We took Olivia and her friend Meya to the movies one weekend. Meya brought her fancy Hello Kitty wallet and 20 whole dollars.
When she first got into the car, she declared her intention to buy her own ticket and popcorn at the theater. I thought her mother had told her to be polite and pay her own way, but I assured her she was our guest and we would happily pay for it.
"Well, I can pay for my own popcorn," she offered.
"Don't worry, Honey. I'll buy the ticket and the popcorn," I said.
Here, I thought I was being a great hostess, but really, I was crushing her dreams of independence.
"No, I want to buy my own popcorn," she insisted. "I can do it."
Oh. I get it. "Sure," I said, "you brought your own wallet because that's what big girls do." Then she was happy.
Of course, before we got out of the car, she asked me to hold her wallet so she wouldn't lose it, and when we got to the snack line, she didn't know how to read the prices. (Totally normal. Neither can Olivia.)
Meya placed the order herself, because that's what a big girl does. I helped her select the right amount of money to hand over, and then taught her how to put it back into the wallet (not one bill at a time, but all bills at once). Then held on to the wallet again. The whole thing was very cute.
She was so pleased with herself for buying her own food. I wanted to tell her to enjoy it while it lasts, that she can still get other people to pay for all her stuff.