Sometimes we can’t get past hearing ” I want that ” on a daily basis! If we have small children or grand children it is just a given! The following story is a perfect example of this.
Six-year-old Mia sat cross legged on the living room floor and giggled at the cartoon characters on the television. Her Mama sat behind her on the couch leafing through a gardening magazine.
Suddenly, Mia’s blue eyes widened. She leaned forward with excitement. Her favorite commercial was on! The commercial showed a little girl rocking a baby doll. Mia knew she already had a lot of baby dolls, but this was not just ANY baby doll…it was THE baby doll Mia had been hoping her Mama and Daddy or maybe even Santa would get her! Baby Brianna talked and cried. She burped and yawned. She even snored while she slept! Her dress was snow white with pink stripes and her eyes were as blue as the tiny flowers that grew in Mama’s garden. The tray of Brianna’s pink and white stroller held a bottle, and a storage area below held three fluffy white diapers and a bright yellow rattle. Mia smiled. She liked dolls that came with “stuff” …the more, the better!
“I WANT THAT!” Mia shouted.
“I know,” replied Mama…”you want everything!”
“But I have wanted that MY WHOLE LIFE!” insisted Mia.
Mama laughed. “First of all, you are six! And secondly, you ALWAYS say that!”
“But I have!” Mia retorted. Mama looked up at Mia, smiled and said “Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know.”
Mama is right, Mia thought, I do want everything. There are so many neat toys! They are everywhere…on TV, in the store, and even in the catalogs that the mailman brings each day! But Mia liked having new toys. She had so many that she had to push them into her closet or under her bed when she cleaned her room! She would play with them a few times, and then forget about them. She wished money did grow on trees. Mia sighed and went back to watching cartoons.
Later that night as Mama tucked her into bed, Mia thought about Baby Brianna again. She fell asleep and dreamed of pushing the tiny pink and white stroller through the park.
The next morning Mama was washing the breakfast dishes when she heard a shout. “I WANT THAT!” She smiled and shook her head. Mia came running into the kitchen. “Mama…can I have a pair of sneakers with little wheels in the bottoms of them, please?! You can skate with them and ALL the kids have them. And….. I have wanted them MY WHOLE LIFE!” “I want that”!
“We’ll see” Mama replied as she put away the last plate. She was deep in thought. How could she teach Mia the concept of saving and spending wisely? As she began to sweep the floor, she had an idea.
“Mia!” Mama called, “Please come here a minute”.
“Yes, Mama” Mia answered, and ran into the room.
“I have decided to give you an allowance.” Mama began to explain.” Mia could barely pay attention! She was already deciding what she would buy first! Mama continued, “I will give you two dollars a week if- and only if; you do chores to earn them. This money will be yours to do with what you wish. If you choose to buy a toy and the toy you want costs more than you have, you will have to save for it.” Mia was so excited! Her very own money! She could not wait to go to the store and buy Baby Brianna! That night, Mama and Daddy created a chart, listing each of her chores one by one. Mama explained that each day, when Mia completed her chores, she would earn a sticker. At the end of the week if the chart was full, she would earn her allowance.
From then on, Mia cleaned her room every day. She helped her Mama in the kitchen. She even fed the dog without complaining! Each week she put her allowance in her little piggy bank. As she saved, she thought about how much fun she would have playing with Baby Brianna. Now she would not have to holler, “I Want That”, she could buy it with her own money!
One Saturday morning, Mia woke up early and counted her money. She had finally saved enough to buy her baby doll! She could hardly wait until her parents woke up to tell them. As soon as she heard Mama’s footsteps in the hallway she ran to her and exclaimed “Mama, I’m ready to go shopping!” Mama gave her a huge bear hug. That very afternoon, as promised, Mama and Daddy took her to the toy store. She ran straight to Baby Brianna and pulled the box from the shelf.
“I want THIS!” she said. “I have wanted this MY WHOLE LIFE”.
“I know,” Mama said with a big smile. “You have earned it! Let’s get in line to pay for it. Do you have your money ready?”
Mia got out her money and counted it one last time. “Mama, how much money will I have left after I buy my baby doll?” she asked.
Mama counted Mia’s money and answered, “It looks like you will have fifty cents left, Mia.”
“But Mama,” Mia said “almost all of my money will be gone!” Mama smiled and replied “Yes it will.”
Mia thought about how badly she had wanted to hold Baby Brianna. She imagined herself pushing the tiny stroller through the park. Then she thought about how hard she had worked for the money she had saved. Finally, she put the baby doll back on the shelf. “I decided I don’t really want her after all” she said.
“Are you sure?” asked Mama. “Baby Brianna is all you have talked about for the past month!”
“Yes, Mama”, Mia exclaimed” Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know!” Mama smiled and gave Mia another great big bear hug. Her little girl had learned a big lesson!
“Why don’t we all go for ice cream?” Daddy asked. “It’s my treat!”
Mia took Daddy’s hand and smiled. “Well, in that case, I’ll take two scoops!”
This article was written by: Laurie Jean Houck Owner of The View From Dix Hill.
If you want to drop her a line, Laurie’s email is, Lauriejh2002@yahoo.com
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