Connor received some money from relatives for his birthday that I just tucked away to be used at a future date. At Connor's age, we've discovered he's happiest when he's presented with a few new items as opposed to a lot at once, so after Christmas and then having his birthday come a month later, we saved any money he received to spend for him later. We were at the store last week and I found some great books about trucks that I knew he'd enjoy. As I was flipping through them a great thought came,"Hey! Connor has birthday money!" I gathered up a few books and when it came time to go, I asked Connor if he wanted to go buy these new books? His face light up and he wanted to sit down right there in the store and start flipping through them. As I was driving home with a happy boy in his car seat flipping through "truck books" I was reflecting on how satisfying it was to see him so excited over something new. I wondered why we didn't experience this euphoria more often and I realized it's because we don't buy anything. Don't get me wrong, we go to stores often, and we get a cart and meander around and fill our cart up with whatever catches our fancy. But by the end of the trip, everything is back in its place save the few things we came for like, a tomato. I realized Connor was also used to this routine, and I have to say, he does a great job getting a lot of joy from playing with toys while still in the box/package and putting things in the cart. Up to this point, he has understood that everything goes back, and he's been fine with that since we've never done anything differently. Now, don't misunderstand me. Connor has PLENTY. Being the first grandchild on both sides and an adored boy all around, he's seen his fair share of gifts and excitement, it's just always been a treat, not a regular part of our lives because he's blessed to the first child with parents who are in graduate school. I was so caught up in his excitement over a few new books that I asked him if he wanted to go to the store to by some new trucks? If he could drive, I think he would have sped off before I had a chance to put my coat on, he was so THRILLED! I was trying to explain to a 2 year old that he had birthday money and that's why we were buying these special things, hoping he wouldn't come to expect something every time we go the store from now on. So far, so good. I have to say though, it's been a win-win situation because I love seeing his joy and he's so happy and content and play with his new toys. Case in point, the other night I was able to set up his table in the kitchen and present him with 24 new Playdoh colors and Playdoh accessories. I was able to make dinner and have it on the table by the time Byron got home and Connor played happily next to me until Byron arrived. It may have just been a fluke, but I'll take it!