savings plan

Scene: Tuesday. 8:00 pm. The bathroom. The Kidling is getting ready to brush her teeth in preparation for bedtime. She begins to brush, then pauses with tooth-paste-y mouth to tell me a story.

The Kidling: Tara and I are going to start selling books for pennies. Real pennies. To save money for Africa. Tara’s going to Africa, too! And Mommy and Daddy! And Tara’s mommy and daddy are going to come too. And we’ll have to buy an extra ticket for Molly. (pauses) Can I do six chewers a day?
The Mama: Of course! You mean to earn money?
The Kidling: Yeah.
The Mama: Sure. So you can get your allowance and do additional chores to earn more money.
The Kidling: Yeah. But I don’t have to do them every day.
The Mama: No, you don’t. But you understand that you won’t get the extra money unless you choose to do the extra chores?
The Kidling: Yeah.
The Mama: Okay.

Fast forward. Snuggle time. Chatting about nothing in particular, then—

The Kidling: I’m going to keep rest of the money for richness and my needs.
The Mama: (smiles. says nothing.)
The Kidling: And if someone doesn’t have any money, I’m gonna give them half. Because, you can’t just admire money! You have to use it!

Hear, hear. Those pennies aren’t made to be stared at.


As we were driving through a wooded area of town, Alice declared, “All I care about is treating the trees with great care. I want to treat the trees with great care so they can give us toilet paper.”

Ah, the altruism of a four-year-old child. I like to think it isn’t really just about getting those needs met, but I might be over-estimating.