We have a round empty fish bowl. I'm not exactly sure how we got this fish bowl and honestly I don't feel like taking care of fish.
At first we just threw our loose change in the bowl, when it got to a certain point we took it to the Coinstar machine and followed that up with a trip out to lunch courtesy of our newly acquired loot.
However, Parker has started doing little helpful things around the house- clearing his plate from the table after dinner, throwing away P2's pee-pee diapers (he refuses to touch the poop ones), and putting his clothes in the hamper. I did not want him to lose interest, or momentum, in these new duties, so Josh and I established a sort of random allowance system.
When Parker does something like put his plate in the sink or hang up his towel he gets a quarter, which he puts in the fish bowl.
The other day he "helped" the neighbor mow his lawn and was awarded with a WHOLE DOLLAR BILL! Into the fish bowl it went.
He helped Josh wash the car, another WHOLE DOLLA DOLLA BILL y'all!
This means he had two whole dollars and many quarters squirreled away. I'd be lying by omission if I did not confess that those two dollar bills have been recycled through the process several times over. I have put those dollars in my pocket, asked him to do something and then handed him the very same bills I just fished out of his bowl.
I foresee some issues with this method when he learns how to count money
The other day when I dropped him off at school he asked if we could get a slurpee after school. I gave him the patent parent answer, "hummmm, We'll see, buddy."
He quickly replied, "Bring my quarters from the fish bowl!" Brilliant.
Yesterday the ice cream man came through our neighborhood. Pfunk ran for his fish bowl grabbed a fistful of quarters, which he exchanged for SpongeBob SquarePants ice cream with stale frozen gumball eyes.
We had not had dinner yet, but he asked if he could eat his treat immediately. At first I said no. He was so proud of himself and in an instant my answer deflated him. I relented and said he bought the ice cream with his money so he could eat whenever he wanted to.
It was nearly gone by the time we reached our front porch. He did still eat all his dinner though.
There is a downfall to a nearly four year old with unpredicatble income.
About a week ago, while the P's were supposed to be napping, Pman was picking at and ripping the wallpaper border off his wall.
When I went in to get him, I looked at his face and I knew he did something naughty. Then shifted my eyes a bit above his head and saw the torn paper.
I gave him the choice of either taking a 3 minute time out or paying me a dollar for the time it would take me to fix the paper.
He opted to skip the time out and pay me for my services.