When Arkansas mom Bethany Howell discovered her daughter Ashlynd had used her thumbprint to buy Pokémon toys on Amazon Prime — while she was sleeping — she was understandably shocked. Especially once she saw the price tag: According to Baby Center, the 6-year-old racked up quite the bill, spending a whopping $250 when all was said and done.
It all started one busy Monday night earlier this month. Bethany tells Babble that she could barely keep her eyes open, but Ashlynd was wide awake. (We’ve all been there.) So Bethany started a movie to calm her down. Instead, after about five minutes, Bethany fell fast asleep. That’s just about when the little one used her mom’s thumb to unlock her phone and purchase 13 Pokémon toys — from plush characters to figurines to trading cards — to be delivered right to their door.
Bethany didn’t find out until the next day when she received email confirmations. She and her husband were surprised, as Ashlynd had never done anything like this before. Bethany tells us:
“Usually when she plays on my phone she will look at YouTube videos, play games, or pull up my Netflix app … When I first learned that she had ordered toys on Amazon I thought it was not intentional. Then later when she told me she was shopping and it was all going to come to the house I was shocked. I had no idea she even knew what Amazon was.”
Bethany and her husband sat Ashlynd down to explain what she had done, and decided to use the incident as a teachable moment.
“Before this all happened she did not have a concept of money or that what she was doing was wrong,” says Bethany. “… Once she understood she apologized and promised to always get our permission to get on our phones or open any apps.”
There was only one hitch: When Bethany looked into returning the items, she discovered she could only return four — meaning she was stuck with the other nine. But that’s when she got a clever idea.
“We told Ashlynd that the Elf on the Shelf found out and told Santa,” recounts Bethany. “So Santa was going to intercept some of the toys and bring them for her on Christmas.”
This worked out perfectly for the Howells, considering they hadn’t yet purchased any of her Christmas gifts. Now this is genius parenting. Good work!
h/t: Baby CenterMore On