22 March 2011

Of Teaching the Value of Money

One of my favorite things to do with Micaiah is allowing her the privilege of mounting the mechanical horse at Wal-Mart - a thrill I always dreamed of, but don't ever recall actually getting to do.  Yes, I'm living vicariously through my daughter.  I do this quite frequently.  She rarely complains.

The last time she rode the horsey, I allowed her to carry the two shiny coins from the checkout to the exit and deposit them to start the animal all by herself.  Later, amidst the cries of "Hee-haw!" and "Gee-up!" she paused to say, "I want my monies back."  Upon dis-mounting, she noticed the nearby quarter machines and desperately desired to attain any of the tiny trinkets or candies.  A plan formed in my mind.

Who says two years old is too young to learn about the value of a dollar (or, in this case, a quarter)?

Thus, tonight, after an impromptu visit to the Super-Store, Philip dug into his wallet to give Micaiah her precious fifty cents.  She was so excited about riding the horsey, she had to hold herself back from running ahead of Mommy and Daddy.  But when we got there, stooped down to her level, I carefully explained her options. 

Feeling like a too-formally-attired version of Let's Make a Deal, I showed her the line of machines carrying cheap necklaces coated in metallic paints, minuscule rubber duckies, and rubber bracelets in the shapes of dinosaurs and other child-friendly forms.  She could have any one of those.  Or she could have the horsey.  She chose a bracelet.  Only having spent half of her money, she had another choice: one more bracelet or getting to keep the final quarter.  Lacking the crowd shouting their own opinions, she, like a brave and short-sighted toddler, pronounced, "I want bracelet!" 

And, thus it was, she departed the store carrying two tiny, clear, plastic domes filled with her new treasures.  She didn't even give the horsey a second glance.  What a big girl.

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