We went to Raghu’s fav toy section of a large Book/Toy store here in Pune today. Raghu had Rs. 1000 (about $20) of his own to spend. The money was a gift from family. We’re still to start the allowance concept.

Well in the store… the ususal, fav, Lego section was closed out… apparently its not a popular item in India. So Raghu gravitated towards the other aisles and decided on a HotWheels box that cost Rs. 1500. (he politely told me that he had all the books he wanted at this time and hence a Lego or some such was what he wanted) I told him i’d be willing to add a litte money to his to buy this. So he took the box and then went wandering about…. while i looked at books. He came back with a Ben10 box in his hand. Ben10 is a Cartoon Network character and is one of Raghu’s favourites.

By now… i had this lovely feeling inside that said… my little boy was using his money for a hotwheels set… a good quality product etc… How wonderfully we had managed this purchase decision etc.. Meanwhile Zoya was not allowing anyone near her (grandparents were with me and willing to distract/play with her) except me. So i was getting a bit crabby as i had a shopping agenda of my own too.

Still i sat patiently with Raghu on the floor while Z proceeded to pout… and explained to him that Ben10 products were of dubious quality. This we had experienced before… and were unable to return the item or exchange it because, unlike the US, stores here do not stand by their products… you have to write to hte manufacturer and that never works out very well for a Rs. 500 toy. I reminded him of the last Ben10 toy i’d bought and how it cracked within a month and could not be fixed etc. Raghu sat and listened and did express his views and reminded me that it was his money to spend.

I know why i was stubborn. i found it hard to allow his money (any money) to go towards products of dubious quality. Eventually though i came around to the realization that it was indeed his money, to spend as he wants. I could advise, point out, give suggestions… but then i needed to back off. The product was not harmful etc. So i needed to switch gears.

Anyway… in the mean time Raghu had gone to get a different Ben10 product. Which he proceeded to tell me about in monetary terms… less than the other big Ben10. I realised that it was not Hotwheels vs. Ben10…. for Raghu it was simply about Ben10… his fav character. So i cleared my head and bent low and told Raghu that i meant to advise and not make the choice for him. He looked at me smiled, said thank you and ran off to get the big Rs. 1500 Ben10 product. I wish i had trusted him the first time around.

When we got home and he opened it up… we were all surprised to see that the product was a voice-changer…. so you speak into a clip-on-mic and the voice comes out like garbled alien talk… sometimes clear enough to hear words. A real find. Obviously it now travels with us everywhere and an alien voice talks to me from Raghu’s body. And i was wrong about the quality. Its not too bad this time. Maybe the company cleaned up.

I know that RU’ing leads to a better relationship and is a bigger concept that what i imagined. It is permeating everything. And I feel happy being inside my head.