When the Critter came downstairs a few months ago and told us she wanted a new iPhone, my response was "Let me know how that works out for you."
Last week, she did.
Several people have told us what good parents we are. That we helped her set goals and achieve them. That we created a sense of independence and pride. That we've fostered her sense of focus.
Maybe. Mostly, we just said "no" a lot.
No, we won't help you pay for that.
No, you can't have an allowance.
No, you can't skip the 1/3 that has to go to your savings account.
No, Daddy has not had enough Diet Coke this morning. So go get me another one.
(That last one may or may not have anything to do with this story. But seriously. I was still thirsty.)
Last week, she took a wad of cash out of her desk and shoved it into a ziploc bag. Her mom took her to the Apple store, and she told the Genius she wanted to buy a new phone.
He looked at my Bride, who just shook her head, and gestured him back to the Critter. She was standing there at the counter looking determined.
"I want the 32gb 5s, please."
"That's a $299 upgrade. If you get the 16gb, that's twice as much storage as your current old phone."
"I want the 32gb 5s." She said it very carefully, and very deliberately.
The Critter pulled out her ziploc bag and started counting.
My Bride just smiled. and shrugged at the Genius. "She earned the money. She can get what she wants."
The Genius was delighted. He announced it to the store. "This little girl earned the money herself to pay for her new Thirty Two Gigabyte iPhone 5s!"
Then she picked out a case. (Not the blue one she had originally planned on, you'll notice). She texted me a few minutes later to announce she had gotten her phone. And that she had enough money left over to buy a Minecraft themed case for her old phone. Which she plans on giving to her little brother as an apps-only 'iTouch' for his birthday.
Good job, Critter. We're proud of you.
I think I'm going to tell her that "no, we won't pay for college" next, and see what kind of spreadsheet she comes up with.