Son arrived home from school two days ago and a short while into our afternoon he said,
“Friend is getting me a DS. His Dad can get one for $10.”
Son hasn’t yet expressed interest in this handheld gaming system and I’ve been relieved yet waiting for when it would come up.
“Okay,” I replied evenly. “I didn’t know you even wanted a DS.”
“Well, Friend’s Dad can get me one for $10.”
Now, I have no idea how much these things cost but they probably go for a bit more than $10 and I know for sure that Friend’s Dad’s profession is nowhere near the gaming business. Friend is more of an Acquaintance Friend (as opposed to a Close Friend) and I don’t know the parents well so it was hard to tell what the two had conjured up. It sounded a little fishy and like harmless boy talk.
“Okay, well, you know if you get one, we’re going to set time limits for how long you can use it. Like half an hour at a time. And you’ll need to share with Sister and I don’t want to hear any whining when the time is up.”
“Okay.” He was very agreeable.
I let it drop.
This morning before school, Son declared,
“Can I have a playdate at Friend’s house?”
“Well, we can call and ask him over here but you need to be invited to his house.”
“Well, I want to go over because he’s going to give me my DS.”
“He said he could get it for $10 and Sister’s old enough and he’s going to get one in pink for $10 for her!”
Wow, Friend is a really generous guy. These two even cooked up a way he won’t have to share his DS with kid Sis.
I figured it was time I tackled this thing head on.
“Honey, there are some things you buy yourself and a DS is probably pretty expensive and you can’t accept that from your friend. If he gave it to you for your birthday, that would be one thing. But your birthday just passed.
“You can save up your weekly allowance and money from the tooth fairy and buy it yourself.”
“Well, he said he could just take $10 from his Dad’s wallet to buy it.”
Uh oh. This had taken a serious turn.
I sat down on the bed.
“Do you think that’s okay for him to take $10 from his Dad’s wallet?”
“Well, he already did! He bought me a DS!”
“What if his Dad catches him and he gets in trouble? Would you feel okay about that?”
“Would you feel okay with a DS knowing he took the money or you saved up for it?”
“Saved up for it,” he mumbled.
“Is it okay for him to take the money from his Dad’s wallet?”
“So when you get to school today, why don’t you tell Friend ‘Thank you, but I don’t want you to take the money from your Dad. I’m going to save up and buy the DS myself.’”
I reminded him again at the bus stop.
Then I hopped online and looked up how much these babies really cost.
At $1/week for setting the table each night and $2/tooth from the Tooth Fairy, that’s…a lot of chores and a lot of teeth.