The boys had money burning holes in their pockets while we were vacationing in Florida - no one more so than 6-year-old Ethan.
There is a chain of beach stores where we were visiting called "Alvin's Island." You can get anything from sandals, to beach toys, to coffee mugs in the shape of breasts... and general knick knack junk or trinkets.
I really wanted to by the boob mug for my dad. He would have loved it, but it had a chip.
So, we stopped at Alvin's Island because Ethan really "really needed to buy something from Florida."
I got to follow him around the store - carefully steering him clear of the aisles of boob mugs.
Ethan: (exasperated) WHAT should I buy!? (sigh) I don't know what to buy!
Me: (being logical) Well, why don't we look for something that will remind you of our trip to Florida?
He isn't listening to me at all. He is power walking through every aisle - looking for what? No clue. Just for something that looks like something he should have.
Ethan: Arghh. I can't find anything to buy!
Of course he can't. We are in a mega warehouse of junk.
Me: Well, you know you don't HAVE to buy anything.
Ethan stops power walking and turns around to look at me like I have no head.
I know. Trying to yank a teaching moment out of this situation is pointless. But pointless endeavors have never stopped me before...
Ethan: Mom. I HAVE to buy something from Alvin's Island. I HAVE to.
Me: Okay. Okay. So - how about this! (I point to a cool shark's tooth necklace).
He doesn't even stop.
Me: How about this? (It's a t-shirt that says "Destin")
He doesn't look.
Ethan: OH WOW! MOOOOMMMM! THIS is what I want to buy!
He pulls a packaged pen off a rack. It is a shock pen. You push the button and it shocks you.
Me: No. You are not spending $6 on a pen that gives you an electrical shock.
Ethan: But it is SO COOL.
Me: It is not cool. It is dangerous - and it shocks people and you aren't getting it. AND it has NOTHING to do with Florida!
Ethan: (big sigh) FINE.
Ethan: Now I don't know what to buy...
We walk around the store for about 30 minutes. Frankly, I'm ready for him to just buy the damn shock pen... but... he finds something else...
Ethan: Oh my God Mom! I need this. I really need this.
He pulls another package off the rack. It is called "Billy teeth."
Now I am torn between wanting to get him out of the store, and wanting him to use his money to purchase something that at least has SOME connection to Florida.
A split second later, I have rationalized the fact that we are in what my sister refers to as "LA" - "Lower Alabama." So... maybe Billy teeth would be appropriate?
Ethan pays the cashier $3 for his billy teeth and he's got them suctioned in like dentures before we get out of the parking lot.
Zach: Those are pretty cool teeth you have there.
Ethan: Yea (he says in a muffled voice - he has his Billy teeth in - so his enunciation is off).
Ethan: But I should have gotten the more expensive teeth.
Zach: What are those?
Ethan: They were the ones that had GOLD teeth in the front!
Ah... the missed opportunities...