She doesn't get to carry her card with her any more, so that has eliminated the one problem. Her BC (behavioral consultant) and I and a few other staff, have talked, worked, explained, cajoled, given consequences and set up budgets for her but she has a few addictions and occasionally, they still get the best of her. NOT illegal addictions, but fast food and 'good deals' are her downfall.
Commercials for certain deals at McDonald's burn themselves into her subconscious and she has a difficult time resisting. Several years ago, the commercial showed a bucket of McNuggets; 50, to be exact, with a marching band taking a break and swarming to the sidelines to devour them. She came home with 50 McNuggets. FIFTY. "But Mom, it was a good deal. They only cost $9.99"
Fast forward to yesterday. Kalisha took enough money with her to buy 2 tickets to a minor league ballgame on the 13th. One for her and one for a friend. So far, so good.
When I arrived home, she asked if I saw the box on the counter. Thinking I had some surprise waiting for me, I quickly went to the kitchen.
Imagine (no, don't really imagine it) my surprise, frustration and total disbelief when I saw this box.
"What the heck were you thinking??????"
"Well, I was going to eat one Big Mac for supper and take one with me for my lunch tomorrow at the preschool. And I would share the fries and McNuggets."
"Kalisha, nobody here even likes McNuggets and they certainly aren't good when they're cold."
"I like them and I'll eat them for snacks."
"Please tell me what possessed you to buy this box of food."
"I don't know. I just wanted it. Oh, and I didn't have enough to pay the tax, so the cashier paid it for me."
Now that was the last straw. She has been warned about consequences when she allows someone else to pay the 'rest of the bill.'
The agreed-upon consequences are she has to return whatever it is.
Obviously, she couldn't return food. So now, I had a bit of a dilemma; I could eat it in front of her and not let her have any...no, that wasn't going to work. Her BC suggested she be reminded she wouldn't be able to buy any fast food for 3 weeks, because her budget is $5 per week for that. That seemed too far out in the future to make an impression.
I decided the best thing to do was get rid of it. Yep, you know I did. Right in the garbage can and luckily, trash day was the next morning.
She didn't have a meltdown. She said, "I just knew you were going to do that. When I was standing waiting for the bus, I was feeling badder and badder because I knew I shouldn't have bought it."
Kalisha really wanted those Big Macs out of there. She was googling 'getting food out of the garbage.'
I asked her what it said. "Oh it just keeps telling me how to put food in a garbage disposal."
I laughed. Even Google wasn't helping.
Was it the correct consequence? If you believe the "children in China are starving and you never waste food' that I grew up with, then no, maybe not.
Will she remember it the next time? I hope so, but there are no guarantees.
Was I too hard on her? Nope. I don't think so.
Did she have something else for supper? Of course.
Could a lot of us learn a lesson from this? Probably.
What if the things we buy that we really don't need were put in the trash?
It is something to think about.
*I did ask Kalisha's permission to write about this. Obviously, she agreed.