Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Money, Money, Money

          Today, though Evan's eye looked much worse, it must have been feeling better because he had tons of energy.  He wanted to go to the store; hoping to buy Lego's since he was so brave at the hospital.  I hated to burst his bubble but I explained that I didn't have money for toys; just things like food and clothing.  But, all the boys were very happy when I discovered they each had a $25 gift card to Toys R Us that they had gotten for Christmas and we had never used.  I promised if they were good at the store while I was running errands we could stop at Toys R Us on the way home. 
       I think I have to buy gift cards for the kids more often.  Not only were they very well behaved, but every time they asked for something at any store I was able to say "oh, maybe that's something you can buy at Toys R Us with your gift card then."  Usually they replied "Nah, I'd rather buy something else!"  Makes me wonder why they think it's OK to spend my money on something they wouldn't bother to spend their own money on!  We did have a long talk on the way to the toy store that they had $25 only and had to be sure to spend a little less than $25 so that they would have enough money left of the gift card for tax too.  I asked them to please have an idea of what kinds of things they were planning to spend their money on so we wouldn't have to spend hours walking down every isle.  I also reminded them that it's a good idea to think about how long and how often they'll play with whatever they pick out.   But I did promise not to tell them they couldn't buy something they had enough money for.  It is their money to spend how they want. 
        They all wanted Lego's so that's the first isle we went to.  I had cautioned them that Lego's were very expensive and they might not be able to buy much; they were so disappointed to see what tiny sets were available and balked at the idea of only getting one small set and already being out of money.  By the end of the first isle they were grumbling that toys were very expensive and that $25 doesn't buy you very much.  I couldn't argue!  They're completely right, but I thought it was a great lesson!  I explained that there are many things I'd like to have too, but that we always have to make choices.  We don't have an endless supply of money and so it's best to think about how you can get the most for your money.  Ian was very excited when he found a Beyblade that was on clearance for only $5 when it would normally have been $20!  That allowed him to buy a large pack of Pokemon cards and a candy bar too.  Evan decided on a small pack of Lego's and a stuffed animal.  Alec had the hardest time deciding; he always has a hard time making choices.  He thinks long and hard about everything.  He was debating between two very large Pokemon packs that came with a mini figure too.  He was the only one who seemed genuinely sad he didn't have enough money to buy both sets.  The other two were disappointed when they couldn't buy their absolute favorite toy in the store too but they soon focused on what they could buy and were happy with what they got.  I'm not sure how to help Alec focus on what he has rather than what he left behind, but I did tell him I thought he should be happy and grateful he was able to buy anything at all.   Unfortunately, that didn't seem to faze him. 
          Once home Alec helped Evan put his Lego set together and then all the boys battled Beyblades so Ian could use his new one.  Ian was very excited when he won!  The battles soon erupted into real battles so I suggested we play something else.  The boys wanted to play Sorry Sliders and I agreed to play with them.  We didn't even make it through one full game though.  They were arguing, getting very silly and after the third or fourth pawn went flying completely off the board I just calmly said that I was done playing and walked away.  That causes Alec to be very upset and start wailing, but at least he was kind enough to go to his room this time.  Ian went into his room and played with his planetary projector for a bit while Evan went to his room and played Lego's.  I thought the time apart was probably the best thing for them. 

         After a nice long break in their rooms they all came down and played Lego's for a bit and then Ian asked if he could play with shaving cream.  All three kids dug out toys, buckets and bins and started playing with water, shaving cream, and water and shaving cream.  They sat at the table for at least two hours.  They shared toys, they shared and traded bins of water and shaving cream.  They emptied out two cans of shaving cream but when I can replenish them at the dollar store I don't mind at all.  I'd rather they remain engaged in play, using their imaginations.  Ian pretended he had a cast on his arm made out of shaving cream.  Alec and Evan simulated Pokemon battles using shaving cream, water, and Pokemon characters.  Ian cleaned up a blizzard using plow trucks, loaders, and excavators.  Perhaps it's just me, but I love the added side benefit of the smell of shaving cream.  It always makes the house smell so nice and clean! 

      They asked to watch the last of the Disney Imagineering movies that we checked out of the library this week.  Today's movie was called "Trajectory."  It's always hard to know how much the boys are learning from these movies since it is a bit more advanced and made primarily for 5-8th graders.  I figure they must be learning something though if they're so engaged in them, often watching each movie two or three times.  So I was really happy this morning when Evan crawled into bed with me  and started talking all about Newton's laws of motion, magnetism, electricity, static electricity, force, friction, etc.  He doesn't understand everything about all of these scientific concepts but he is starting to understand and use these vocabulary terms and he's only 5!  He knew Newton had three laws of motion but he asked me if I remembered what they were because he couldn't. He did remember that objects at rest won't move unless acted on by a force though!   He asked me what movie was still left for them to watch today and I told him what it was and what trajectory meant.   It's just great!  They have all learned Walt Disney's quote "if you can dream it, you can do it" too and I just love that.  I keep reminding them that it's true too.  It will take hard work and dedication but they can make their dreams come true if they don't ever give up on them.  They've already requested a few more movies from the library for next week and Evan is so excited that they make one all about gravity since he already knows what that is! 

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