I happened upon a hidden gem buried deep in the Michaels’ clearance aisle: an adorable paint-your-own dinosaur art kit marked 70% off. It was the perfect little birthday gift for my friend’s dino-loving son who had just turned four, the same age as my daughter. Two years ago, my daughter attended his dinosaur-themed birthday party, and the two of them had a blast playing with a giant tub of plastic dinosaurs together. As I headed toward the checkout line with my fortuitous little find, I had an idea: I wanted my daughter to share in the joy of gift-giving, and this was the perfect opportunity.
My plan was straightforward: We would wrap the present together, and my daughter would hand him the gift during our upcoming playdate. Seemed simple enough. Of course I was aware of the potential pitfalls: my daughter also loved dinosaurs, painting, and presents. And she was a four-year-old. But nothing a little talk about gratitude and generosity wouldn’t smooth over, right? I was about to find out.