My kid loves money. He loves money more than the federal government does. He walks around playing with his money. Talking to it, putting it in containers and carrying it with him. Last night he was watching movies with his money–he sat on top of it in a laundry basket so he “could be close to it.” I try to take it away but he finds it.
He puts his money in a satchel slings it over his back, walking around like a robber baron. The other day I walked in on him stacking his dollars and throwing them in the air. “Wheeeee!!!! I’m RICH!”
“What does ‘rich’ mean, Declan?” He looked at me. Surely she isn’t that stupid…
“It means I have more money than you. And I can buy anything I want on Amazon.” Good answer.
“Well, being rich means you have what you need.” I said. “That you have a family who loves you and feeds you good food, and you’re healthy and happy.”
“That’s not rich, Mommy. That’s just silly. I love you, Mommy.” He continued restacking and throwing dollars. “Wheeeee!!!!!” I left to make dinner.
I’ve never had this relationship with money. I’ve rolled money, counted money, saved it like a miser, and taken it to the bank. I’ve prayed over money, hoping it would multiply so I could afford groceries. I’ve used it to pay bills. I’ve even given it away to others who were praying over their money. I’ve never thrown it into the air.
I don’t know whether I should take the money away at night and deposit in the bank by force. He doesn’t have a bank account yet anyway–when I went, they asked me for eighteen documents and a blood sample for the FBI to crosscheck against potential terrorists and money launderers. There was that dollar I picked out of his pants in the wash, and he is a terror at home…
“Ain’t nobody got time for this…” I put his money in my account and went home. He needs his own account so he can save all his pennies for a college he ultimately won’t be able to afford.
He cries when I suggest it. He tells me he loves his money. I say that if he brings his money to the bank, they’ll give him more money.
I explain compound interest, but the fact that the “more money” will also be in the bank is too much. He says no. He needs to be with his cash. Money flowing in wire cables isn’t his thing. He’s lobbying for the gold standard.
Like the government, I take his money a bit at a time when he’s not looking. It’s not good for the Dyson. If he notices, I’ll tell him I paid his taxes. Last time I suggested the government needed their share, he picked up a broom. Shay’s Rebellion Part II.
For now, I let him play with his money. In about a year or two, I’ll roll it up and buy a penny stock or let him start his first company. We’ll see how he does. I think he has a nice career ahead of him. Better to start thinking about what his money can do for him now, rather than throwing it in the air. That way, he’ll be two decades ahead of his peers, and he won’t have to worry about whether he can afford college. It’ll be a moot point.
And maybe then he’ll let me buy anything I want on Amazon. We shall see.
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