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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fiscal responsibility and a stuffed elephant

Noah learned about money this week. Here's what I attempted to help him learn*:
  • Things cost money. Things like that cool pair of prescription glasses you intentionally busted when you got upset in Kindergarten on Wednesday.
  • You have no money. You're five, after all. Sure, by your age I was selling off my M.U.S.C.L.E. Men action figures at ".25 cents apiece or 3 for $1.00," but I've largely sheltered you from such questionable business practices in hopes that you would shun the business world entirely, become a commercial pilot, and provide a lifetime of flight benefits to your mother and me**.
  • You are responsible for a new pair of glasses. We've discussed this before (check off another classic parent line that has now escaped my lips). 
  • Again, things cost money. Things like Flower, your giant stuffed elephant that you received from Mamie at Christmas (thank goodness Grandma Linda isn't following this blog right now or ever).
  • When you don't have money, you can sell goods or services to make money. There's currently no market for tantrum throwers, tub splashers, or cat terrorists. This means you will sell Flower the stuffed elephant in order to pay for a new pair of glasses.  
  • Banks buys stuffed animals.  
Okay, so the last one might not be pulled straight from your college Econ textbook. Nevertheless, I managed to schedule an appointment at our local Chase branch to sell Flower the stuffed elephant. Noah and I arrived ten minutes before closing, he handed over Flower, and they handed him $20.00 (from the savings account he doesn't know about). They then opened their safe and Noah got to watch Flower go into the Big House, banking style.

"I'll come back for you Flower!" was the last thing the elephant must have heard, quickly followed by the icy clang of the heavy metal gate.

*Learning would, of course, imply that the entire marketplace concept was internalized. I'll hope that the lesson was learned, but am positive at least one thing was internalized: the free cookie at the bank.

**Given the VERY strong prescription Noah is touting currently, I might want to reconsider the pilot career and redirect his life goals towards the medical profession in France (complete with vacation home in the South) or perhaps professional refereeing.


  1. Haha! What a funny story. You are such a creative parent. And I love the idea of putting Adelaide onto a career track that benefits Ben and I. I'm hoping for gourmet chef or travel agent.

  2. I love that the bank did that for you!

  3. Our conversation after reading your story went something like this: J "I wonder if our bankers that would do that for us!" E "I wonder if Dave still has his 'stash!" Thanks for giving us something to think about! We miss you guys!

  4. LOL. Seriously. THAT is creative parenting. Love it....and would be happy to hire Noah to do some work to earn the money to FREE fact, I think I am going to get my boys making some picket signs and send them down to walk your side walk....wait for it...midnight tonight...loud screaming outside your bedroom window: "FREE FLOWER, FREE FLOWER". I am certain I have something from the 70's that they could wear!

  5. I am going to send Carter to your house. We had this same discussion yesterday, as he never made it to his piano lesson because he went so slowly, then when he was almost there he remembered he forgot his books and had to come home for them. Then he came home and decided to jump on the tramp with the push broom and broke the handle. So he is currently in the hole for the piano lesson and the push broom. Do you think the bank would buy his DS?