November 10, 2002

Lessons in Capitalism

Some time ago we started giving Dave a small weekly allowance. We don't actually give him the cash; instead, he accrues a certain amount each week in the Bank of Dad. That means that when David asks how much money he has, I check the record in my PDA and see how many weeks it's been since I last paid anything into his account. Then I add the resulting amount to his balance and tell him how much he's got.

Now, for quite some time David has been agitating for a Bionicle. (It's a kind of Lego toy.) For quite some time we've been telling him that if he saves his allowance he can buy that kind of thing for himself; in the meantime Christmas is coming.

This afternoon he said, "Dad, when it's my birthday I want you to take my seven dollars and buy me a Green Bionicle." I said, "Dave, you're a little confused. If I buy you a Green Bionicle for your birthday, I'll be spending my money, not yours. And if you have seven dollars (or whatever a Green Bionicle costs), then you don't have to wait until your birthday."

So naturally he said, "Dad, can we go to Toys'R'Us today?"

I checked, and indeed his account in the Bank of Dad was well over seven dollars, and so there I was, stuck, the victim of my own teaching. And so we did. It wasn't what I had planned to do with my early Sunday evening, but on the whole I think it worked out rather well.

And so did the Green Bionicle. Dave put it together all by himself, following the instructions, and it's really rather cute.

Posted by Will Duquette at November 10, 2002 06:54 PM