There are certain phrases that will always stop Carson in his tracks.
For obvious reasons, one is anything that has to do with swimming in the pool and going to the beach. Another is, oddly enough, a sentence that includes deviled eggs.
Our 4-year-old boy is an egg fanatic in general, but he has recently discovered a serious love affair with those of the deviled egg variety. We recently learned about this at a neighborhood picnic when Carson mauled a couple deviled eggs before returning repeatedly for more. I lost track at six. Only problem is he wants nothing else to eat and obsesses solely on them once he knows they are available.
Over the weekend, his love affair was reignited at a family gathering when he polished off another half dozen and a couple days later took care of the leftovers.
I see a lot of these in our future.
Frequent discussions have taken place recently with Beckett over the concept of an allowance.
The 6-year-old of the house is quite focused and curious about money. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. In fact, he often fires off questions to me about money. The conversation usually goes something like this.
Him: Daddy, how much money do we have exactly?
Me: [Trying to dodge because it makes me uncomfortable] It varies.
Him: I need a number. Is it hundreds?
Him: Is it thousands?
Me: Hold on I hear someone at the door [which there was not].
Him: Is it hundreds of millions?
Him: Well, why not? You need to go back to work then.
Conversations along these lines happen often and every time I buy something in front of him he tries to sneak a few dollars for himself or tries to work me over to buy him something.
During a talk about money with his mom and his desires to get a new video game, she suggested that he step up his efforts around the house with chores, like making his bed, taking out the recycling, getting the morning paper and keeping his room clean, in exchange for a modest allowance that he could save for future purchases.
While we are still considering what amount of an allowance would be appropriate for a 6-year-old, Beckett has been placing his own dollar amount on certain chores.
For instance, he came down the other morning without any sort of greeting and continued a conversation he and I were having at bed time. He had overnight come to the conclusion that making his bed is worth $10. He held the car door open for his brother and figured that was worth $5. When he put his cup in the sink the other morning after being reminded to do it, he reported that should be worth at least another $10. He even thinks using the bathroom should be worth something. In fact, after a particularly proud bowel movement, he reported that has to be worth a $20 bill.
It’s interesting that he also doesn’t think he should be docked any allowance for not following rules or showing poor judgment. He seems to think it should be like a running tab that is added up at the end of the week, while we say a handful of things may merit an allowance.
Pam believes whatever he receives in an allowance that a certain amount should go to savings and some set aside to donate to help others. I liked that idea. Beckett embraced the concept, saying, “oh okay then I will give $20,000 to a charity and keep the rest.”
His expectations could use a little adjusting.
There are so many instances during this parenting journey that make me laugh. There are others that aggravate me, of course, but I try my best to focus on the positives.
One such moment was last Friday when I took Carson to the pediatrician to have three staples removed from his head after a recent fall at home.
I dreaded this appointment because I knew how much it hurt him to have them put in seven days prior. Fortunately, Carson was fine with it and as soon as we walked into the waiting room he walked over with me to the receptionist and started pulling his hair back to show her why he was there.
Once the doctor came in, the wrestling match began between me and Carson. He abhors anyone trying to constrain him under any circumstances.
Once I had him in a vice grip, the doctor adeptly removed the staples, which I was anxious to examine after feeling them all week in his head. The good news was there was no pain for him.
Carson did not seem as interested in the staples as I was. When I made him look at them in my hand, he simply slapped them out of my hand to the floor and then started jumping on them.
Afterwards, he flung the room’s door open and sprinted toward the waiting room, while signing he wanted that cookie that I promised him from the nearby coffee shop.