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Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Monday, June 12, 2006


Nightgowns don't grow on trees

Emily is entering the girly phase of toddlerhood; the phase in which--given the choice--she would wear a frilly princess nightgown every night and every day, only taking it off to change into another, even frillier number.

Unfortunately, Emily has only two of this type of nightgown, both gifts from Auntie Dee Dee, distributor of all things outrageous and special and costing much more than I would ever pay for anything.

So the other night a minor uproar occurred when Emily realized that both of her special nightgowns were dirty and she was going to have to wear (gasp!) a pair of fleece footie pajamas. Oh, the horror! In an effort to rationally explain to her the situation, I told her that the nightgowns were in the wash. To which she replied in a sobbing voice, "We need to go to the STTOOORRRE!"

Oh, the horror.

Mike and I understand full well that our children have much more than we ever had as children. I'm not talking about love, but I am talking about material things: a big house; pool memberships; regular dinners out at restaurants with tablecloths, bedrooms decorated with colorful, petite furniture; a playroom filled with toys designed to propel a child straight from Sesame Street to Pennsylvania Avenue; matching, brand-new clothes; new shoes that cost more than my entire summer wardrobe. And yet we want our children to grow up with a strong work ethic and with the humility that comes from not always having everything handed to you on a silver platter. You know, the same things that K-Fed wants for his kids.

Which is why the idea that Emily thinks a new nightgown can be bought at the merest inclination, desire, or need for a clean one is kind of sickening to me. Is it possible we've been spending too many afternoons meandering through Target together?

How to teach kids about money and the rewards of hard work is a whole blog in itself, but without knowing anything about how to effectively incorporate a piggy bank-based reward system into our everyday life, I do know something that makes sense in almost every parenting situation I've ever been in: kids learn by example.

And that is why I am so excited about Mir from Would Could Shoulda's new blog According to Mir's witty FAQs, "is all about having it all with less." She's hoping her "site will become a resource for anyone trying to live a fulfilled life without benefit of endless buckets of money." And with that, she is speaking the language of the Tsao family. Thank you for becoming my personal bargain hunter on the web, Mir.

Because it is with bargain hunting and setting good examples of how to spend--or not spend--money that I am hoping Emily and Thomas will learn about financial responsibility and the value of a dollar.

And if that doesn't work--or maybe if it does--I guess they'll be working the counter next to Sean Preston.

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