“Mummy, after school, can we go shopping?” asked DD this morning. “I want to buy DS a birthday present.”
Forgive me for not replying to her. It was 6am I was weighing up the pros and cons of her request while making two packed lunches and trying to persuade a tired DS a) to have breakfast and b) go to school. My thoughts – for once – were not on shopping.
“With my own money?” she added.
And what could I say to that? DD does not have a lot of money. After Christmas she had about AED 450 (£82 for those of you freezing in the Northern Hemisphere) but, when I sent her out to spend it with her godmother, it turned out she’d blown AED 180 (£30) of that on a talking Moshi Monster toy. With which she’s never played.
I ask you.
Anyway, she learned, I hope, about spending her money on crap, but it’s left her (what with the other things she bought that day, marginally more successfully) with just AED 30. I owed her AED 50 for learning to tell the time properly, rather than just guessing by the position of the sun over the yardarm (that’s my speciality!), so she had a total of AED 80 (£14.50). Reasonable enough, I thought.
“Okay,” I said. “That’s very sweet of you, darling. How lovely to buy a present for your brother from your own money. Of course we can go.”
“I just want to get something little, though,” she said. “Like a pen? He’s only four and I don’t want to waste my money.”
I swear, we’ll make a saver of her yet.