I Steal Money From My Kid
Recently on Facebook, a mother posted that she had reached rock bottom when it came to parenthood. This is because her childâ€™s tooth fell out that night and she had no change. So what did she do? She took money from her own childâ€™s jar of coins to pay her kid his tooth fairy money. I kind of laughed at this because most of the comments were like, â€œIâ€™ve done that.â€ Well, my friends, Iâ€™ve done this too.
Not only â€œborrowing moneyâ€ from my daughter for the tooth fairy, but also taking money from her wallet to pay the pizza delivery man, or to run out and grab a coffee when Iâ€™m too lazy to go to the bank machine first. I always imagined that one day my daughter would be taking money from my wallet, without my knowledge (what teenager hasnâ€™t done this?). But I never imagined that Iâ€™d be taking money from her without her knowledge.
Itâ€™s so wrong, isnâ€™t it, stealing from loved ones? Not to mention stealing from loved ones who are six to nine years old. Oh, I have excuses. Sometimes I really donâ€™t have cash on me. Sometimes the tooth falls out at night, and itâ€™s either give her a $50 (which, come on, is way too much money for a tooth, and the Tooth Fairy, as we all know, doesnâ€™t give change back under the pillow.) Or I just need tip money for the pizza man and I donâ€™t have five dollars.
My daughterâ€™s wallet usually has about one hundred dollars in it. Itâ€™s money I must have given her because I donâ€™t know anyone else who gives her money and she doesnâ€™t have a job, even a part-time one. Itâ€™s hard not to feel a little guilty taking money from your own child â€“ especially a child who has just lost their tooth. But isnâ€™t it better to steal or â€œborrowâ€ money from your own child in this instance when you have none on you? After all, the only fun in losing a tooth IS the arrival of the Tooth Fairy with money in the middle of the night.
Wouldnâ€™t they rather get some money even if the money is coming from them (and they donâ€™t know it)? Itâ€™s not so much fun, I think, to get a note from the Tooth Fairy that says, â€œSorry. I have to go to the bank machine. Iâ€™ll get you tomorrow for sure!â€ Young children, usually, donâ€™t keep track of their money or how many coins they have collected in jars or piggy banks anyway. Take two dollars from them and they wonâ€™t notice.
Iâ€™ve taken money from my daughter numerous times and sheâ€™s never once noticed. But what I mean by â€œtakeâ€ is â€œborrow.â€ Because every so often, like every three months, sheâ€™ll look into her wallet and say, â€œI used to have a hundred bucks.â€ And Iâ€™ll tell her the truth, which is that I borrowed the money, and then Iâ€™ll tell her Iâ€™ll get it back to her later that day. Which I always do. I go to the bank to repay my daughter. (Thankfully, she doesnâ€™t charge interest. Or doesnâ€™t know what interest is.) Then the hundred bucks is back in her wallet, totally forgotten about until three months later, when she looks into her wallet again and asks, â€œI think I had a hundred dollars in here.â€ And, again, Iâ€™ll say, â€œOh I borrowed it. Iâ€™ll pay you back later today.â€
My daughter doesnâ€™t mind because she knows I always keep my promises of repayment.
Last week my daughter spent time with her father in Aspen skiing. He sent me an e-mail saying, â€œRowan just bought her first purchase. It was a t-shirt with a ski patrol symbol on it.â€
I wrote back shocked, â€œWith her own money?â€
Her father wrote back, â€œWith her own money in the sense that I gave her the money.â€
So how bad, really, in desperate times is it to â€œborrowâ€ money or change from your childâ€™s piggy bank, especially when they are so excited to lose a tooth? Especially when we buy them so much stuff? I donâ€™t think itâ€™s the end of the world. In fact, maybe a learning lesson? Yes, you can borrow. But you have to pay back, that is if they even notice. What worries me the most is what the Tooth Fairy thinks.