Comparison shopping is very hard for Patrick.
I suspect it's some combination of I'm-a-21-year-old-guy impulsiveness and the fact that comparison shopping requires a few higher-level thinking processes, not the least of which are (1) delaying gratification (not buying something cool the moment you see it), and (2) understanding that some nebulous something you might see later might be cooler than this REALLY COOL THING you see right here and now.
We worked really hard on the idea at Disney World this past winter (see, there I go again, making a trip into a CBI (community based instruction) experience ;-)). Patrick's plan is always to get one shirt at each theme park, and in the past, this has meant grabbing the first cool shirt he sees and running with it.
This year, we (mostly jointly) decided to look in all the shops first, and go back and buy whichever shirt was best. Patrick was skeptical at first, until I talked him out of buying some generic shirt at Mouse Gears in EPCOT -- and then he promptly found a really cool (to him) shirt at the Mexico Pavilion. I pointed out (and emphasized heavily) that he would never have found that shirt had he bought the first one.
This time he got it. He carefully perused every shop in every other park -- with the exception of Animal Kingdom, which is a hilly, bumpy, difficult place to walk around if you don't see too well, and which had utterly exhausted him -- and ended up finding some really nice shirt, including his bombest shirt.
Meanwhile, Patrick had been hired by my mom to help her catch up on the shredding at her office. Patrick has been slaving over a shredder for months, with the ultimate goal of earning enough money to buy a video camera so he can take ride videos at Disneyland and Disney World. He is nearly done (half a box more) but was a little crestfallen that he wouldn't finish in time to buy the camera for his birthday.
Today, with the intention (though she didn't tell him that) of taking pity on him and advancing him the money for the camera, we all traipsed to Fry's and Best Buy to look at cameras. He found one at Fry's that he really liked, then willingly -- and without any prompts -- walked away to browse the DVDs, planning to go to Best Buy next.
Without any prompts.
Even though he'd found one he liked a lot.
So we went to Best Buy, and lo and behold, he found one he liked even better. It was available in bright red, and had night vision -- a plus for dark rides.
He perused them, and walked over to browse the DVDs.
(That's kinda a Routine.)
Anyhow, at dinner (mmmm...Bear Pit), my mom asked him which camera he'd liked the best.
(We'd told him he was getting a surprise after dinner, but hadn't told him what it was. In a testament to his growing maturity and responsibility, he never once -- not until after we'd parked at Best Buy -- thought that his surprise might be his camera.)
He said the one at Best Buy, then went back to writing in his notebook.
So, we parked at Best Buy, and Patrick frowned. "We're at Best Buy?" he said. "My surprise is at Best Buy?"
Then it hit him.
"My surprise is my camera?!"
It turned out they were out of the red ones, but he was happy with his glossy black.
A whole day of comparison shopping. Go Patrick!