Operation Toy Store

My son is being deployed to a birthday party this weekend, and we need to acquire a gift. But the notion of trekking into a toy store, with my son in tow, is such a daunting thought. Why does the mere idea of going somewhere as delightful as a toy store give me anxiety? I practically break out into hives just thinking about going in there with my kids, knowing someone is bound to come out wounded (usually me!). Toy stores are like traps! Beautifully packaged, ridiculously expensive toys; games that no wants to play but everyone wants to buy; cute stuffed animals that trigger my allergies; trains and cars that I am bound to step on in the dark of the night. And no matter how many toys we procure, my kids always want more. Now that I think about it, toy stores are like shoe stores. Beautifully gleaming shoes, displayed in just the right light; inexplicably expensive and incredibly impractical; yet unbelievably perfect with that dress I haven’t yet bought. I clearly don’t need any more, and those killer heels will leave me regretful, but I always want another pair. But this time I am putting my foot down; with my son that is. He is accompanying me to the toy store to buy his friend a gift, and he is NOT getting a new toy. No matter how much he cries, begs and pleads, I will not succumb to the pressure. The best way through this obstacle is through psychological preparation prior to the exercise. He must know that we have one mission, and one mission...