Friday, August 8, 2014

After School Special

It seemed like Carrick's first week of kindergarten flew by. From learning how to eat lunch in the cafeteria to working on self-directed lessons, this kid has started his kindergarten year like a pro.

To celebrate the completion of his first week of kindergarten, I wanted to get him something special. I didn't want to reward him with something sweet, but I did want him to feel like I appreciated all his hard work and acknowledge the giant step taken. When I saw the baby brachiosaurus at Target, I knew that was the answer.

It's not like he needs another dinosaur, but out of all his toys, his dinosaur herd is by far my favorite. Watching him come up with wildly imaginative scenes with his dino families just puts a smile on my face. Hearing him name off all the dinosaur species as he plays makes me feel like a proud mama. And, the baby brachiosaurus was one of the toys he wished for the last time we were at Target. I told him that he could only get one dinosaur, encouraging him to get a species that was not yet a part of his herd. I also explained that he could buy another one when he had more of his own Fun Dollars. I remembered our conversation about it as I passed through the "trinket" aisle just inside the doors at Target today.

For only being five years old, he accepts "no" much better than some kids even twice his age. He never throws a fit, or begs. He might play with the toy until we leave the store, but he hands it over at the check out. He never makes a big deal about not getting a toy.

After finishing up at Target (I was on a girl's shopping day with Lily and a friend), we visited Bookman's. This store is pretty much a Barnes and Noble of used books, complete with a gaming section, musical instruments, toys, and a coffee shop. At the checkout, I discovered a basket full of plastic animals. There was an entire herd of elephants, a pride of lions, and about a dozen sharks, to name a few. Lily picked out a smaller cheetah to take home. I didn't see any prices, so I asked the clerk checking us out how much the animals were.

Baby Brachiosaurus with Daddy Brachiosaurus.
Lily's Cheetah is climbing the rock.
She went over to the basket and pawed through it. "Since there's no price listed anywhere, we'll just say a dollar per animal." I reached in and pulled out a hammer head shark and a tiger shark for Carrick. I decided I would give him the baby brachiosuarus today, and one shark each week for the next two weeks as an end-of-the-week treat. (After that, my parents will be visiting, and that will be its own reward. I think the routine of going to school will be pretty much set by then, so the positive reinforcement won't be as critical.)

Today, when I picked him up from school, I had a black bean brownie, a cold water bottle, and a baby brachiosaurus waiting for him in his car seat. Combined with his one hot lunch this week (he gets to pick one meal from the cafeteria each week, otherwise it's a cold lunch), and he was super-pumped about his school day. It's amazing how the smallest thing can have such a huge effect on a child.

Baby brachiosaurus at Target- $1.00
Cheetah, and two sharks at Bookman's-$3.00
Balance this pay cycle- $82.00
Happy Spending!

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