I texted furiously “One YoYo in a house with three children is a good idea—said no one ever!”
“LOL” was the response from Mama Coon.
During their vacation Mama had bought each of the children a small present from a unique independent toy store. RU had chosen a YoYo for herself with the promise to share and now the children were constantly arguing over it. So it was, that after a day of refereeing the YoYo ‘turns’ I suggested that they might use their spending money to invest in one YoYo each. The problem was that Ty had used all his money on his pocket knife before vacation. But Bebe was finally ready to make a purchase with her spending money.
Bebe counted out her money—$18 plus change. She felt that would be more than enough. She carefully tucked her money back into her wallet. A quick trip to Walmart revealed that the new batch of summer teenage trainees did not know what a YoYo was, let alone know if they actually stocked one—which they did not. I promised the children we would check on-line stores when we got home. I explained that when shopping online shipping and handling costs would have to be added into the price too.
We went to our favourite on-line toy store…no YoYos. Then we went to our favourite everything store and there they were—all kinds of them. I highly recommended the good old-fashioned wooden YoYo rather than the aluminum or plastic models. There were all sorts of colours to choose from. Everyone got very excited. Even RU now wanted a new YoYo and was willing to spend her money since hers was plain natural wood colour.
Power To Borrow Or Loan
Bebe looked into her wallet, looked at the computer, and looked back into her wallet.
“How are we going to pay Queenie? We can’t put cash into the computer!” she exclaimed, eyes wide with curiosity.
I told them they could ask to use Mama’s on-line credit card. If Mama agreed, I would type her numbers and passwords into the computer because the internet does not accept cash! Then they would have to give Mama Coon their cash to pay her credit card bill.
So now we were faced with a purchasing choice….buy four YoYos for $18 plus $3 shipping and handling or one for $6 plus $3 shipping and handling. We pulled our trusty white board easel up to the table. We divided $21 by four and compared it to the price of a single YoYo. But Bebe noted we only really wanted three YoYos but they sold them in sets of four.
By now everyone had their heart set on a new YoYo and Ty had arranged for a loan from Bebe. He faithfully promised to give her an IOU with a promise to pay as soon as his next allowance came in. Bebe’s mind was quicker than I could imagine. Bebe suddenly became in charge of the conversation.
Money Is Power
“Ty, I will sell you one for $7.” she said firmly.
“Seven?!” I won’t give you more than $5!”
I was surprised with her offer and his counter-offer.
“Why $7 Bebe?” I asked.
“We only need three and I want to make my money back.” she responded righteously. I was very impressed with Bebe’s quick mental math.
Ty muttered something under his breath.
“Ty,” I said gently, “she really has you in a corner, doesn’t she? You have no money and she has offered to loan you $7 if you will buy one from her. You would be in a better bargaining position if you had some cash of your own.”
“I know,” he pouted, “It’s just not fair!”
“This is a case where ‘Money is Power’” I explained. “Bebe has saved and has a lot of money and you have spent yours on various things. RU has enough to pay BeBe right away, but you have none. Just be glad she is not asking for interest for the loan.”
Everyone thought on that for a minute.
“What is interest on a loan Queenie?” BeBe mental wheels were turning again.
“A lesson for another day.” I responded.
Power To Do Good
“What will we do with the extra YoYo?” RU asked.
“We can give it to our cousin. It will be from all of us when we see him next week. He gives us stuff.” BeBe said matter-of-factly.
Her generosity towards her cousin made me a little proud.
“That’s a really good idea.” I said.
Power To Negotiate
“It is so not fair!” Ty whined. “At $7 each, that’s like $28 and she is only paying $21. I will pay only $5.” He said firmly.
“BeBe has the right to sell it at whatever price she wants to, and you have the right to not buy it…” I said.
BeBe interjected, “Well, I won’t order four unless he promises to buy one for $7.”
I could see that she wanted her money in advance.
“No fair!” Ty yelped.
I explained, “It is still cheaper than buying one for $9.” I pointed out to Ty.
“But it only cost her one-quarter of $21. That’s just $5.25! Why should I have to pay $7.” he whined.
“Well,” I explained, using the white board, “If she pays $21 for four— $7 for you, $7 for RU, and $7 for herself—that’s $21. And she is giving the last one to your cousin as a gift from all of you.”
Ty still did not like it but after some more discussion, they all agreed.
Power To Say No, Thanks Anyway
We started the on-line order but when the kids discovered that it would be a six-week delivery period they decided to not put in their order and said they would think about it some more.
A couple of weeks later, Mama Coon and the children found some wooden YoYos locally for $5 each and Mama purchased one for each of them. Once they no longer had anything to argue about, it seemed that their interest quickly waned. The YoYos went into their toy drawer and there were no more arguments about turns with the YoYo.