My wonderful Father-in-law gave my boys the gift of a lesson in frugality this year. Each got their own character wallet with some money in it. It was intended to be a teaching tool, for my husband and I to help them understand saving. So I patiently explained that it was all their money and it would be wise to save half, just half. What good is a gift you can’t enjoy? That is exactly what the gift was for, too. To spend half on something they picked out and save half.
After they whined that they only had one dollar bill now (it is a twenty!!!) we set out with our wallets. I guess learning the value of a dollar is kind of hard for two little guys of 6 and 3. I told them it was good to have a little cash on hand just in case there was something they found that they wanted to buy.
I was out voted (wait. I thought I counted for two votes?!) for the place we were eating lunch and had to eat Subway, their choice. Almost like mutiny. They both had the attitude that since they had lots of money, apparently burning a hole in their pockets, they could buy whatever they wanted to eat. I would not allow this. I am the Mom. I will provide food. So Subway it was.
Since my big boy has been off his meds he has found a new appreciation for food. Poor little guy was always such a picky eater and now he says he loves to try new things. If only I had known this all along. We would have been more slack with dinnertime. Oh, the arguments it could have spared! He has also been having a hard time with his attitude lately. My sweet baby boy who used to get in trouble for hugging his friends in preschool had recently been sent to the principal’s office for fighting. Imagine my shock. He has always been thoughtful and caring and has only recently been really mouthy with us and really hateful toward his brother. It is something that has been bothering me. Now don’t get me wrong, even if he turns out to be a serial killer, you will never meet a boy sweeter than mine and you will never find anyone who loves him more. Well he redeemed himself today. My buddy is back!
He complained when I ordered a 6 inch sub for he and his brother to split. He said he was really hungry and could eat the whole thing. I told him that after he finished his lunch, if he were still hungry we would order something more. He finished his lunch and asked if he could have a cookie. I thought about it and since little brother and I were only half finished I said if he wanted to have a cookie he could wait, or buy it himself. He was a little distressed in thinking he didn’t know how. But after a little instruction and a reminder to use his manners, he was off with a grin.
He stood in line, waited his turn and politely asked the cashier for an M&M cookie. Then he gave me a thumbs up. The lady asked how many he wanted. I held up a single finger and he nodded at me. He then proudly tells the lady “I’ll take three please” and shot me a wink. Huh?
She took his money gave him his sweets and his change and back to the table he struts. I asked why did he do that, I had every intention of sending little brother off with his money and his manners to be a big boy too since there was no one else in the store but us and one other guy. My angel said to me “I got one for each of us Mom. That lady gave me a lot of money back!”. That’s my boy!
I thought little brother might feel slighted in his little right of passage but he just grinned. With a big sigh he said “isn’t my brother great?” and laid into his cookie.
I was so proud I had to fight the urge to shed a tear and smother him in kisses.