What was meant to be a moment to teach my son became one of the most magical learning moments in my universe. It all revolves around the glory that is white chocolate – now Nestle, before you sue me, make sure you read to the end where we all live happily ever after and the Milkybar is our favourite white chocolate.
My son is four years wise and obsessed with going to the shops after Nursery for a treat. Recently he has been falling asleep in the car before we can make it to the shops and has a break down on our drive way when he realises there is no going back. However, this week he said he would just ‘close’ one eye and like a miracle we made it to the petrol station. As we entered and he was overwhelmed by the colourful packets and choice, I gave him one instruction “you can pick whatever you like, but only one item”
He headed for the Milkybar because frankly white chocolate is the goddess of all chocolates and Ive bought him up to have standards (mainly in chocolate – snot, he just wipes on his sleeve). I looked at the bar version and also the buttons. I noticed that despite both being the same price the buttons were 5g bigger in size. I got down on his level (which in heels is like extreme yoga) and explained that there was more chocolate in the button bag and it was the same amount of pennies…he didn’t care. He held on tightly to the bar. We mooched around the shop and I once again tried to explain that the buttons were ‘ better value’, although I’m still not sure why they were the same price? Obviously, being four and my son (stubbornness is genetic in our family unit) he thanked me for my advice and declined to take it.
We made our way to the till and I was still jabbering about the buttons. We paid, left and made our way to the car. For some reason in petrol stations I like to hold his hand so tightly that the blood drains from his tiny fingers, which is ridiculous as every moving vehicle is doing less than 2 mph…anyway, with seatbelt in place I slightly tore the bar open for him and handed it to him. I then said something about the buttons again and he said “STOP. Mummy in the shop you asked me what I wanted, you said I could pick one thing that I wanted – this is what I wanted”
…the world stopped. The guilt filled my lungs and made it hard to breath and at the same time I was engulfed in the over familiar parental guilt that we all feel (most days). I had been so consumed in my intention to teach him about making ‘good’ choices, I’d completely ruined the process of his choice making. The treat of going to the shops (and making it there awake) was ruined by me ear bashing him about 5g of flipping buttons!!! Although deep in my soul I know that quantity and chocolate are extremely important, I knew in that instant that he was right. We spent the rest of the car journey with me empowering his decision; we talked about colour, texture and the all so important taste, we talked about the packet and how not all chocolate is brown. I made sure he knew that I thought his decision was fabulous.
He then obviously feel asleep and I had a moment of wonder and beauty. That little dude stuck to his guns, he was polite and assertive. He made a decision and in doing so taught me a valuable lesson.
He is little but he is wise.