Why I am okay with her buying the giant $40 toy

Little Sister has been saving her money for six months now. This, when you are six years old is an eternity, of course. Three weeks ago, with Valentine’s Day on the horizon all the big box stores rolled out the largest stuffed animals I have ever seen. It turns out they look even larger when you are a six year old.
Little Sister, with star in her eyes, recognized that the $40!!!! price tag was shockingly within reach and was ready to part with her cash in order to take home a giraffe roughly the size of her twin bed. I stalled, hoping that she would change her mind, suggesting she continue to save, or maybe purchase something a bit more practical. Every other day she has asked if I was willing to change my mind and let her bring him home.

Today was the day. My husband reasoned that if she still wanted him and she had saved enough to get him, she should be able to buy him. Yes he was too big and yes, the money could have been spent on other things but if you couldn’t be frivolous in kindergarten, when could you really? She hoisted him over her shoulders and carefully paid the cashier, then on second thought peeled away another dollar to buy her dad a candy bar and I almost burst into tears.
I know that we Take-a-year’s aren’t alone in coming into an overtime shift, or fabulous birthday gift card or some other unexpected bit of money and thinking of all the things we could do with it. As parents, though, it usually gets spent on things for the kids, or that part for the fill in the blank we never got around to buying or sometimes an almost gift for ourselves like new tires (which I am sure we can all agree is super fun!).

I am not one to promote mass consumerism, or buying stuffed animals or commercialization of the holidays (in fact, I like Captain Fantastic’s plan of celebrating Noam Chomsky Day) but, I am in on the wonders of childhood. I am for saving for something that you want and I can totally support wanting to have a giraffe in your room. Today she brought him home and after so much wanting and wishing and hoping, she promptly dragged him into her closet and fell asleep snuggled up close to him – which was completely worth the price tag.


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