animals · slice of life

Stuffie Strife

PLAN: Buy Ari a pair of lace-up sneakers so he can learn to tie shoes before Kindergarten.

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED: A showdown by the stuffed animal display.


Of course, the stuffed animals came into view before the shoes once we stepped off of the escalator. Ari made a beeline to them. He immediately found a stuffed Scottie dog he wanted to buy.

After being bamboozled into letting Ari buy another stuffed puppy — with his allowance money — in April, I was NOT going to let that happen.

“We are not buying any stuffed animals today,” I said firmly.

“But he’s so cute. He’s soft. He’s cuddly. I’m gonna buy him.” Ari stated.

“No, you’re not. We are not going home with any new stuffed animals today.”

“I think he has a brother up there,” Ari said completely ignoring me while trying to reach the top shelf.

I feared Ari was going to topple the entire display of animals so I grabbed one of the dogs for him.

And then there were two.

Ari nuzzled the second Scottie dog to his face.

“Try not to put your face on them since we aren’t going to be buying them.”

“I’m going to buy them both and take them home!”

I looked at the price tag. “They’re each $27.50 plus tax. You don’t have that kind of money.”

“Yes, I do.”

“No, you don’t. And even if you did, I told you that you aren’t going to use any of your allowance money until we take our summer vacation.”

Ari ignored me. “Look, there’s another one!”

I must not have been thinking clearly when I took the third Scottie dog down from the display. Ari snuggled all three to his chest.

“Maybe I’ll get all three of them!” Ari said.

“You’re not listening to me. We. Are. Not. Buying. Any. New. Stuffies. Today. Do you understand?”

“Yeah, but — “

I cut him off, “We aren’t taking any of these Scottie dogs home. Nor are we taking the two more that are up there.”

“There are two more?!”

“Yes, there are two more.”

“I want to see them,” Ari demanded.

“Even if you see them, hold them, and snuggle them up, they are not leaving the store.”

“I’m gonna buy them,” Ari retorted.

“With what money. Your cash is at home.”

I had him there. I handed over the final two Scottie dogs with a stern look, which was quite opposite from the look of love in his eyes as he held all five of them. That’s when I had two distinct thoughts: #1) I’m not going to let him wear me down. #2) I just need to buy this kid some sneakers.

A salesperson walked by as Ari snuggled the five puppies. “Can I help you?”

“Nope, we’re all set. We’re heading over to the shoe department in a minute.” Dear G-d, I thought, if this man tries to convince me to buy even one of these dogs for Ari I’m gonna lose my mind.

“Okay,” he replied. “I’ll be at the register if you need anything.”

Thank the Lord!

I turned back to Ari. “You don’t have any money on you. I’m not going to buy them for you. They’re all staying here. Maybe you can get one the next time we are here, but you are NOT buying one of these Munro Scottie dogs today, even if they’re cute. I love you very much, Ari, but I cannot allow you to buy another stuffed animal today. I said no. No means no.”

I finished my soliloquy. Ari said goodbye to each of the dogs and promised he’d come back for at least one of them. I took a deep breath as I placed every single pup back on the display’s highest shelf so we could go to the shoe department. So, basically, I traded one frustrating situation for another.

Head over to Two Writing Teachers for more slice of life stories.

7 thoughts on “Stuffie Strife

  1. I am so glad you sliced about this – I think it is such a classic parenting moment, and one that will be a truly happy, chuckling memory in years to come. What a clever approach dear Ari took – ““I think he has a brother up there,” oh, I just love that! I can just imagine the ‘scene,’ with him holding all five of those puppies. So, so sweet. Of course, I see all this with the eyes of a grandmother now! Bravo, Mom – you held the line!

  2. Oh dear, shopping with kids is so hard! They definitely have their own ideas of what to buy. I’m impressed you were able to have him walk away from that. I loved the last part!!

    1. It was hard. At one point, I called my husband for backup since I thought he’d need to be carried out of the store. (That’s actually the reason I had the second and third photos. I was texting him with SOS messages.) Thankfully, I handled it on my own with my final “soliloquy.”

  3. The stuffed animals are cute. It’s hard to resist them as an adult nevertheless as a child. To be the parent who has to stay firm when a child so wants one is a serious parenting challenge. Ari’s acceptance of your “no” is incredibly mature behaviour from such a young person.

  4. They are so cute!!! I want one too!!! How did you resist? Good luck with the shoe tying. Ari’s future teacher thanks you.

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s