Grandpa and RG Visit the Zoo. Chapter 6: RG Discovers Consumerism.
December 14, 2008
As the wind and rain were increasing, a little shelter in the storm appealed to me as well, so we entered. The building turned out to be the zoo store. [The mommies later told me that they avoid taking RG into gift stores when she goes on educational trips to zoos, aquariums, museums and the like. Grandpas are naïve about such excursion pitfalls.]RG looked over the contents with considerable interest. Her eye fell on a large table covered with stuffed animals, ranging from stuffed aardvarks to stuffed zebras.
She picked up several animals and considered them judiciously. RG owns about twenty stuffed animals, so she is not a child suffering from stuffed-animal deprivation. To be fair, she plays with many of them frequently; nevertheless, there are animals that frequently live in loneliness.
RG held up a stuffed platypus. “Grandpa, please buy me this animal,” she politely requested. That she used “please” without being prompted indicated she was quite serious. I realized that Random Granddaughter, although sheltered from much of modern life, had discovered consumerism.
“No,” I said. “I bought you the chips, and that was as much as I intend to spend or buy you today,” I explained.
“You still have money in your wallet,” she said. I could see that her understanding of economics was growing by leaps and bounds.
I replied, “Yes, I do, but I spent all the money on you I intend to today,” I replied.
RG looked at me with an expression of shock and disbelief, indicating this was not grandparently behavior.
“How about a little animal?” she asked, holding up a stuffed mouse. I could see that she is preparing herself for married life. After a request for a mink coat is refused, she will ask her spouse, “How about this little stole?”
“No,” I said. As she is only four years old, I can still stay one step ahead of her, though by the time she is five I will probably be putty in her hands. It was obvious where she was going next.
“If you buy me an animal, I will take a nap,” she said.”
“No,” I said. “You should take a nap because it is something you should do and it will be good for you, not because I bribe you with a stuffed animal.”
“But I really want an animal,” she replied in some desperation.
“Will a new stuffed animal make you happy?” I asked in preachy and pompous grandfather style.
“Yes!” she said.
“I don’t think so,” I replied. “In any case, I am not going to spend any more money on you today. If you need more animals, you can discuss it with your mommies.”
“I won’t take a nap,” she repeated with calm determination, similar perhaps to Adolf deciding he was going to invade Sudetenland. She repeated the statement about ten times.
Finally, I said, “Let’s go home.”
“I won’t take a nap,” she said again.
“OK, we will go home where you will take a “not nap,” I said.
“What’s that?” she asked suspiciously.
“It’s where a little girl who needs to take a nap doesn’t take a nap,” I said.
We walked back to the parking lot, to the sound of more, “I won’t take a nap,” statements.