In order to understand this story there are two things about Blu you need to know.
1. He is very bashful, and never speaks to strangers, or usually even to people he knows.
2. We teach responsibility by letting him have his own money, and recently because of it a woman gave him his own wallet. It’s a little kids fabric number, that was original a souvenir for a local sports team. When we go out we help him decide if he needs money or not, get it out of his bank, and put it in his wallet. And he carries the wallet. A lot of responsibility for a 2 1/2 year old, but you’d be amazed how well he does, and what he chooses to buy when he knows it’s his money he’s spending (and that he won’t get any more.)
Today at the farmers market a worker was talking to him, his wallet didn’t fit in his pocket and he was carrying it very carefully in his hand. This gentleman was teasing him and the event played out like this:
Gentleman: Oh boy, is that a wallet. Your very own wallet.
Blu: Stares at him.
Gentleman: Can I have that wallet? Will you give it to me?
Blu: hands him the wallet!
The man is shocked, I am shocked/surprised/startled/confused what to say.
Gentleman: Oh boy! You gave it to me, just like that! (laughing) is there any money in here?" (and tells everyone how Blu just handed over his wallet)
Me: Still shocked, startled, do I comment on how he is “talking” (ie, for Blu that means the is just interacting) to the man, a stranger, but still working on his bashfulness and opening up. OR do I comment on the fact that he just did something very unacceptable and irresponsible, by giving the man his wallet!
I went this route, and I’m still not sure I did the right thing.
Me: Blu, that isn’t very responsible to give your wallet away!
Blu thought a minute, the man gave the wallet back (he truly was just teasing) and Blu got very upset. I had to carry him to the car, trying to cheer him up. Poor guy. Part of the issue is no doubt that Blu is gigantic, in 4 sized clothes and quickly moving the 5s, so the man thought Blu was older and understood what was being said and happening. Blu, who is usually very obedient tried to do what he was asked, and had no idea what was happening. Blu was very upset to hear he did something irresponsible, and that he could have lost his money. I had to talk to him over and over about how it is okay to open up a little bit and talk to people (and be friendly, but not overly so) but that you can’t just GIVE people your wallet. What if it had been me, at the grocery store not paying attention and some guy says to him “Hey, give me your mommies wallet” !!
Yesterday Blu CHOSE to spend HIS dollar to buy the dog a toy, and today he decided to buy himself a special tiny cantaloupe. He is choosy about how he spends his money, and when. So I thought it was okay. But I also never thought some total stranger would ask Blu to give him his wallet!
Poor fella. It broke my heart to see how upset he was at the whole event. As a mom I still am debating with myself, did I do the right thing? If the guy wasn’t joking and didn’t give Blu back his wallet do we replace the money? Are we insane for even letting him HAVE a wallet, despite his usual very high level of maturity about it?