but they didn't have that one toy.... a lousy $5 toy that he really wanted and was certainly in my budget. So, since he was asleep in the car when I went right back out (was only 5 minutes, tops)... we went back to the first store again & I used a second $5 off any purchase to pick that up.
BUT??? later that night? He opened all the presents under the tree - (searching for his, I'm sure)... Nothing that a little tape won't fix. However, he also snuck the toy that I had picked up in front of him into his room & took it out of the package after he went to bed. Grrr....
Good thing everything else is well hidden. We've had a discussion about how naughty that little act was. All the presents are now in my bedroom under my watchful eye so he doesn't do it again.
No patience, no patience at all. And being caught being 'naughty'? Well, that was the one that landed us with a response "I don't want anything from Santa!!!" Which we all know isn't true. We'll have another discussion tonight when he's not upset over having gotten caught.