Off we went to the Dollar Store, Miss with the not-so-bright, not-shiny-at-all toonie I gave her when she asked for shopping money tucked deep in her coat pocket.
She was working from a mental list - her brother, Daddy, Grammy, Poppa, Gammy, Poppy, three real and two sort-of cousins, two uncles, and one kind-of aunt - and she ticked them off faster than I ever though possible.
Right off the hop she picked out something for herself. I was worried that she had completely missed the point of our expedition, but it was a little pink and purple stool, and she picked out a blue and red one for Jr at the same time. They like to watch us cook from countertop level, but have recently been spending most of the time fighting over whose white chair is whose. Problem solved by the preschooler.
(If you're wondering where the infamous kitchen stool went, it was banished to the basement when it A got peed on, B got fought over constantly, and C was starting to pose a very real risk of dismemberment.)
Poppa was next on the list, and she picked out a blue wormy looking thing for washing his car. Entirely appropriate for the man who (I think) coined the phrase, "A clean car has class".
For Grammy, the gardener, whose green thumb turned black when it was passed along to me, a flower pot. For two (sort-of) girl cousins, matching mugs. On it went, with pretty good choices given her age, until she reached her uncles - for one, a cupid statue. Actually, perfect.
For the other, little fake birds. Also perfect. Gammy and Poppy almost received gaily decorated toilet plungers, but at the last minute she changed her mind and got them both advent calendars.
When we got to the cashier, she reached deep into her pocket, pulled out the toonie, and placed it very solemnly on the counter.
It was ignored.
So - watching the cashier silently the entire time - she reached up and wordlessly pushed it closer to her.
Where it continued to be ignored, but was scooped back into my pocket in a brief moment when Miss wasn't looking, so she still thinks she paid.
It. Was. Awesome.
I hope we do it every year.
Jr? He came with me later to The Bulk Barn, and helped with stocking stuffers by trying really hard not to touch anything. Maybe next year he can pay.
The Four Days Of Christmas: Or, Pictures Of Meat With A Couple Of My Kids Thrown In So You Don't Think I'm A Bad Mom >>
This time last year: Project Grocery: Christmas Edition