Parenting Lesson Foiled by the Murano Glass Guy

As the mother of a 10 (going on 14) year old daughter, I am always on the look out for teachable moments. As a person who gets crazy when she feels like she is being nickel and dimed to death, teachable moments abound at the mall.

I had about reached my limit the other day.

"Yes, we can get schools supplies today." "No, you don't need another Build-A-Bear." "No, not that. Not now, not ever." "Too early in the season for this." "Get a job if you want to dress like that."

It's about choices kid.

And with this, we headed to the pretzel place to get a snack <and spend the last bills in my wallet> and almost tripped over the Murano glass table in the middle of the walkway. Lo and behold, it was covered with glass replicas of the kid's one downfall: peace signs. I muttered under my breath as the kid was quickly drawn to the table with me <and my wallet> in tow.

"Just one peace sign, Mom?"


"Look, it's only $5.00."

"You have over 100 peace signs at home already <I embellish when I am agitated>. Put it down and let's get moving."

"But I don't have this black and white one."

"And you won't be getting the black and white one today. I am done spending money on stuff." 

Under please, pleas, pursed lips and pouts, we headed for the pretzel place. The kid kicked into negotiation gear while waiting in line to place her pretzel order. I engaged <my first mistake> and she ended up trading her pretzel bites and lemonade for a peace sign necklace. 

We left with one pretzel - mine - and headed back to the Murano glass guy.

With open hands and a cheeky smile the Murano glass guy greeted us with an all to knowing, "I knew she'd be back!" Just so everyone was clear that I didn't buckle but taught the kid a valuable lesson about choices, I made sure he was aware that she traded her pretzel for a necklace. <My second mistake.>

We completed the transaction and started to leave when the Murano glass guy started to say something I did not understand so we turned back around. You'll never guess what he said.

"I want to buy a pretzel for the little girl." 

"You want to do what? Why would you want to do that?" (I am trying to teach a lesson here, remember.)

"She gave up her pretzel buy something from me, now I want to buy her a pretzel. "

"Not necessary. Thank you."

"But I must. You must let me do this for you."

Not at all seeing how this would help me, I buckled anyway. As I did, I thought I saw the oh-so-subtle power of balance shift away from me but my view was blocked by generosity, kindness and an ear to ear grin. 

Picking battles, teaching lessons, learning to laugh at how things turn out . . . it's about choices. 

Cross posted on Raising Tarah