Noah loves money. He loves getting his money box, emptying the coins on the floor, then putting them back through the slot. If there is spare change lying around, he will take ownership of it and put it in his money box. If your wallet is left in sight, he will empty it and you will wonder what happened to all of your change. My husband calls him Ebenezer.
Apart from theft, his money comes from two sources:
- From us. He gets pocket money. When I am organised, he has a star chart. The number of stars he gets dictates how much pocket money he gets (between 1-2 euros a week), but it doesn’t really work as a behaviour management technique. He doesn’t understand the correlation between eating his dinner up or behaving at bedtime and getting a star for it and then, at the end of the week, getting money for it. The star chart is a work in progress.
- From my Mum and Dad. These are direct quotations from my Mum: “If you let me cut your fringe, I’ll give you two euros.” “Eat some more dinner and you can have a euro.” “Stop crying and I’ll give you some euros.” Last time we were at a restaurant, Noah nabbed the change after we had paid the bill. He crawled under the table and slotted the money through the slats in the deck – FYI, we were eating outside. On our last trip home, my Mum found 7 euros in her purse and handed them over to Noah. I reminded her of the restaurant incident and said Noah shouldn’t be given money for no reason. She reminded me that Noah had been watering the plants all week. Hmm… My Dad’s currency is chocolate, but that’s a whole other story in itself.
Yesterday, as I was struggling to get a clean duvet cover on to the duvet in our bedroom, I heard a big smash from Noah’s room. I went running in (as you do). He had dragged his bedside table over to his shelf, climbed on it and retrieved his money box which was now an explosion of china and coins all over his bedroom floor. After I had made the room safe, I counted Noah’s money as I put it into a makeshift moneybox (aka a bit of Tupperware). The boy had over 70 euros!
So today, I put 20 of these euros into his Postman Pat wallet and took him to the toy shop after kindergarten. The very last thing he needs is any new toys, but it is his money (mostly) and what else is he supposed to spend it on? He’s hardly going to start saving for a mortgage at three years old (although my husband probably was by Noah’s age).
When we got to the shop*, Noah got himself a basket and headed to the toy section. He saw a little boy holding a Jake and the Neverland Pirates toy and decided that he, too, wanted a JATNLP toy. He settled on a skate park. It was a bargain, reduced from 30 to 13 euros! He also bought himself some bubbles to take to the park.
(*The shop is called Muller. It is the Austrian version of Wilko. When I first came here, it was the middle of winter and we hadn’t found Noah a kindergarten yet. The days were long and lonely. Noah and I went to Muller every day because it was the only shop that reminded me of home. I could always find something I needed to buy).
We got home and unpacked his JATNLP skate park. He went and got his JATNLP pirates and his JATNLP pirate ship and set about playing with them nicely. This is one conversation that took place between the pirates:
Pirate 1: Hello, sister.
Pirate 2: Hello. You are my best friend.
Pirate 1: Do you want to come to my house?
Pirate 2: Okay, I will ask my Mummy. Mummy, can I go to his house?
Pirate 3: Yes.
All of the pirates are male. There is a token girl pirate on the television show, but she doesn’t seem to come with any of the toys. I noticed this with Noah’s Playmobil pirates too. I thought about buying him some Playmobil fairies to play with the pirates. I am still thinking about it. In this day and age, why aren’t there any girl pirates?
This is another conversation that took place between the pirates when I gave Noah a Babybell:
Pirate 1: Oh, look, Noah has got some cheese. I am going to watch Noah eat his cheese. Do you want to watch Noah eat his cheese, sister?
Pirate 2: Okay, sister, let’s watch Noah eat some cheese.
After the short break where the pirates watched Noah eat his cheese, he continued to play for five minutes and then asked the inevitable, “Mummy, can I watch something on your phone?”
Yo ho ho, my Nono.