Sunday, September 16, 2007

Buyer's Remorse

Intuitive Monkey loves Hot Wheels cars.

He and his brother must have at least a hundred of them in varying shapes and designs. They litter the floor of our house when playtime merges into "race mode". This game involves sitting at the end of the front hallway and shoving the cars through a gauntlet of their shoes which they have lined up as a barrier that only the toughest racers can get through. Once on the other side of the Shoe Mountains, the minuscule vehicles slam into the front door, making all kinds of racket and probably leaving hundreds of scratches that I turn a blind eye to because the kids are actually playing nicely and I wouldn't disturb that any more than I would disturb a lion munching on a dead zebra. Some have accrued major body damage, or lost the tiny plastic wheels held on by the cheap wire that threads through the body of the car. It's a dangerous game and the body count can be high.

Monkey decided that the twenty dollars in his piggy bank just had to be spent and begged us to take him to Target so he could add to his voluminous car collection. We agreed. Upon arrival, he spent thirty minutes inspecting each one closely, picking out five that he thought were super-cool and had the right stuff for his shoe-mountain-jumping, front-door-smashing game.

The Rationalist, ever the joiner, decided he would get five new cars too. We drove home and they immediately liberated the bright, shiny cars from their cardboard and plastic cages--the race was ON!

They played with them off and on throughout the night.

As I was putting Intuitive Monkey to bed, I had to scooch all the cars out of the middle of the floor so he wouldn't step on them during a middle-of-the-night bathroom trip. I tucked him into bed while he chatted about his cars. We said prayers, I tickled him and kissed him about a thousand quick pecks while he laughed and squirmed and eventually hid under the blankets, daring me to try and kiss him again. I said good night and closed the door.

Ambling to the computer, I sat down and started my incredibly well-written, insightful post about how to achieve World Peace. In mid-sentence of the peak of my post, Monkey came walking into the kitchen, all mournful looks and pouty lips.

"What's wrong, honey?"

"I want to take them back."

"Huh? What are you talking about?"

"The purple one and the gold one....I want to take them back. I don't like them!" He burst into tears and a low wail.

I picked him up and sat him on my lap, his legs dangling over the side of the chair.

"Why?"

"I just don't like them anymore. Can I please take them back?" sniffing.

"Well, sweetie....you can't take them back now. We threw all the packaging away, but we could go back and you could pick out another one."

More crying and sobbing.

I tried my best to comfort him and tell him not to worry about it right now. He had to get some rest for school tomorrow. He eventually calmed down and dutifully marched back to his bed.

Only five and already regretting small choices. If only I could guarantee that picking the wrong Hot Wheels car would be the last heart-breaking regret that he would have.

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