#869: The soft sell

For the past couple of months, the Boy has been banned from Chapters/Indigo by me. This is because, in case you haven’t noticed, C/I has become a veritable toy store in recent years, so that it’s pretty hard to convince most children to choose a book as a present when Bionicles and princess costumes are just right over there. And Bionicles is what had landed the Boy in trouble with me. During our most recent outing there together, he dissolved into a sulking, whining mess, and I just decided that I wasn’t going to go through that again if I could help it.

Now, I had forgotten to tell the kids’ grandmother about the ban, and she took them there the other day. And what do I see when we came home that night, but a brand-new, colour shifter Hotwheels.

“He whined and asked for a toy, did he?” I asked the Grandmother.

“Oh no, he didn’t,” she replied. “He was actually very good about it, and never asked me to buy him a single thing. Neither of them did. But there was a big bin of these, and he just calmly turned to me and asked me if he could have a pencil and a piece of paper. When I asked why, he replied in a little sad voice, ‘Because I’m making my Christmas list now.’ So he didn’t ask me. I just wanted to buy him a little gift.”

I was a bit upset that the Boy had managed to manipulate his grandmother into buying for him yet another toy (though I’m sure she would say that she knew exactly what was going on, and didn’t feel manipulated at all). But the Beloved Husband laughed out loud when I related this story to him, and he thought it had been rather clever of the Boy.

Okay, okay, I grudgingly have to admit that the little guy has a good selling technique. But when he turns 16 and wants a real car, he’ll have to try that little pencil-and-paper trick again with grandma, not on me.


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