Saturday, August 22, 2009

Money doesn't grow on trees, but gifts come from Grandma

I'd like to think my kids aren't spoiled, but I'm probably wrong. After all, Grandma and Grandpa arrived for a rare weekend visit today, and after Z had emptied a duffel bag full of new fall clothes from Carter's for her and her sister (but mostly for her), she had the nerve to ask if they'd brought her anything else. Toys, specifically.

Z knows the rules around our house. We only buy stuff that's on sale. Preferably with a coupon.
Presents come at birthdays and Chanukah. And on those occasions we rarely buy them anything ourselves because between family, friends and neighbors, they get plenty. Unbirthday surprises don't come from the toy store, and certainly not by request. But once or twice a month--in the summer, at least--I'll take them "shopping" at yard sales. There, I don't mind dropping a couple of dollars on a new doll, a lacing set or books. I can rationalize it because I'm not bringing any more plastic crap into the world, it's costing me pennies on the dollar and really, it's fun to see my kids so excited about getting something "new."

So do my kids understand that money doesn't grow on trees? Sort of. Z knows I have to go to work to earn the money we spend, and she knows I won't buy something if it's "expensive." But the gimme beast inside her? Alive and well.

This post was inspired by a Parent Bloggers Network blog blast sponsored by Capital One, which is promoting their Moneywise eLearning Tool.