Wednesday rolled around and found us gearing up to shop for Alisa’s school uniforms. With Mike back to work, however, I awoke with a desire to begin the process of tackling the mess called my office. I made a little progress (meaning I could tell a difference, but probably no one else could); it really was a case of “it has to get worse before it can get better.” Right now, I’m still at the “worse” stage. I broke to comb Alisa’s hair & eat lunch before heading to the Parker Uniform Store in Fort Worth. I knew I should have called before driving out there! They were assisting customer #33 when I pulled #49 off of the “please take a number” dowel rod. We had Sasha and Tia with us as well. We waited patiently along with everyone else, and all in all, we were in there for about an hour and a half. A hundred ninety-two dollars and some change later, Alisa was equipped with a jumper, culottes, a blouse, a cardigan sweater and a skirt (which will be mailed to us because it was out of stock). With our receipt we were given a chance to complete a survey online and receive 20% off any one item. I may just do that and try to get Alisa a pair of khaki pants. She may not want them now, but come winter time, she’ll probably change her mind. Thank you, Tia, for funding half of the uniforms.
We dropped off Tia & Sasha; then Alisa & I headed to PetCo for Alisa to finally check out her hermit crabs. See, here’s the thing about “birthday” money. I kind of thought Alisa should have helped foot the bill for some of her uniforms with that money, but I know she thought otherwise. She has been looking forward to getting “birthday money” to get her hermit crabs since before Christmas. This is one of the reasons (besides the fact that we have no income to devote to allowance) that I haven’t instituted an allowance in our household. Yes, I would love for my kids to learn to manage money with hands on experience—maybe it will help them avoid financial blunders down the road. BUT, it’s a job and a half trying to figure out all of the details: how much allowance is appropriate? What are the kids now responsible for paying for on their own? What do the kids have to do to get the allowance? Different “experts” say different stuff, like, “Allowance is not a reward for behavior. It should be given just to be given and not in return for chores.” Others say teach your children to give 1/3 to charity, 1/3 to savings and 1/3 to spend. I am all for that, but I personally do not see giving an allowance to kids who refuse to make their beds, empty the dishwasher and keep up their grades. Oh well, I’ll cross that bridge a little later. By the time I can afford to give A & A an allowance, they’ll be old enough to do odd jobs and earn their pocket change.
Back to the hermit crabs…Alisa bought two and a start up kit. They’re both considered “fancy crabs” since somebody painted their shells. She named one “Liberty” because it has an American flag painted on its shell, and the other “Red” after the dad on That 70’s Show who “loves to say the ‘a-word.’” They have to be spritzed with water several times a day because they need a humid environment, and, according to the book that came with the start up kit, they like to snack on all sorts of things like grapes, potato chips & saltine crackers. Their water must be de-chlorinated and poured on a sponge to avoid drowning. Sounds like a lot of responsibility to me! Alisa is fascinated with them (if not a little afraid of being pinched) for the time being.