Show Me the Money!

May 19, 2011

I love it when I am in my car alone and I can turn the radio up and jam out to my favorite tunes from the 80’s.  It doesn’t happen very often … usually I’m stuck listening to SpongeBob SquarePants or Veggie Tales and I can hardly hear myself think over all the arguing and tattling coming from the backseat. 

On one of those rare occasions when I was driving alone my kids called to see how close I was to being home.  I told them I’d be there in about thirty minutes and also told them if they cleaned their rooms I’d give them each a dollar.  Emma and Ethan LOVE to get “dollars” so they were thrilled.  They hung up and I turned the radio back up and started singing along.  About 10 minutes later my phone rang again and it was Ethan.

“Hey Mom, do we have to clean under our beds?” he asked

“No, but don’t just stuff everything under your bed.” I replied. 

There was silence on the other end for a few seconds.

“Ethan, are you still there?” 

“Yep, I’m still here. I was just wondering” 

“What were you wondering?”

“I was wondering if you would pay us extra if we cleaned under our beds.  I’d clean under my bed if you paid me another dollar. Then I’d have two dollars!”

The twins have finally started to realize the power of money and are always trying to figure out how to make more of it. However, they don’t really have a concept of what a dollar can buy yet.  For example, yesterday Emma told me she was going to take her one dollar and buy a game for the Wii and then with the change she wanted to buy a Barbie. 

The other night after dinner I was doing the dishes when Emma and Ethan came running into the kitchen carrying Ethan’s piggy bank.  They both had huge smiles on their faces

Ethan said, “Hey Mom! ….. Hey Mom! ….. Mom, Mom, Mom!”  

“Yes, Ethan … what’s up?” 

“Me and Emma put all our money together and we have eight dollars and fifty-three cents.” 

“Wow – that’s great.” I said as I continued loading the dishwasher.  

“We were wondering how much past our bedtime would you let us stay up if we gave you our eight dollars and fifty-three cents?”  Emma asked.

I laughed at their proposal and asked, “So you want to ‘buy’ extra time to play and watch TV before bed?” 

“Yes! That’s correct!” Ethan exclaimed.  

It’s interesting to watch how the kids view money and the creative ways they think of to spend and to make money.  We have recently started having the kids do some chores around the house like taking out the trash, washing the dishes and doing the laundry. So far it seems to be going well and they have been working hard to getting the stars on the chore chart so they can get their allowance at the end of the week.  However, they now seem to think everything they do should earn them a star or more money for their allowance.  I have been trying to teach them that we don’t always get paid for things we do … like Mommy doesn’t get paid to clean the house or cook dinner but I do it because I love them.  They are getting better but they still have times when they try to slip in some extra money-making opportunities.

We were getting ready to leave for church one Sunday morning and I told Emma and Ethan that I was going to be leading children’s church and they needed to be on their best behavior and set a good example for the other kids.   Ethan thought for a second and asked, “Are you going to pay us?”