Please Don’t Tell Me We’re Going Shopping.

After only 12 years, Shane decided that he would like to have some shirts that he likes.

This means that his cousin’s and his brother’s clothes are no longer sufficient for him. In fact, most of his brother’s clothes were previously worn by at least one, and often two, of his other cousins – so Shane’s clothes are not second-hand, but more like … fourth-hand.

Now Shane is declaring independence. So I sat him down one night, with the intention of taking him to the mall for a shopping spree.

“So you were telling me that you wanted some different shirts,” I began.

Shane groaned, “Please don’t tell me we’re going shopping.”

“Well, I was going to take you shopping. And I think it will be fun.”

“Every time I go shopping with Dylan, I just sit on a bench.”

“Well, we wouldn’t be going shopping with Dylan. In fact, you and I have never gone shopping together – not alone, anyway. It’ll be just you and me. And you can tell me what stores you want to go in, and you don’t have to go into any stores unless you choose them.”

Shane’s attitude didn’t improve even slightly. So after he finally conceded, we stopped at a playground near the mall, where he ran and jumped and climbed and swung for 15 minutes.

Then we went to the mall.

We walked in through Macy’s, so that he was hit – first thing – with tons of variety. We were in the boys’ clothing department for 20 minutes. Shane liked one Nike swoosh shirt, but he said he didn’t love it. So we moved on.

We planned to eat dinner at Noodles – on the other side of the mall – so I picked up some sushi to carry with us. We passed store after store after store after store.

Shane didn’t want to look inside any of them.

Finally, we got to our dinner destination. That’s something he wanted to do. So we ate dinner.

Then we went to Nordstrom’s, next door, at my suggestion. He didn’t like any of that stuff. We went to the Gap – again, at my suggestion.

No interest in anything.

In spite of his initial unwillingness to shop, Shane wasn’t rude about it. He had a superb attitude, and we had a lot of fun. He pointed at things and laughed at things and he actually looked at many available shirts. But nothing struck his fancy.

So we went home.

When we got home, I went to his chart and gave him a bonus star (big reward) for having a good attitude, and for trying a new thing.

Shane said, “Well, I did want to thank you for taking me to that playground, because as soon as I started playing on the playground, my attitude improved.”

Lesson learned: Playground first; shopping … sometime way later.

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