As buses began rolling down the streets, Facebook pages lit up with links to a post from Haley Hassell who visited three stores searching for the specific pencil case her daughter wanted for first grade. As a single mom, meeting needs challenged her*** budget, so Hassell could rarely indulge her daughter’s wishes. She eagerly brought the pencil case home expecting an ecstatic “thank you!” when she presented it to her child.
Instead her daughter looked at it, scowled and angrily threw it into the trash. “That’s stupid! Everyone in my class has that.” She left the room slamming the door.
Hassell said she nearly came undone with anger. Before she did, “I checked myself and said ‘Okay. That’s fine. Let me go get the one you’re going to use.’ I came back with her new pencil case which is the good ol’ Ziploc bag.” Hassell wrote her daughter’s name and ‘pencil case’ on the bag.
“I told her to get the pencil case out of the trash and that we would be finding a child to give it to tomorrow. One whose mommy and daddy didn’t have money for any school supplies, or someone who may not even have a mommy or daddy.”
She posted a picture of her daughter, clutching the Ziploc bag and sobbing. Too late, the child decided she wanted the pencil case her mother brought her.
“I thought I had always taught her to be grateful and know how lucky she was,” Hassell wrote. Mom concluded that one child needed a wake-up call, and it was Mom’s job to give her one.
The posting ends there. The mother heard her daughter’s protest and turned it back on her. Mom was not bluffing, the Ziploc bag went to school. The post went viral. A TV morning show called to talk with the Hassell about her post, and the wide spread parental interest it generated.
“Parents of the world unite, do not let the child control the household.”
Been there, experienced that with a child. Not one of my favorite memories. Still, many years ago as we packed our bags for a vacation trip to Florida, including a visit to Disney World, one child suddenly found 101 reasons why it was a stupid idea to go and insisted we should stay home. My husband tried to reason with him. He tried to calmly meet every protest against the trip with an answer.
It did not matter. The torrent of protests continued to pour out while the rest of us stood by watching the discussion about our long planned departure.
Finally, looking at the time, I said, “If he doesn’t want to go, he doesn’t have to go. He can go and stay with his grandmother while the rest of us go. It will save us money in the long run. His bag is already packed. All we have to do is call your mom and then drop him off at her house on the way out of town.”
“Okay,” my husband agreed. He did not understand the fuss any more than I did. All the bags were packed, plans made, the car gassed and ready. Time to go. Now we had a solution. He picked up the phone. The child’s jaw dropped.
He looked back and forth between us. We would leave him behind?
Nothing more was said. The protesting child picked up his bag and threw it in the car. Looking at his choice of activities for the next two weeks, he chose to drop his tantrum and go to Florida. Lucky lad, we didn’t make him live with his words as Hassell did her daughter.