Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I Bet Paris Hilton Never Played This Game

When I was little, my mom invented a game called "Shipwreck" This was when we didn't want to leave the house to get food for dinner but we really had nothing in the house to eat. It was either due to the weather, sheer laziness or perhaps lack of money. We would scrimp and scrounge through the cabinets to come up with some fun concoction.

Last night Ben and I invited our own version of Shipwreck.

We were both at loose ends. I was crabby which made him crabby. Yes I have that power. It's one of my many.
It was looking like the end result wasn't going to be good. Especially when I asked the most annoying question on earth. "What do you want for dinner?"

To which the following dialogue ensued.
"What do we have?"
"Not much. We need to go to the grocery store."
"Wow. That's a shock. But we have nothing for dinner or for your lunch for tomorrow. You can pick out whatever you want... (and then the mom light bulb went off) as long as it's under $21"
"$21? Why?"
"Because that's all I have." I said with a smile.
"What do you mean?"
"That's all the money I have."
"Oh my god Mom! That's all you have? Even in the bank?"
"Yep!" I said with a laugh so he wouldn't think I was going to sell all his toys in order to heat the house.

And it worked. He smiled with these wide eyes of fascination.

OK so I fibbed a little. But I did it in the spirit of adventure! I mean it was semi true. That's all the cash I had on me. Doesn't that count? And really, isn't there is something exciting about heading off to the grocery store with only $21 in the whole world and needing to get food? No? I'm insane? Oh. Well so be it.

So off we went with ideas flowing.
"What about cereal?" Ben said
"Well cereal can be expensive. But we can get the generic stuff. That's cheaper."
"And some fruit is cheap."
"Not these days. We'll just check it out and do the math in our heads."

We got to the store and laughed out loud when we automatically went for the cart. "We won't be needing that" I chuckled.
Ben said "We might not even need a basket!"

Even though we go to this store quite often, this time it seemed different. New somehow. We searched high and low for the best deals. Strawberries at $4 a carton were out of the question. But bananas at $.57 a pound were just the thing. And just look at how many we could get!

We got everything we would need for the next two days and cautiously proceeded to check out.

"Self service?" I asked to my partner in crime.
Ben with a serious thoughtful face said "Yes! Because then we won't be embarrassed if we have to put something back."
"Ha! NICE thinkin' kid!"

As we were checking ourselves out we were like two teenagers at a Justin Timberlake concert. Laughing and squealing with everything that ran up. Who knew checking out groceries could be so much fun?!

"OK here come the yogurts."
"ACK! The cereal is a lot!"
"Oh my god Mom! We are at $13.52!"
"And we still have my Lean Cuisine for lunch! Are we going to make it?!"

And we did. When the total came out to $20.43. Ben and I, despite the line behind us, did a high five and took our $.57 change with glee.

We walked out to the car laughing like we had just robbed a bank and so happy with our two bags of groceries.

I honestly think if anything, it was a good lesson to Ben that money doesn't grow on trees. Or on shopping carts.

On the way home, Ben said "Mom, we should be this broke all the time."
Oh ha ha ha... ah... NO!


Sheleena said...

That sounds like such a fun game and shopping experience! And WOW - way to make it a great life lesson. Excellent parenting....well, except lying to the kid :)

Anonymous said...

It's the simple things that make life wonderful. :o)

about more... said...

Will you parent my kids for awhile?! LOL!

What a fun experience and what a great mom you are... I think I'm going to try it tonight when I drag three unwilling kids to the store.

Marketing Mama said...

I love it - sounds like so much fun! I bet he'll tell *his* kids about it someday. :)