This morning I took Alexis to the shops to buy bread. I carried her on my hip because I didn't want to bother with a trolley or pram for such a short shop. She's heavy though and when she wiggles she's hard to hold.
Her eyes latched on to the banana stand. $13 something a kg. I tried to avert her gaze but to no avail. My baby girl absolutely adores bananas. She hadn't had one in a week. There was no getting out of this without tears. So I chose the smallest ripe banana I could find and I gave it to her to carry. Her little eyes beamed with joy.
She held that banana while I grabbed two loaves of bread and stood in line. She reluctantly gave it to the lady to weigh before snatching it back again. This was her prize, her precious.
An elderly gentleman behind me asked curiously, "how much was that one banana?" "$1.65," I said sheepishly. "Well if bub loves them that much," he said. For some reason I felt the need to elaborate, "she hasn't had one in a week and she loves them so much. She would have them everyday but I'd have to go back to work for that." "Well they say the price is going down soon," he said sympathetically. "Eventually," I said. This guy was nice but sometimes people can be so rude. I’ve heard it all from, “you shouldn’t buy them they’re ripping you off”, to “did you win the lotto”, to “where’s mine”. These comments usually come from women reaking of smoke and clutching gossip magazines.
I strapped Alexis into her carseat still clutching her prized banana. Still in its skin. I wasn't gonna risk her dropping it in the car. I kept justifying the expense to myself as if I'd just bought a new diamond ring for myself. "I don't smoke, I don't gamble, I don't buy coffee, I don't eat out much, I have only had two glasses of alcohol since May 2009 and one of those were free, I don't buy designer clothes or fancy handbags, I don't buy magazines…I can buy my kid a banana."
For goodness sake, it’s $1.65, cheaper than a bottle of water or a matchbox car or most food-related treats. Corey and I have found an easy, healthy, shopping bribe. I glanced back at her, having the time of her life holding this banana. I stopped in the drive way to take some photos.
When we got inside I opened the fridge to put the bread away. Alexis put the banana on the shelf and helped herself to an apple. She is still happily munching on the apple half an hour later.
Oh this kid confuses me. At least the banana kept her happy at the shops. She got about half an hour's happiness just looking at it. All is not wasted, she'll discover it this afternoon or tomorrow morning and smile at her good fortune. Oh wow, a banana.
There's always the possibility that *I* might get to eat it? Oh gosh that'd be nice ;-). Isn't it funny how I didn't feel guilty buying dinner at Gold Class on the weekend but one little banana raised so many questions. Corey and I can do what we want with our money. We really don’t waste money, so we can afford bananas. Feeling frivolous and wasteful for buying fruit is ridiculous. It’d be ok if I didn’t get “wow, going all out are we?” glances at the shops every time. I realise we are all mad at supermarket giants for over inflating the prices, but that is not my 17 month old daughter’s fault!
What's the stupidest thing you've falsely felt guilty for?