## Tuesday, August 16, 2011

### Birthday Money Math

It's August. Around these parts, we call it the Birthday Season. In the time span of about five weeks, we have Sarah Grace's birthday, Thomas' birthday, and my birthday. Plus my sister and my mother-in-law. Honestly, weight gain rivals Christmas.

The ten day time span in which I have two six year olds is particularly entertaining. Sarah Grace is nothing short of thrilled to be the same age as the brother she adores, and Thomas is nothing short of dismayed to not have number proof of his position as the oldest. Conversations can escalate into all out shouting matches as to which child wields the authority.

I just keep the Tylenol in my pocket. Yup.

With Birthday Season comes the influx of mail for the kids. Used to, everyone sent them musical cards. I haven't shed a tear to not see a single one of those this year. Now that the kids can read, relatives send nice, quiet cards. Usually with some kind of monetary donation to the kids Birthday Funds. We called it extra math lessons this year.

For Sarah Grace's birthday, one of her cards had a five dollar bill and a one dollar bill. The bills fluttered to the ground as she opened her card and an excited Sarah Grace squeal issued forth. She grabbed up the two bills as she read the card in excited tones then squeaked out that she had been sent two dollars! I tilted my head and told her to look closely.

'Oh! A five bill and a one bill! That's six, Mommy! Just like ME! That's six!!!'

By the time she finished her assessment, her voice was so high that I'm pretty sure dogs within close proximity to us were going a little berserk.

To my humor, Thomas did pretty much the same thing, minus the girly squealing. As he opened his card on his birthday, the money again fluttered down. He guffawed and grabbed the bills from his lap.

'Look, Gracie, I got three dollars!'

'Thomas, how much do you have?', I asked.

'Ooooh! I have seven dollars! Because I'm seven!'

Another incident that had me laughing was a gentleman who has essentially adopted the kids as his grandchildren. On Sarah's birthday, he handed her two five dollar bills. She was beside herself. She announced that evening that she had three five dollars and sixteen one dollars and a bunch of change. Now our Sarah is a saver. She will carefully preserve the large majority of her allowance and birthday money and then go and spend it lavishly on herself and her loved ones.

For Thomas' birthday, our adopted grandparent gave Thomas a ten dollar bill. Thomas told me later his excitement of the ten dollar bill. He was especially thrilled that Sarah didn't have one and elated, too, because it was his first ever ten dollar bill. Thomas is historically a spender. He can barely stand to have money in his pocket and not exchange it for some item or another. However, he recently counted out all his bills and his change and had almost enough to buy a new game for his DS. I can't tell you how proud he was of that purchase. It represented major period of savings on his part! So I'm curious to see how he handles himself with his birthday money and his allowance from here on out.