Tuesday, September 09, 2008

On having a literal-minded kid

Really, aren't they all that way?

Karen left a comment laughing about my using the term "out of my budget" when telling Anna Marie why we can't (or won't) spend money on something. I have a very good reason for choosing my words carefully - and apparently, Jason hasn't learned that lesson yet.

Did you guys ever hear the phrase "cash-free society?" Well, if you have small children, it just isn't true! Since she's started school, we have to keep cash on hand several days a week for lunches, or "snack store," or the ribbons the cheerleaders come around every Friday peddling to unsuspecting youngsters.

Add to that the need for offering on Sunday, and you see my point.

Problem is, we don't carry cash - and haven't since before we were married. We started using our debit cards in college, and haven't looked back. Want to know why we never go to the Waffle House here in town? Because they don't take cards!

So, this weekend (as you've already read) we were pretty busy. And on the way to church Sunday, Jason fished around and found a few cents to give Anna Marie for her Sunday School/children's church offering.

"That's all you've got?" she asked. (Before you start to think she's greedy, let me interject that it was about 50 cents total, which she would have to split between the two offerings. And you know how churches like to have offering contests!)

"That's all the money I have," Jason innocently responded.

As soon as he said it, I knew he'd messed up. I KNEW where her mind would go, and tried to issue a correction - it was all the cash he had.

It fell on deaf ears, though, because Anna Marie went into panic mode.

"But how will we eat Backyard Burgers on Thursday?"

Yep. She didn't worry about food that day, or the days between Sunday and Thursday, or even how we'd put gas in the car or pay the other bills.

She thought her weekly "date" with her dad was in jeopardy.

Kids eat free at our BYB on Tuesday and Thursday nights. And every Thursday, while I fast before weighing in at my WW meeting, Jason and Anna Marie go across the street for dinner. Folks think it's so cute - the two of them out like that. They don't know it's because she's eating free, and he doesn't want to have to cook!

(And, for the record, I have a Women's Ministry meeting tonight, where we'll be eating, so the two red heads will probably end up over there tonight too.)

We don't even have to spend gas money to get over there, because, as I've stated about a bazillion times before, it's literally in my back yard. Unless the weather is bad, they walk!

And I don't want Anna Marie to think we're destitute all the time. I'm just cheap, or the item in question is something that we just don't want to buy. So I tell her it isn't in our budget - which is completely true. Especially when it comes to the Nintendo DS she's been asking for, or the iPod Nano, or the cell phone.

Totally not in our budget.

So let that be a lesson to you, all those who deal with small children - think before you speak! You could have a very panicked child on your hands!


Anonymous said...

Melissa, your blog is so funny! I know what you mean about literal-minded! Once when Sydney was younger, she had a fit when she saw how much the grocery bill was at the store. We had to come home and show her the checkbook, bills, and remaining balance!
Tracy McCall

Heather @ Desperately Seeking Sanity said...

I tell the kids that it's "not in the budget" too but because I don't want them, like AM to fear that we don't have money, but I also want to show them that I have a budget adn I can't just blow money on anything... like candy and shoes that we don't need.

I used to say, "I don't have any money" as in cash and Samara would always say... "Can you just use your credit card" or "Can't you just write a check?"


no, it's not in the budget

Irritable Mother said...

Regardless of the reasons (free eating and no cooking!) I think it's great that Daddy and daughter go out to eat together. *grin*
My kids all have DSs. And I didn't buy them! Each of them saved their allowance money, birthday and Christmas money, asked for gift cards from friends and family for their birthdays, and did extra chores.
It took awhile, but they each did it. And I think the games have much more value to them because of the work they had to put into getting them.
"Out of our budget" may not mean out of reach if you're willing to put in the extra effort.

Melissa said...

Tracy - I'm so glad you stopped by! You've got to try this blogging thing. It's like scrapbooking, only (for me) less time-consuming (and cheaper!)

Karen, that's a great idea - her birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks (cue annual birthday party freak out) and she could get a head start by asking for money or gift cards.

Because seriously, I don't think we have room for ONE MORE TOY in our 1,000 square foot house.

Valerie said...

sorry. i stopped reading right after 'there's a Waffle House in town and we never go.' oh the humanity!

if only we had one...then i totally would be the side of the proverbial barn.