Thursday, June 18, 2009

It can be used for goods and services…

A few weeks ago, the girls got their Den Dollars in full view of their little brother, who was given a couple quarters so he wouldn’t feel left out. He promptly joined the jamboree, trading the quarters for a candy selection from the reward box. Oh happy day.

The light went on in his mind: Money can be used to purchase goods and services, by which we mean CANDY. Like his mother, the child has a robust sweet tooth. Anything that results in candy is a good thing.

Yesterday, he ran up to me with a fistful of Den Dollars and bellowed, “Mommy! I wannit candy! From in DERE!” – pointing at the cabinet where the full-sized dollar-priced candy bars are kept.

“Whoa up there, kiddo, where did you get all this?” He had something like forty bucks worth of Den Dollars, which I thought was more than all three of his sisters had combined. The main stash is kept in a locked cash box, and furthermore two of his sisters keep their purses in the box as well.

“I gotted it,” he said proudly.

“Yes, but where did you gotted…augh, get it?”

“Mine oom!!”

“Your room?”

“Yeh-t! Candy, pweese!!!” (Let’s keep focus, here, mom…)

“Wait. Why was there money in your room?”

“I gotted it!” Impatience lined his entire form. Several minutes later, I had nothing further from him. He had gotted it from his oom, and that was that.

I traded him all forty bucks for a Bit-o-Honey bar, then went to see if I could track down the girls’ stashes.

They were all intact. What the heck? The cash box was still firmly locked…where on earth

And then I saw him running up the stairs, candy in one hand, Den Dollars in the other, talking to himself all the way.

“I get da money, an’I put it away, an’I get-it candy…da money is for candy…”

And then, I realized exactly where it had come from.

The girls are allowed to buy one thing per day with their money; this is to prevent them from buying, say, five candy bars all at once on Allowance Day. Frequently, they’ll run up to me at some inconvenient moment, and I’ll take their cash and stick it somewhere random. In a drawer, in my purse, in the back pocket of my jeans.

Someone around here, someone who is extremely bright and more than a little bit cunning, someone we often overlook because he talks like a baby and therefore we have this habit of thinking he is baby-unaware of the world around him, has been cheerfully dipping straight in when he sees me do that and squirreling the Den Dollars away in the bottom drawer in his closet.

Needless to say, he was not pleased when I took it all back again. He was, in fact, quite put out about it.

“But it MY monies!!” he wailed. No matter how I tried to explain how this deal worked, he was just devastated.

He had plans for that cash! Plans! And now, oh alas!, ruined, ruuuuineed, you’re soooooo meeeeeaaaaaannnnnnn…

After I got him redirected into something else, I sat down and laughed myself about sick over it. It’s the combination of guile and innocence that just kills me, you know? He’s stealing, out and out stealing…and it is shameless, not as in brazen but as in devoid of shame. He has no shame about it, because he sees nothing wrong with it at all.

I traded you the money for a candy bar, then I took the money back out of the drawer and I’m going to get more candy, later. What? Why are you pitchin’ a hissy fit about it? You obviously didn’t want it, and I did…

Ah, life and its lessons. Ownership is a more complicated thing than he thought.

And Mommy needs to be a little less lazy about putting away the Den Dollars when sisters buy things.

…you know, why is it that everything around here always seems to have the phrase ‘mommy needs to be a little less lazy about {whatever}’ attached to it…?


Kitty Mommy said...

I laughed so hard my kids came over to see what was so funny. They were disappointed that it was just words, not LOLcats.

Janet McKinney said...

watch that one - he is an entrepreneur....

Marissa said...

I laughed so hard I cried during this; I can just see my little niece and nephews doing this.

Steph B said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Gotta love the ingenuity there. What a great story.

Science PhD Mom said...

LMAO! Well don't you hate it when your kids outsmart you? Especially when it's a result of not doing something RIGHT NOW that you really ought to do and know better, but don't do it anyway. I hate that, but it's so darn cute & clever you have to give them props. Glad I'm not the only one experiencing those refractive moments of guilt/responsibility/pride all intertwined!

RaplhCramden said...

That boy will be chairman of the Fed one day...