Several years ago, I was shopping at a one-stop shopping center with my two daughters in tow, both under the age of 4 at the time. Lisa and Angela were chattering up a storm, enjoying the depth of a preschool conversation, while I managed to get them secured in the rickety grocery cart and pushed over to the first stop on our list: the bakery.
As they enthusiastically munched the sprinkles from the top of their doughnuts, we strolled our way down the crowded aisles. My little "shoppers in training" were wide-eyed with excitement, oohing and aahing at everything in their 4-foot-high sight line. I was carefully calculating the cost of each item I dropped
unto the basket while also working on damage control. By now, little arms were stretching out wide, releasing Velcro-like fingers that successfully grabbed at this toy and that snack, declaring life just couldn't go on without it. In aisle after aisle, I listened to squeals of delight and moans of disappointment as they picked up and I put back.
Finally exasperated with me, my oldest daughter, Lisa, the "spokeschild" for the sisters, appealed to my maternal instincts. "Mom," she pouted, "Don't you want us to have anything?" I melted. "Of course I do, honey, but Mommy only has enough money for a few things." Certain my children were
intelligent enough to understand the budget, I went on to explain how Daddy worked hard for his earnings and we had to do a good job of being wise stewards. Angela yawned, and Lisa's eyes glazed over.
Yep, she got it. It was clear as mud. As we continued our shopping non-extravaganza, I could see that Lisa was still thinking about my words.