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More Money Please, Mommy!

I recently cleaned out my purse as part of my organizing/nesting while awaiting Peanut’s arrival, and found probably ten bucks in change in the bottom of the thing. Looking for a place to dump it all, I shoveled the coins into a small snack bowl I had nearby. Intending to put it into my ceramic house-shaped piggy bank, I was carrying it into my room when I had a divine burst of inspiration. Maddie loves looking at the ceramic house, she enjoys finding coins lying around and bringing them to me, and she absolutely adores any sort of chore that involves sorting or moving items from one spot to the next. I’d let her put the money in the piggy bank!

Now, did I immediately run off and get her to carry out the task right away?

Are you sleep-deprived? She was happily involved in something else; why waste a perfectly good time filler? I craftily set the coins aside for an opportune (read: temper-tantrum heading-off) moment.

Later that night my angel was wearing everyone down, so out came the bowl of coins. You should have seen the kid’s face light up as I explained I needed her to put the coins in through the slot – ONE AT A TIME – and not stop until she was finished. You’d think I’d invented Elmo-shaped Goldfish crackers, so great was her joy. Satisfied she would be occupied for a good 20 minutes, I left her under Gamma’s watchful eye and went off to clean up dinner.

Ten minutes later, I heard a little body hurtling down the hallway screaming, “More money please, Mommy!” Rounding the corner, my daughter held out the snack bowl like a little Oliver Twist, begging for more. Coins, though, not food. What could I do? I didn’t want her to see me open the piggy bank; that’d let her know this was something that could be done any time and I want to control how often this “special game” is played. I sent her digging for a nickel in the sofa as I hurriedly emptied half the bank’s contents back into the bowl, then offered her the “new” coins for her sorting pleasure.

I think I might have created a monster. First, no one wants to hear a two-year-old scream, “More money Mommy!” even if it does have a “please” in the middle of it. I’d been hoping to at least get to 6 or 7 before she started begging for an allowance.

Second, she’s become extremely proprietary about the coins and the piggy bank. While she’s happy to include other people in the task – she walked around with a few coins in her hand saying, “One for Gamma- thank you! One for Daddy – thank you!” and is pleased to share the wealth as long as she witnesses her largesse immediately going in the slot – Maddie became more and more possessive as the sorting wore on. Dancing and singing to herself while going from bowl to bank, Maddie’s language became more and more peppered with the phrase “mine”. By the end of the night, every time she dropped a coin she’d say, “Nobody better touch Maddie’s money.”

Excuse me?? Can’t we at least pretend that the money is mine a bit longer?


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