A few dollars buys a lot of memories

Because this week is so full, we did a little early celebrating of Anya’s birthday last Thursday. At her request, we went to Chuck E. Cheese.

I grew up in a small town; I went to Showbiz Pizza once, but there was no Chuck E. Cheese anywhere near me — I saw the ads on TV, but that’s as close as I ever got. I thought the whole thing was pretty corny. But the kids had fun, and that was the point. I think Anya would have had more fun had we gone a little later, when there were more kids, but she still had a ball. In fact, the only thing that kept the tears at bay when it was time to leave was the promise of going to the mall to play Pokemon.

Honestly, it was just going to be about Pokemon. And maybe a cookie. And a carousel ride. Just that.

But I just had to go in Sephora while they fought another Pokemoner at the gym. And I just had to pick up a new bottle of hair goop (which, sadly, I am unimpressed with and will return). So when Anya dragged me into Bath and Body Works, the scab was already ripped off my wallet.

I did rein us in; we only purchased the smaller sizes. I stopped using B&BW when my allergies went haywire 10 years ago, and am not sure how I will react to it at this point. Best to start small.  But we made up for that restraint in quantity: we bought two bottles of shower gel, two bottles of lotion, two bottles of body mist, and three scented candles.

Je ne regrette rien.

We had such a good time picking out those things. Anya has been a fan of scented candles since her early toddler days, but the scented bath products are new to her. She tried on every perfume, tested lotions, sniffed hand soaps and air fresheners. For a while, we were not mean Mommy and ornery preschooler. We were shopping buddies.

I felt a pang, buying such frivolous things when money is already so tight. But the memories we made are priceless. In 10 years, I won’t remember the cost — only the look on her face as she held a tester up for me to sniff. That was worth every cent.


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