My mom sent the boys a rather large sum of money so they could be spoiled a little bit. Mom is an exceedingly honest and fair person. She still makes sure she spends the same amount of money on each of us girls each Christmas, same for each of the grandsons and sons-in-law. When she finds money left in a cart or discovers a store made an error in her favor, she returns the cash. Because my sister still lives in our hometown, her boys are around to be spoiled by Grammy and Pawpaw with random treats from the grocery or dollar stores. It's all little, but, as Mom says, it adds up. No one cares but her -- but she cares deeply.
Plus, I made the mistake of mentioning that my boys, who suffer from birthdays close to Christmas, were pining for Legos and other odds and ends. I'm not the kind of parent to buy just-because gifties.
So Grammy sent some mad money.
I took the boys to Target and set them loose in the toy aisles. It was madness. They had to share the money but there was plenty of it, enough to necessitate several decisions. First, would they buy one or two big things, or each buy two or three small things (with the understanding that we share our toys)? They chose the second option, which meant I spent at least 30 minutes chasing them around the aisles saying things like, "Yes, you can get that, but then you'll only have $XX," or "No, you don't have enough money for that because you already picked this," or "You have $XX. This is what you can buy. No. Not that."
It was fun. For them. (OK, and maybe a little for me, when I saw how excited they were by their picks.)
We finally got up to the check out -- where we got stuck behind a woman arguing the price of clearance items. Look, I understand hunting for deals and not wanting to get cheated, but sometimes you either need to just eat the price or leave it at the store. We already had unloaded on the belt so we had no choice but to wait. For 20 minutes.
Finally, it was the boys' turn. I let them go ahead of me and, as I always do when they have their own money to spend, I let them handle the bills. It's a small way for me to teach them about money and also about manners. It's the same reason I make them order at restaurants. I usually have repeat their orders -- especially for Beastie -- but they need to learn these things. Sometimes the cashiers and servers are nice about it, but too often, they're dismissive or downright rude in return to me and my boys. Too many of them ignore the boys or act annoyed that a child is talking to them. Our Target cashier was one of the worst. She wouldn't take the money from the kids at first and never said a word to them, even after I explained that they were paying with their own money. She gave the change to me and never made eye contact with any of us.
I was a cashier. I know it's irritating to have a customer, be it a little old lady writing a check or a kid counting pennies, disrupt your rhythm, but seriously, I'd like to make a plea for simple courtesy. I'm trying to teach it to my kids. You, Rude Target Cashier, are not helping and could stand to take a refresher course.