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Little Miss Shopper

Ever since my daughter learned to walk she's been pushing around a pint-sized shopping cart in the grocery store. Now she's asking to do the shopping without me. "Please Mom," she pleaded on our last trip to the store.

Ever since my daughter learned to walk she's been pushing around a pint-sized shopping cart in the grocery store. Now she's asking to do the shopping without me.

"Please Mom," she pleaded on our last trip to the store. "You wait in the car and I'll get everything by myself."

I realize she's a capable, independent young lady, but really? She's only eight.

"You can do the shopping," I agreed, handing her the short list of things we needed. "I'll just hang out in the magazine aisle until you're ready to pay."

Resisting any help at all, she finally agreed that she would come and get me when she was done. So off she went on her own to tackle the list. She was excited that people would see her shopping alone and perhaps mistake her for a very small grown-up. About 20 minutes later she was back with all the items crossed off and her little buggy full.

Yet it wasn't enough that she wanted to play the part of Mommy; she wanted to play cashier too. "Oh no," I complained. "Not the self checkout."

"Please Mom!" she said. "It's fun!"

Okay, I know when I was her age I would have loved shopping by myself and then checking out the groceries on my own afterward. But now that I'm older I'm not only less enthusiastic about shopping, I like to lazily stand at a regular full-serve check-out thumbing through magazines while the cashier does all the work.

Since Daisy had done such a great job and was excited to scan the groceries like she does when she's with her dad, I prolonged her fun and handed her my debit card. Naturally I stood back a few feet out of her line of vision so I didn't cramp her style.

Watching her play-act being an adult, I was reminded of how much of this kind of thing I wanted to do when I was younger and how I yearned to one day be doing them for real.

"Enjoy being a kid," my parents would tell me. "It doesn't last long and being a grownup isn't as easy as you think." It sure looked easy to me. They got to go to sleep when they wanted, eat whatever their hearts desired and make every single decision, while my little brother and I had to play by their rules. I couldn't wait to grow up and be the boss.

Knowing now what my parents were talking about, I'm also telling my children to enjoy being a kid because it really doesn't last long.

With summer holidays on the horizon my children aren't asking to do all the fun things I associate with being a child; they both want to get a job.

"I want to work in a restaurant or babysit," my 11 year old son said recently.

"Me too!" agreed Daisy.

A little young for all that, I made up a list of extra jobs for them to do around the house so they could earn their own money and I could have some more help.

"Driving a car must be so much fun," Daisy said on our way home from the store. "I can't wait 'til I drive." Maybe in another eight years, baby girl. For now, just stick with the shopping cart and your bicycle and enjoy being a kid.

Lori Welbourne is a syndicated columnist. You can watch her videos and read her columns at LoriWelbourne.com