The Associate is learning about money or cash as she calls in school. Her tissue thin math sheets with crude renderings of coins are neatly lined up on her desk. Awe, this is cute and then I think that beyond the random quarter she plunks into the parking meter while I hold her up and the very occasional vending machine, this child never really uses money. As our culture hurdles toward a paperless economy our children are missing out on very important lessons.
This became abundantly clear when I looked at my phone after the movies, only to see 6 feverish text messages from The Teenager who was at home alone and desperately trying to buy something online.
-WHAT DOES INSUFFICIENT FUNDS MEAN?
-transfer 30 dollars into my account and I’ll give you the cash
-MOOOMMMMM THIS IS IMPORTANT
-I’m doing all my chores pls…..
-NEVERMIND FORGET EVERYTHING I JUST SAID.
By the time The Associate and I arrived home she had worked through the problem and all was right with the world. I went to bed thinking about this conundrum, and dreamt of toilet paper.
My dream lecture went as follows.
“This is a case of needs and wants, you will always need toilet paper, butt (pun intended) you will want better toilet paper. While you are mooching off of us you will get used to lush and soft toilet paper, because your father and I have already paid our dues. When you go to college you will be introduced to the single giant roll that can be purchased for 99 cents on the way home to your dorm. You may consider stealing our stash when you visit home but thanks to the luggage fees of air travel you will be forced to abandon your hard won prize at the gate, and stacks of absconded napkins will have to suffice. After college when things are even tighter, you will have to think hard about this once seemingly innocuous purchase, and you will fondly recall the toilet paper of your youth and work harder. Blah blah blah.
I need a vacation, I used to fly in my dreams.
Grabbing my morning coffee I look up to see The Teenager striding into the kitchen asking “Can I get my nose pierced?”
I answer “Nope, but your sister needs help with her math homework.”
Done and done.