My Kind of Shopping

Both the boys are really into pretend play. They are always turning blocks into people, pillows into trains, or otherwise converting the toys they have into pretend versions of real things. One toy that they don’t convert is their plastic toy cash register. It’s a cool little thing with a real scanner on it. You point the scanner at one of the plastic toys that came with it and a mechanized voice comes out of the cash register announcing the price.

Pretty cool, huh?

There was one downside: all the little plastic toys that came with the cash register quickly disappeared into that mysterious void that swallows all such little plastic toys. That was pretty much the end of playing with the cash register. Ironically, the boys would rather pretend that an empty box is a cash register than use one that is “broken.”

Last month, we had a breakthrough. N really wanted to pretend he was a grocery store clerk, but was getting frustrated by his lack of cash register. I brought out the plastic cash register, and we gave it a try.

Wonder of wonders, we discovered that when you scan one of the building blocks, the register announces a price! I guess the natural lines on the blocks are patterned enough like the bar codes they’d designed.

N was thrilled. He immediately set up a grocery story line. I pulled a little wagon full of blocks over to him and he scanned each one. When he was finished, they were all piled up in a very orderly pile. He held out his hand for the money.

Ooops. Guess what I’d forgotten to put in my pockets.

I patted my pockets, looked desperately around the room, checked under the couch… No money – pretend or otherwise.

I held out my hands. “Sorry! I don’t have any money. I’m sorry.”

He looked sternly at me for a few seconds and then smiled. “That’s okay. You can have them anyway. It’s our secret.”

I thanked him and started gathering up the blocks.

“Wait!” he said, opening the cash register. He pulled out some plastic coins and handed them to me. “Here you go.”

Now that’s my kind of a shopping trip!

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