Friday, November 30, 2007

The Cost of Children

I keep a running tally of all the money my four children cost. Not in terms of necessities - I think food, clothing, shelter, christmas presents, haircuts are all part of the deal. I'm not even recording the $93 per visit to the psychologist, I think money to keep me sane as a parent doesn't count. This list is all of the other expenses, the money that I feel especially ripped off when I have to shell it out. The money I'm going to request as a refund when they make it big from the college education that I paid for.

I wasn't going to share this list originally. Brad is sensitive to embarrassing information about him, even though I think when he's an adult he will find all these stories amusing. But Zack added to his list today in a major way, and I'm so ticked off that I have no mercy. Here is the list, in part.

All The Kids Jointly -
60 Pairs of Gloves - somehow, every winter all of the gloves are gone, causing me to buy new ones by the bushel.

A New CD drive - from when I was using the computer, hit the button to eject a disk, the tray slid out, and he stepped on it.
A New Hairdryer - from when he dropped mine in the toilet, causing me to throw it away because even after it dried I was too afraid to plug it in. The warning is on there for a reason, you know.
A New Coat - for the coat he lost at school. I hope there's some poor kid who is warm now because of him.

A Paint Job for the Minivan - from the time he decided to drive his Hot Wheel car around all four sides of our 2 week old minivan, leaving one loooonnng scratch. Nothing like breaking in a new car.
A Wall Repair - for the time that he whacked the wall with his elbow, leaving a funny elbow-shaped dent.
A Laptop Charger - For the time (two weeks ago) that he dropped the laptop on the floor and instead of moving it, left it there so that he (or someone) would then step on the laptop charger and break it.

A New "Cars" DVD, "Curious George" DVD, "Nephi's Courage" DVD - for stepping on, sitting on, or otherwise destroying them.
A New 200 GB Harddrive - This is the one that happened today. For knocking it off the table when I was about to transfer all of my photos onto a computer. When I picked it up, it was making a clop-clop noise instead of the gentle hum that I've come to associate with photograph security. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all of my photos and scrapbook files are on other computers around the house.

To be fair, I suppose that this would put me in the position of expecting a bill from ˆmyˆmother for all of the things I broke when I was a kid, for instance, the Dixie cup holder that I ripped off the bathroom wall when I used it to hoist myself onto the counter. Or the lid to the ceramic soup tureen that she had specifically just told me not to play with. Or the star on top of the Christmas tree that I broke. Or her favorite knife that I knocked off the dock at Lake Anna. Although, maybe the fact that I still feel guilty about this stuff twenty years later is enough payment. I know it would be for me - I'll be sure to tell my kids that.


Anonymous said...


You're forgiven already. Let it go. I didn't even remember the dixie cup or christmas star until you just brought them up again. I've forgiven you. Love, your not perfect Mom

Tim said...

thats funny, noahs elbow hole in the wall accident sounds a whole lot like mine...wheres my list of things that i cost you?!?! like...elbow whole in the wall! ok, well. if you can think of more than that one let me know. mom will catch the tab. by the way
Em, i need ta chat at ya down the road sometime.