Posted by gespurr
Since she was 4, Kathryn has wanted an Iphone. All the whistles and bells and games on it are what motivated her. “You can have an Iphone when you can afford the $40 a month for it”, we told her.
When she was 5, she still wanted an Iphone. I now had games for her set aside on my own, and whenever we got into the car, it was the first thing she asked for. “It’s not like you’re allowed to use it when you’re driving, mom,” she’d say.
When she was 7, she decided to compromise with us. Instead of getting an Iphone, she’d settle for an Ipod touch. “You’re not old enough,” we told her, “But here’s this nifty little Nintendo DS instead. Let me have my phone back.”
Now, she’s almost 9.
A few months back, she asked me when she can have an Ipod Touch. “When you can come up with half of the cost, then we can get you one.”
Now, Ipod touches run about $150 used. There was no sense in my mind in getting her a brand new one when a used one, in her eyes, would be equally good. And so, she had to give us $75 (after tax) for her Ipod. Knowing when and where she gets her money, typically, we fully expected this to take until Christmas or even her birthday, minimally.
Kathryn, however, took this as an ultimate challenge. Every penny she had was going towards her Ipod touch. By this past Monday, she had a whole dollar saved up and George and I were pondering how we were going to fulfill our end of the bargain on only one income, now. Would it be her only Christmas present? Would it be the “big” present we get her every year? How would we do this?
Then, Tuesday came, and we went to my parents’.
They’re currently purging a few things around the house and came across a large penny-jar that has been around the house since I was in my teens. It’s been emptied a few times to pay for things (gas money, trip money, new school clothes, etc) but I suspect this time, it’s been sitting there since just before she was born, unemptied.
“Hey Kaci! Whatever is in this jar is yours,” my mom said innocently, not knowing that to Kathryn, this equated to “THE BEST DAY EVER”.
My eyes grew huge and my palms became clammy as I went into a mild panic. George was optimistic. “It’s only $30,” he said. My estimates were higher… much higher. We each bet on how much was in the jar. My dad guessed $47, mom guessed $30. George, being the precise person he is, said $38.63. I estimated $60. Kaci also threw in a bet and said “Bunches!!”
We took the contents of the jar directly to the bank and emptied them into the counting machine. The machine broke at $40, and half the money still had to be poured in. The teller emptied the machine of five bags of coins and the machine continued to count.. $45, $60, $70… $72 is what she had in there. Seventy-two. Kathryn’s guess was closest.
She also had a silver 1936 quarter in the mix. She took it to a dealer, and that quarter became another $4.25.
My child now had $76.25 of her required $75 to get her Ipod. She was head over heels because she lived up to HER end of the bargain. I panicked. George started putting pen to paper trying to figure out how we could fulfill our promise to Kathryn without getting our electricity shut off in the process. We crunched some numbers and fulfilled our promise to our child: “As soon as you pay for your half, we will get you an Ipod touch.”
And so, my almost-9-year-old is now the very proud owner of an Ipod touch.
Ah, but see, that’s not all. I had to explain how my child discovered the art of text messaging this week. (Yes, Ipod touches can text over WiFi).
I was in our first scout leader meeting the other night when they rolled in like a tidal wave. I created a monster. I sent her a photo of something I saw at the meeting she’d like. I probably shouldn’t have done that, because she took it as an open invitation to text me.. a lot.
And then, she discovered the perils of autocorrect. I couldn’t stop laughing. Tears were streaming down my face. Fellow leaders became concerned, thinking I was crying. “Are you OK?” one asked. “Yes, yes I’m fine”.
It has now been about five days. We haven’t seen much of Kathryn in those five days, but she’s managed to film two full-length movies with her stuffed animals, load all her favorite songs onto the MP3 player, advance a couple of levels in Angry Birds and enjoy Netflix from the comfort of her bed. I’ve kept my Iphone in my possession the whole time.
Oh yeah, and George got a job!
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