Customer of the Week

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

This one is short and sweet. I love it when little kids come up to buy things. Especially when they are paying with what is obviously allowance money or lemonade stand money. They take it *so* seriously, with the counting and the price-checking. The savvier ones know to ask me how much it costs with tax so that they make sure they stay within budget. It makes me happy to think how much more special those books or toys are when they're paid for with money their owner has earned.

This week I had two little ones (boy and girl) who were each buying a toy with what their mom informed me was a combination of Christmas money and allowance. The little girl put her toy on the counter. Her mom helped her count out the correct amount, then pushed it over to me, prompting an outraged shout from the girl. "What are you doing?!?" she wailed. "Why are you giving away my money?!?!"

"Remember, we talked about how you would pick out a toy, and then pay for it with your money" her mom replied.
"But that's MY money!!"
"Well, you don't get to keep it and get a toy. To get the toy you have to give up your money"
"But its my money!"
"That's how it works, honey"
"... grumble grumble grumble..."

This exchange made me smile because it reminded me of something I frequently forget. Everything a child does is being done for the first time. I don't doubt that this mom and her daughter talked about how the little girl would pay for her toy. I just don't think it occurred to mom that her daughter didn't know what "pay" really meant.

I felt like telling her "Just wait until you get your first job and see how much money disappears for taxes. Because I very clearly remember proudly opening my first paycheck, only to look at the "Net Pay" box and wail "But that's MY money!!!"

Posted by oballard at 9:31 PM  

I love that story - great COTW!
Reminds me of the time when I decided I was going to start collecting stamps. I went to the post office to get a sheet (or maybe just a stamp) and was shocked to learn I'd have to pay for it. That was the end of my stamp-collecting hobby.

January 14, 2009 at 11:34 AM  
~m said...

That is a hoot!
Yep, it IS my money! how come stuff can't just be free?

January 17, 2009 at 11:55 AM  

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