This afternoon my daughter and I went shopping for a birthday gift for my mother. There is a great store in Glastonbury that is our “go-to” stop for unique, and even sometimes, last minute gifts. While I browsed through the purse area, my daughter was rummaging through the children’s section, which is made up with adorable little dog purses, backpacks and sweet pink and purple hair bows. She played there for awhile, until I found my mother’s gift and had the saleswoman wrap it up for me.
When we were ready to leave, I told her that we had to go and that the puppy had to stay at the store. Of course, this did not go well with her and while I was so tempted to just take them out of her hands and pick her up, while she’s screaming and kicking, I decided to do something different, even though it would take longer and more patience on my part.
My daughter is almost two and I wanted to have this be a learning lesson for her. I thought about it for a few quick seconds and thought, “OK, I can do this, I can explain to her what is going on; and hope that she can somewhat comprehend it.”
I first asked her if we all have a home, she replied yes.
I then asked her if she likes her home, she stated yes.
When I asked her if every puppy has a home, she shook her head and said yes.
I told her that while we are in a store, this is the puppy’s home; and that all the puppies here in the store today are friends and family to each other.
While she looked at me straight in the eye, while shaking her head, I said to her, “Madelyn, we can’t take a puppy out of their home, can we?” This is where they live, play and sleep. His family would be upset if we took him out of his home, wouldn’t they? We can’t take him from his home, can we sweetie?” She replied, “No mama.”
When I asked her why we couldn’t take the him to our house, she said, “puppy’s home here.”
It took about five minutes to discuss this with her. When we walked out of that store, no tears were shed, no hands were flown in the air; and while there was no big smile on her face, she was OK with the decision to leave the puppy at his home. After all, that is where he lives.
To all the moms out there, sometimes I believe we don’t give our children enough credit to understand what is really going on in a situation. Even for a two year old, she understood that she was sacrificing her wants for his needs. While she was upset to not take the puppy home, she knew, to some level, she was making the right decision. It was the sweetest thing I’ve experienced with her and I am happy I took the few extra minutes to try and help her to understand. All, in all, I hope that it even empowered her!