I picked Mae up early from camp yesterday for her annual well-child visit, and she was in good spirits. Wonderful! As she was telling me about her day, she said, “I hope R. . . remembers to bring the $20 tomorrow. He says he thinks he has two tens at home.” Whoaaa.
Me: You asked R. . . for $20?
Mae: Y. . e. . s. Why?
Me: You can’t ask people for money!
Mae: Why not? He’s my friend.
Me: It’s inappropriate.
Mae: What’s inappropriate about it?
The answer should have been obvious, yet I fumbled. I wasn’t prepared for this. I don’t remember asking friends for money when I was seven years old. I thought 25 cents was a lot of money when I was that age, and I remember either pleading for or trying to earn change by doing things like bringing in laundry from the clothesline (under the blazing sun, no less, fending off flies and mosquitoes, my thin arms struggling to reach the clothespins. Then, there was the summer that my older sister and I picked cucumbers on somebody’s
plantation farm for some measly amount. We earned enough for a Happy Meal. Kids these days just don’t appreciate . . . . Never mind).
I tried to explain to Mae that if she wants something, she can ask Mommy or Daddy for it, and if the answer is no, she has to live with it. I told her that she should not ask her friends for money nor anything else. “Well, what if they want to give you something?” I said it’s different if they want to give you something on their own; then it’s a gift. But, you can’t ask them.
I gave up trying to explain because it wasn’t working. Either I wasn’t explaining it well or she wasn’t getting it or she didn’t want to get it. I told her that I’m glad she can call R a friend, and she’ll have to let him know that she can’t take his money.
But, that’ll embarrass me!
Here we go again. I’m embarrassed! (Not really, but I reserve the right.) My kid wants some toys that cost twenty bucks, and since I told her over the weekend that I wasn’t giving her twenty bucks, and I think Hubby also said no, she went to camp on Monday and asked another kid for it. Who knows what he told his parents, or what they are thinking? I don’t actually care; I’m just amazed that she immediately goes to thinking about what’s potentially embarrassing for her.
And, she has money in her bank, probably at least $20. I don’t plan to tell her that because she has enough toys, and she’s supposed to be working towards earning WugglePets. And, she talked me into ordering an art kit a couple of weeks ago that we haven’t even opened yet.
As much as I don’t understand how Mae thought it was ok to ask someone for $20, my ears perked up when she said R… was her friend. After three weeks of complaining about not having any friends at camp, I was encouraged to hear that, for at least one day, someone seemed like a friend to her — even if she was trying to take him for twenty bucks.