My 4yo son and I have a routine at the grocery store checkout. If he stays in the cart, he gets to help me with the debit/credit card machine. I instruct him: “Press the green button,” “Press no,” etc. He loves to fool with the stylus and repeatedly change the language from English to Spanish to English and back again, but that’s a small price to pay for him staying in the cart.
I have always been in the habit of using my card as a debit, until recently when my husband reminded me that “UM. We spend $$$ every week on groceries. Those are airline miles, baby!” (such a practical man!) So…I’ve started using my debit as a credit card.
This has thrown a wrench into the grocery store checkout routine with my 4yo. There are fewer steps with credit, and the final one – signing my name – he can’t help with at all.
Except – the first time he watched me sign my name, my son shared a very sweet observation.
When I grabbed the stylus and he saw the new screen on the machine, Eli asked me what I was doing.
I told him, “I need to sign my name, honey.”
He said, “So, you’re going to sign it MOM?”
“No, sweetie, I can’t sign it MOM.”
“But you’re MOM!” he argued.
“Yes, I’m your mom, but I’m not their mom. I need to sign my name.”
“I think you should just sign MOM,” he said finally and as an end to the conversation.
Sometimes being MOM is a huge responsibility, and heaven knows I’ve been buckling under the weight of it a lot lately. But there was something very touching in the way Eli was convinced that me signing “MOM” would be enough, that it carried power and authority, was the end-all, be-all.
I think I need to borrow a little bit of Eli’s confidence in me, and his belief in the title I carry. Though…I think I’ll stick to signing my own name. 😉