Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Girl and her Scooter. . . that was almost a Puppy.

Kaylen has been the only little girl in our neighborhood without a scooter for several weeks now. Over the summer she learned to ride her bike without training wheels and we were so excited!! She and one of her little neighborhood friends were the only two who still had training wheels and she was bound and determined not to be the last one to ride her bike by herself. As soon as Kaylen learned to ride her bike, the other little girl apparently gave up, and her parents bought her a scooter. Anyone can ride a scooter and all of a sudden riding a bike without training wheels wasn’t a big deal.

Not having a scooter? A very big deal.

Britton and I could have easily ran out and bought her a scooter. It wasn’t about the money. We talked about it and decided that this was the perfect opportunity for Kaylen to learn about earning money and being strong even when “everyone else is doing it.” We gave her some simple chores to do each day and said that as soon as she earned half of the money, we would kick in the rest. (She got lucky and lost two teeth in the meantime, so the tooth fairy kindly contributed to the scooter fund as well!)

It was kind of hard to watch Kaylen tag alongside on her big, purple, Princess bike, as all the other little girls zipped around on their sleek Razor scooters, but in the end. . . it was worth it.

Early last week Kaylen brought home a completed “star chart” from school which is the behavior plan that her first grade teacher uses to reward her students for good behavior. Kaylen has completed several star charts since school began. We have been giving Kaylen a dollar for each completed chart and this was just enough to earn the much desired, long awaited scooter!

As we were reading stories that night and getting ready for bed, Britton says to Kaylen, completely out of the blue, “So sweetie, which would you rather get on Saturday, a puppy or a scooter?”

Cue needle scratch across record. . .

A puppy? Are you kidding me? We have not been talking about getting a dog, and even though I know my husband has been wanting one for awhile, this totally blindsided me. The only thing that puppies and scooters have in common is that they can sleep in the garage. Puppies pee and poop and bark. Puppies have to be fed, and groomed, and taken for walks. Puppies grow up and then they are dogs.

What if Kaylen replied, “A puppy! A puppy!”??

All I could think was “How in the world I am going to fit Al-Anon meetings into my already jam packed schedule now that my husband is clearly smoking crack?”

Fortunately, being the intelligent, sweet, rational child that she is, Kaylen exclaimed,


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