Sometimes I Worry That We're Raising Richie Rich - Live Like a Mensch
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Sometimes I Worry That We're Raising Richie Rich


LO is a morning person. He wakes up, eager to greet the day and get started on his important tasks of drinking juice, playing, reading, watching Cars, and asking for more juice when he's been told no more.

Unfortunately, his zest for the beginning of the day does not necessarily coincide with J's and my ability to make coherent sentences. Most mornings, LO can be put off for a few moments by inviting him to turn on and off my bedside lamp, and by telling him to pet the dog (who sleeps on the floor in front of our bed and does not approve of our use of him as a toddler delaying tactic.) Generally, however, we need a third strategy for distracting LO, while J and I brush our teeth and attempt higher cognitive functions, such as breathing.

And that is where the fear about Richie Rich comes in.

Pretty much every morning, I grab some change from the dresser where J placed it the night before, hand it over to LO, and invite him to put his "monies" in his bank.

I have three problems with this, while J has a fourth one.

First, there's something a little wrong with paying our kid to let us brush our teeth. What precedent am I setting?

Second, this has become a common enough occurance that the child's piggy bank (well, actually, it's a plane bank, but who's counting?) does not ever get put away. It just lives on the floor of our bedroom, rather than on LO's dresser. Not only am I teaching my child a potentially bad lesson about money, I'm also consistently tripping over his bank in the middle of the night.

Third, why on earth do all parents find themselves using baby talk when there are perfectly good real words available? I know I'm not the only parent to refer to multiple coins as "monies" to her child, but I sure do hate myself for it. I try to force myself to say either "money" or "coins," but since I'm doing all of this while sleepy, I still find the word "monies" slipping out of my mouth most mornings. And frankly, only a Richie Rich type would talk about monies, as far as I can tell.

Fourth, J has a problem with this habit because he is usually saving that change to pay for coffee from the vending machine at work. Luckily, LO does not yet understand the difference between quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies, so J is often able to save the quarters and give the child smaller coins to bank.

Here's hoping LO won't remember this and start holding us up for higher amounts when he gets older. I suspect that's why teenagers are programmed to sleep in. Otherwise, parents would go broke just trying to get ready in the morning.



selkie65 said:

I agree this dynamic needs to change.  

Some suggestions...

1. You need to be up before your child so you're ready to face the day with him.

2. Have him bring his toothbrush and brush with you or go potty or get his clothes.  You don't say how old he is, but can he get his PJs off and start to get dressed on his own?

3. Have him bring a book to look through and snuggle in your bed while you're in the bathroom.

4. I would recommend having him get used to being ready for the day before the TV goes on.  It makes it so much easier once they have to get ready for school.

5. Have him help you put the change in a savings jar for everyone, so you can save up for something really nice or to donate somewhere.  Put his bank back in his room.  :)

6. Can your husband take coffee from home or have a coffee maker at work?  It's got to be cheaper and better tasting than vending machine coffee.

Good luck!!

December 12, 2012 10:40 AM

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