You see to your right, the picture of what started it all. You might remember that not too long ago I was wondering how to avoid spoiling my kids. I have been doing some research and have found some interesting and helpful information that I am excited to share with anyone who takes the time to read it. That post will come soon. But first, I thought it fun to tell the story of what started it all... It was a dark and stormy night... we were minding our own business when suddenly, out from nowhere jumped the most terrifying sight a mother has ever seen: the Christmas Toy Aisle at COSTCO!! (OHHH the horror!!) Like a deer in headlights, I froze. Run! Run! I shouted to myself. But it was too late. My children saw it too.
Davis, my six-year-old train fanatic, asked for it for Christmas (to which I responded, "You never know what will be under the tree. That is a pretty expensive gift, though." He took that to mean, "No" and cried all the way home. And it was the kind of quiet cry that kids do that makes you empathize with their plight. The kind of cry they try so hard not to show you because they know they are too old to cry about things like this. The kind of cry that pulls at your heart like the sun's gravity to the orbitting planets.
The short version of the story from this point is that he decided that THIS was what he would be saving his money up for next. The last time he committed to saving up for something, it was a $40 item (Thomas the Train's Clock Tower). He saved up for that thing for more than a year. He worked so hard. His saving's focus never altered. I think he made it all the way to $15. He finally gave up and asked to go to The Learning Palace where he looked longingly at the toy he tried so hard to save up for and then chose to go ahead and buy something else less expensive. I think he quietly gave up, though he was a trooper about it. That following Christmas, the Clock Tower was under the tree and you have never seen a happier kid.
So now, he wants to save up for Costco's Train Table, priced at a "reasonable" $130. Now you know exactly what I was thinking: "That poor kid is NEVER going to save up enough money in time." By Thanksgiving the toy aisle will be replaced with spring bulbs and patio furniture. And to save $130, at $1 per week (1/3 to giving, 2/3 to savings/spending), would take 197 weeks to save up for. That's almost 4 years!
So you see my quandry. I could dash is hopes and tell him to not bother. I could encourage the little chap to work his tail off to save as much money as he can from now until he is ten, in hopes that the Train Table is still carried by Costco. Or I could match dollar for dollar what he saves so that it only took two years of blood, sweat and tears (sure hope Costco still carries it). Or I could guearantee that he get it by buying and hiding it until he earned enough so that we did not have to deal with the devastation that would come in June of 2011 with FINALLY earning enough only to go to Costco and see that the Table is no longer there. Or, I could just buy it for him for Christmas. Oh. this is a lose-lose situation. To make matters worse, Ryan recently confided to me that he does not want any more Thomas stuff purchased: we have plenty!
I actually have a happy ending to this story. It happened about a month later (yesterday). Once Davis realized that having a train table would take up lots of floor space and that whenever he built on the table he would be very restricted on how big the track could be (he currently builds his tracks on the wide open floor of the playroom), he decided that he would find something else to save up for. Today he brought me one of the little fold-out marketing tools that comes inside a Thomas toy and shows every toy the company makes (he has saved it since last Christmas and it has been folded and unfolded so many times that it is ready to fall apart into 24 equally-sized squares). "Here is what I want to save up my money for, Mom. The Sodor Scrub and Shine. How much is that one?" We looked on the computer and found our new savings goal is now only $40. So I fully expect to make a trip to The Learning Palace in the next two years to pick up one of those bad boys.