The one with the dollar store snow globes

by DaniGirl on November 18, 2008 · 9 comments

in Ah, me boys

We were in the dollar store the other day, and the boys fell in love with the display of little Christmas snow globes. I told them they could spend their own money to get one, if they wanted to, but then they wouldn’t be allowed to buy their weekly supply of Pokemon cards. I was secretly pleased when they each decided to buy themselves one. As they flipped them upside down and back again, I explained that the globes were glass and that they’d have to be extra careful in taking care of them. They were not a toy to play with, but a decoration to admire and handle carefully.

You can probably guess where this is heading.

We were in the van, not three blocks from the dollar store, when I heard the distinctive tinkly sound of breaking glass. Simon had forgotten his snow globe was in his lap and it shattered upon impact with the floor of the van, leaving a puddle of wet flakes of plastic snow and about three million slivers of very thin but very sharp glass.

We stopped at a gas station and vacuumed up the debris, and I shushed Tristan a few times as he made pointed observations along the lines of “It’s a good thing I didn’t drop my snow globe, eh Mom?” I could tell Simon was upset, and I knew that the globe had been dropped through inattention rather than carelessness. He was so forlornly disappointed that my heart ached for him. When we got home, I took Simon aside and promised him that the next time we went to the dollar store, I’d buy him a replacement.

Yesterday, we happened to be at the same plaza, so we made a special stop to buy a replacement snow globe for Simon. The cashier carefully wrapped it in paper and placed it in a bag, which Simon carried with all the careful reverence a four-year-old can muster. We talked on the way home about how snow globes are really more for looking than for touching, and that since we now know how fragile they are, we would be extra careful when touching this one.

Again, you can probably see where this is going.

I was nursing the baby this morning when the boys were getting dressed. I’d already issued two firm reminders to Simon to get moving, but he was dawdling. Suddenly, he came running into my room whispering, “I’m so so sorry, Mommy. I’m so sorry. So sorry, Mommy.” The genuine sincerity of his apologies would be a lot more endearing if I didn’t hear them several times a day lately. He’d tapped the two snow globes together to hear the noise, and shattered not his but Tristan’s snow globe, this time littering the floor between their beds with a puddle of plastic snow and three million shards of glass. AND, he was still in his pyjamas.

I was flummoxed as to what to do. I’ve been having a very hard time with Simon these days not listening to my instructions, especially with no-brainers like “Don’t touch.” (He almost burned his fingers on a boiling pot of Kraft Dinner the other day, even after I told him to be careful. It’s like living with a toddler all over again!) I’m not going to keep replacing the damn snow globes even at the affordable cost of a dollar, but I felt bad now that it was Tristan’s globe that had been broken through no fault of his own. In the end, Beloved came up with the idea of having Simon pay Tristan back out of his own allowance for the dollar spent on the snow globe.

I thought that since Lucas isn’t crawling yet, we’d be safe putting out the more delicate Christmas stuff this year — stuff we’ve had no problems with for the last year or two — but now I’m beginning to rethink that.

Four is a tough age, you know?


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Madeleine November 18, 2008 at 10:44 am

Four is without question two all over again. I can do it myself! I’m big enough now! You can’t tell me what to do!

I was going to suggest Simon give his un-injured snow globe to Tristan (who would then put it on a high shelf!), but next week’s allowance works too.

2 Erin November 18, 2008 at 11:08 am

It’s hard for them at this age – they simply aren’t capable of remembering warnings sometimes, and they haven’t yet acquired much of a impulse control. I know it’s frustrating, but I wouldn’t be too hard on him. I’m sure he feels awful – remember how you felt as a kid if you broke something that was special to someone else? I would get a replacement and put them somewhere out of reach.

3 Meghan November 18, 2008 at 1:32 pm

Those globs are cheap-my kids have borken them as well. there is a reason they are only $1………………

4 Annika November 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm

I think it might be time to place the snow globe collection out of reach…and, yes, four is a tough age. Too old to be a toddler, but still too young to be a big kid. Poor little guy, he sounds like a sweetie!

5 Miche November 18, 2008 at 3:50 pm

I think Madeline is onto something, four does feel like the “new two” at times!

6 Kate November 19, 2008 at 8:57 am

Well just ask Marla how fragile those snow globes can indeed be…Last xmas she bought Alice 2 beautiful princess ones and my daughter fell in love at first sight. Alice loved those snow globes and cherished them…until about 10 mins after she received them and one broke into a thousand million pieces in her bedroom. During a kids’ holiday party I was hosting, no less. And all I kept thinking as I was trying to comfort her and clean up at the same time was “what in the hell do they put in these globes anyway?”

Ack, she still reminds me from time to time about that snow globe “my-my-my FAVOURITE that Marla gave me!” The other one now sits on her bookshelf, up high, away from her curious hands.

7 Kate November 19, 2008 at 11:23 am

Oh, I agree that four can be tough! (Although compared to 3.5 it’s pretty much a walk in the park.) So much drama from one small person.

The dawdling makes me craaaaazy. But I definitely think it’s part of the age–suddenly they have an attention span, just not for the task that’s before them (getting dressed, finding shoes, etc.). Unless I am standing over Miss M, handing her articles of clothing and watching her put them on….forget it, she’s reading a book in her underwear.

If every morning weren’t such a push to get out the door, it would be amusing. The other morning I pulled husband into her room (where she was, of course, sitting on the floor in her underwear, one hand turning book pages, one hand holding the shirt she was supposed to be wearing) and said, “Look, it’s me, circa 1981.” [Really. I have distinct memories of reading before school and being discovered by my mom, one leg in my tights, one leg out.] He got a kick out of that.

One day they’ll be in college and responsible for themselves….

8 Barbara November 19, 2008 at 11:50 am

Ooh, I am right there with you on 4 being tough! Reid finally has enough concentration to do more complicated tasks and tends to use this new ability to ignore me completely. Add in the school influences – “You can’t make me” and the like – and I’m pulling my hair out. If only she stayed at an age where I knew some discipline tactics that were sure to work.

9 Mac and Cheese November 19, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Gah! I was looking forward to 4! Three is kicking my ass.

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